Sleep solutions: 25 tips for a good night’s sleep[quote]“Sleep is the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.” Thomas Dekker[/quote]
There may be no better way to improve health and energy, and reduce stress, than getting a good night’s sleep. But that seems to be more and more difficult to achieve in our 24/7 world. Prescription drugs and over the counter sleep aids are plentiful but may not be our healthiest choice.
Counting sheep has never worked for me, but here are 25 sleep solutions that will contribute to a good night’s sleep, without side effects:
- Go to bed and rise within one hour of the same time each day to help set your body’s internal rhythms. Yes, even on weekends.
- Don’t have caffeine after noon.
- Don’t watch TV in the bedroom – it will over-stimulate and make sleep difficult. It will also impact your dreams. Do you really want to dream about Criminal Minds?
- When the lights go out, have the bedroom be totally dark [lights from computers and clock radios can interfere with sleep].
- Count your blessings.
- Have a cup of warm milk or chamomile tea before bedtime.
- Stop working 2-3 hours before sleep to help your mind slow down.
- Take a warm bath one hour before bedtime.
- Keep the bedroom cool, as a falling core body temperature helps us get to sleep faster.
- Play soothing music or a guided meditation CD for relaxation [I have meditation CDs on my SHOP page]
- Invest in a good mattress. We spend 1/3 of our lives on it so it’s a worthwhile investment.
- Avoid heavy meals 3 hours before bedtime.
- Write out tomorrow’s “to do” list before bed to help your mind disengage.
- Try aromatherapy: lavender oil is particularly relaxing. Find or make a spray with real lavender oil and spray it on your pillow before bedtime.
- Get regular exercise, but make it early in the day.
- Do gentle yoga or stretching before bedtime.
- When the lights go off, spend 5-10 minutes paying attention to your breath as a simple meditation/relaxation technique.
- Spend the last hour before bedtime unwinding with the TV off.
- If you live in a noisy area, get a white noise machine to filter unwanted sounds. Your brain still hears while you sleep!!
- Wear pajamas [or nothing] to bed to help signal your brain that you’re in sleep mode.
- If you sleep well some nights, and poorly on others, start keeping a food and drink journal. There may be something in your diet that over-stimulates you. Discuss your results with your health care practitioner.
- Magnesium and calcium together are good sleep boosters. 200 mg magnesium and 600 mg magnesium at night. WebMD recommends magnesium citrate powder from the health food store.
- Make your bedroom a sanctuary: clean, quiet and uncluttered. Don’t let it double as your office or TV room.
- Speak to your holistic health care practitioner about whether melatonin or valerian may be right for you.
- Give up! Sleep specialists recommend that if you don’t fall asleep within 30 minutes, get up, read, drink some warm milk and return to bed when you feel tired again. This one works well for me!
Keep in mind that we are all unique individuals; what works for one person may not work for you. Try different remedies to see what does. Nighty-night![quote] “A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.” Irish proverb[/quote]
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Molly Larkin is the co-author of the international best-seller “The Wind Is My Mother; The Life and Teachings of a Native American Shaman” and other books on health. She is passionate about helping people live life to their fullest potential through her classes, healing practice and blog at www.MollyLarkin.com