18 Secrets for a Good Night’s Sleep
Try some of these:
• 1) Start getting to bed as early as you can. Our bodies do most of their recharging, detoxifying, and regeneration between the hours of 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. So it is best try to be asleep by 11.
• 2) Stop working at least 1 hour before you wish to be asleep. This way your mind has a chance to unwind.
• 3) Don’t watch TV right before going to bed. Read something light and pleasurable, spiritual or religious, to relax your mind, or write in a journal.
• 4) Take melatonin, 5-HTP, or Valerian herb half an hour before bed. Melatonin: 2 mg-5mgs. One of melatonin’s precursors, such as 5HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) can also help, such as 50-100 mgs. Valerian is a very relaxing herb (smells awful though!); 350-500 mgs.
• 5) Try homeopathic remedies before sleep. Available online or in your health food store, the following can be very helpful: Sleeplessness Relief by Similasan, Calms Forte by Hyland’s, Calming by BHI are all combination remedies which supply such homeopathics as Coffea, Avena Sativa, Valeriana, Chamomilla, Passiflora, and others.
• 6) Take a hot shower, bath, or sauna before bed. Raising your body temperature this way late in the evening can make falling asleep easier.
•7) Try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This routine can help “program” your system.
•8) Reduce or avoid caffeine. A recent study showed that some people do not metabolize caffeine efficiently, so that the wired feeling from coffee can last long after drinking it. Therefore a cup of coffee late in the afternoon can keep you awake many hours later. For those that do handle caffeine well, you should still avoid it after 7 PM.
• 9) Don’t drink alcohol before bed. Alcohol can make you sleepy, but this is only short term. You may wake up several hours later and find it hard to fall back asleep. Alcohol prevents you from sleeping more deeply, when healing and regeneration takes place.
• 10) Don’t drink any fluids within 2 hours of going to bed. This will help reduce the number of times you have to get up to use the bathroom. Also, be sure to go last thing before you go to bed.
• 11) Get regular exercise. Lots of studies show that regular exercise, such as 30 minutes a day, will help you sleep. But don’t exercise too close to bedtime or it may keep you awake!
• 12) Sleep in complete darkness or as close as possible, or even try an eye mask. Light can disrupt circadian rhythm and your pineal gland’s production of melatonin and serotonin. This interferes with sleep. If possible, don’t turn the light on in the bathroom if you get up in the night. After a few bumps you’ll get the hang of it!.
• 13) Try a white noise machine. I love my little white noise machine- I set it to “waterfall” and it covers my furnace coming on, my cat talking to me, cars outside, and all other unwanted noise!.
• 14) Try wearing socks to bed. Your feet can feel colder than the rest of your body. Wearing socks to bed has been shown in studies to reduce the number of times you wake in the night.
• 15) Don’t use a loud alarm clock. Try a sun alarm instead- this is a more natural way to wake up. The globe slowly gets brighter and brighter, casting increasing light into the room, so you wake as if the dawn had woken you. It works very well. Try The Sun Alarm™ SA-2002 .
• 16) Don’t keep your bedroom too warm. It certainly should not be warmer than 70 degrees F.
• 17) If sleep is still a difficult issue, think about getting your hormone levels checked. Insomnia may be caused by adrenal stress, or imbalances of hormones at menopause can really play in.
• 18) Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). This is a gentle tapping system based on acupressure principles, and is easily learned. EFT has been shown to help resolve some of the emotional stresses that may contribute to insomnia. The results are usually speedy, and last well. Check out articles by Dr. Mercola; http://search.mercola.com/Results.aspx?k=eft .