How's your sleep? Is it restful and
peaceful, or sporadic and not fulfilling? If the quantity and quality of
your sleep requires improvement, then this is the newsletter for you!
Whether you have a great sleeping pattern or need some
help to improve it, these tips can help maximize your sleep to help you
feel renewed and rejuvenated for the day ahead of you.
DURING THE DAY
Do not take a nap. Napping
during the day throws off your body's clock and makes it hard to sleep at
night. If you're at a point where you are so tired that you desperately
need a nap, go ahead and do so, but for no longer than 30 minutes.
Get your exercise in early.
Exercise stimulates the body, so doing it before bedtime can make it difficult
to doze off. Thirty minutes of exercise every day in the morning or afternoon
can help you sleep better.
Limit or avoid caffeine and alcohol.
Avoid caffeine (this includes chocolate!) and alcoholic beverages for several
hours before bedtime. Alcohol may initially act as a sedative, but it typically
can interrupt normal sleep patterns later on during the night.
Check your iron. Women who have
an iron deficiency tend to have more problems sleeping. If this is the
case with you, a supplement might help your ability to sleep.
Do not smoke. Because
nicotine is a stimulant, it can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay
asleep. This is also true of many over-the-counter and prescription
Expose yourself to bright light or sunlight soon after
you wake up. This will help to regulate your body's natural
CREATE THE RIGHT AMBIANCE
Make your bedroom primarily a place for sleeping.
Help your body recognize that this is a place for rest or intimacy by
clearing out any "life business" from your room: desks, computers,
bills, homework, etc.
Maintain a comfortable and peaceful retreat.
Make sure your room has good airflow and a comfortable, consistent
temperature. Do your best to be able to block out any outside noise and keep
clutter to a minimum.
Have a large and comfortable bed.
If your bedmate tends to be restless, you may want to switch to a queen or
king-size bed. Test a variety of mattresses and pillows to find the perfect fit
for you. Additionally, get yourself some comfortable cotton sheets that feel
good on our skin.
Hide your clock. A big illuminated
clock may cause you to focus on the time and make you feel stressed and
anxious. Put your clock in a location that can't be seen from your bed.
DEVELOP A NIGHTTIME RITUAL
Keep a regular schedule.
This is important! Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time
everyday, including on the weekends. By keeping a consistent sleep
schedule, your body will expect sleep at the same time each day. If you get
to bed at a later time than
scheduled or if you did not sleep well, do not
oversleep to make it up. By doing this, you can reset your body clock and
make it hard for you to get to sleep at night.
Don't eat a large or heavy meal before bed.
This causes indigestion and can interfere with your normal sleep cycle.
Eat at least two hours before bedtime. In addition, drinking too much
liquid before bed can cause you to get up during the night to visit the
Small bedtime snacks may help.
Tryptophan, found in milk, turkey, and peanuts, helps the brain relax. Warm
milk, a slice of toast with peanut butter, or a bowl of cereal before bedtime
may help you to fall asleep quicker.
Journal your anxieties.
Unresolved issues, stresses, and worries have a way of keeping our brain active
and alert when we are trying to sleep. To help, write down your
worries and possible solutions before you go to bed. By doing so, you
will feel less inclined to
ruminate over problems and let them go for the moment.
Relax before going to bed.
Quiet time can help make falling asleep easier. Meditation, relaxation, a warm
bath, or whatever else relaxes you can help make sleep easier.
Have a bedtime ritual.
Listen to relaxing music, have a cup of herbal tea, take a bath, etc.
This clues your body in that it is time to slow down and begin to prepare for
When you feel tired, go to bed.
It's just that simple.
Check your prescription or over the counter drugs.
Make sure your medications do not cause insomnia. Want to try a sleeping pill?
Think twice. Some evidence shows that these really do not work at all and
can cause daytime drowsiness. If you are having chronic problems
with sleep, please see your physician right away! Always talk to your
doctor or healthcare practitioner about your concerns. They can
WAKING UP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT? TRY THIS!
Try visualization. Thinking
about repetitive or mindless things will help your brain to shut down and
adjust to sleep. Counting sheep really does help!
Get out of bed. Don't lie in bed
awake and worry about the fact that you are not falling asleep- this will
actually keep you up! Go into another room and relax until you feel
Cut out the stimulates.
Do not read or watch on TV anything job related or interesting as this only
alerts your mind. Keep the lights low since light gives your brain
a clue that it is time to wake up. Keep it mellow.
Eat some tryptophan. Best eaten on an
empty stomach, turkey, milk, cottage cheese, yogurt, cashews, soybeans,
and tuna all contain tryptophan, which increase the feeling of
HAVING TROUBLE SLEEPING? TRY A SLEEP DIARY
By keeping a diary, it can make it easier to find out
the reasons why you are not sleeping. Be diligent and keep your diary up
to date. You will soon see what is causing your restless, sleepless
nights. (Sleep diaries are also very helpful to your doctor when he/she
tries to diagnose your problem). Make sure to indicate the following:
-The time you went to bed and woke up
-How many hours you slept
-What was the quality of your sleep?
-If you woke up during the night, what did you do?
-Your overall emotional state
-The types of foods you ate that day
-The amount of caffeine, alcohol, and medications
taken along with
the time you consumed them
Sleep is so important to our health, and so
overlooked. Make sure you are sleeping enough for your body and getting
the quality of sleep you need. Your health depends on it!
Wishing you many happy dreams!
If you are still having trouble staying asleep, consider keeping a dissolvable natural sleep aid on your bedside table. Choosing a natural product that contains herbs and melatonin can help guard against morning grogginess; helping you start your day refreshed and alert.
Nothing on this site is a recommendation as to how to
treat any particular disease or health-related condition. You should not use
this site as a substitute for professional medical advice. For serious
ailments, or if symptoms persist, you must see a medical professional. You
should not stop taking prescribed medication without consulting your doctor.