Revitalize yourself with sleep
When was the last time you woke up feeling completely rested, refreshed, and revitalized. Was today? Yesterday? Is it many days of your life? If not, you are not alone. Sleep deprivation is one of the most pervasive health problems in the United States. The National Sleep Foundation’s Sleep in America 2009 study found that nearly half of all Americans surveyed said their sleep needs were not being met, 35% slept less than 6 hours a night during the week, and 41% have driven while drowsy at least once a month during the past year.
Adequate sleep is so critical for overall health, it is essential that you address the issues that are preventing you from getting sleep you so desperately need.
Here are a few tips on how to get a restful, refreshing sleep:
1) Practice Stress Reducing activities before you go to bed, such as yoga, tai chi, meditation, visualization, or stretching exercises.
2) Make your sleeping environment pleasant: just the right temperature, comfortable sheets and pillows, no distracting lights or sounds. The right mattress can make a huge difference as well.
3) Keep it Dark: We love the sun, but early morning light can tell your body that it’s time to get up and when it’s not. If there is any light that you cannot eliminate from outside sources, consider wearing an eye mask.
4) Establish and keep a regular sleep schedule. Go to bed and get up approximately the same time on both weekdays and weekends.
5) Cup of Herbal Tea that contains chamomile, passion flower, valerian root, and/or hops.
6) The Amino Acid Tryptophan from a snack such as nut milk, tofu, or a banana.
7) Avoid caffeine or alcohol at least 3 – 4 hours before bed. If possible avoid them all together.
8) Turn off the TV! A television gives off light and noise, two things you do not need to fall asleep. Try replacing it with a soft background noise or soothing music.
9) Avoid Sleeping Pills! At best they are a temporary fix, and consistent use can lead to side effects, dependency and worse insomnia than you had when you started.
I hope this helps, and I always suggest finding a naturopath that can help assist you. You can read more about topics like this from my book: “The Wisdom of Well-Being: Your Health is in Your Hands”
– Dr. Diana Joy Ostroff