Are you tired of lying in bed watching the clock? Are you worried this may be another night of tossing and turning? Perhaps these days you just can’t shut your mind off and get a good night’s sleep – thinking about your your stressful job, your kids, or that never ending to-do list.
With more on your mind, doesn’t it seem like restful sleep seems harder to attain?
Although sleep meds may sound promising, they can lead to dependency and daytime fatigue – something most people want to avoid. Today, I’m going to share with you tips to help your mind and body recover and re-charge in today’s fast paced world.
Sleep is much like the gas that you put in your car and with higher demands at home and work, you need to make sure that you stop to fill up regularly. When you are sleep deprived, your body and your brain simply cannot operate at their full capacity. The most concerning aspect is that long term sleep issues can lead to anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), depression, and cardiovascular disease.
Below, I have provided simple recommendations to help you achieve better sleep.
(1) Have stimulants (caffeine and sugar) before 12pm and get to bed before 12am.
This may be too difficult to implement on the weekends, but what about during the week? At the very least, try it Sunday thru Thursday.
(2) Before turning in, write down your “to do” list.
This will allow your mind to let go of things you must do the next day. If you go to bed feeling anxious about what you have ahead of you, you may have a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep.
(3) Hot baths rock!
I love them. They are calming and help release stress. Drop some Epsom salts into your bath and rub essential oils like lavender or chamomile around the temples and between the eyebrows.
(4) Avoid using an iPod, TV, computer or cell phone within one hour of retiring.
Yes, that’s right. This will help your body unwind. The bedroom is to be used for rest, relaxation, sleep and sex. Simply put, keep the electronics out of the bedroom and don’t use them right before bed, unless you are listening to meditation music.
(5) Make sure the room that you are sleeping in is dark to enable your body to produce an important hormone called melatonin, which regulates the sleep cycle.
Avoid taking melatonin in supplement form for long periods of time. You want your body to naturally make this hormone on its own. Melatonin is your body’s way of communicating to you that it is time to shut down and sleep.
One of the questions on the patient intake form at our clinic is “Do you feel well-rested in the morning?” Ask yourself this question and if the answer is no, it is time to evaluate the reasons why.
A qualified Naturopathic Doctor can help you. They will likely recommend a series of acupuncture treatments along with natural sleep medications after assessing your individual case.
Remember that sleep is time for your body to recover, repair and rejuvenate, and every bodily function is dependent on it. If better health and decreased risk of cardiovascular disease haven’t convinced you, how about better skin, weight loss and improved mood.
That’s right. With 8 hours of peaceful sleep, you’re more likely to drop inches, age gracefully and smile more. Still need more reasons? I didn’t think so.