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Need Better Sleep? Who Doesn’t?!
November 2, 2016
These days getting good sleep can be a difficult and frustrating feat. You’ve heard all the basic how-to’s of a pathway to better z’s: avoiding blue (electronic) light 2 hours prior to bedtime, less coffee and cutting off caffeine at 2pm, getting a good work-out in each day, power naps only or no naps at all, meditation, and the list goes on! These are all real, impactful factors, but many other things come into play.
Stress levels, breathing patterns, thought life - to name a few - are all players in allowing (or preventing) the restorative sleep your body needs to function properly.
Feel like you’ve exhausted the typical “remedies”? Try these tips.
#1 Say Goodbye to Pharmaceuticals
While medication has its time and place, pharmaceuticals are only a bandaid solution. What you don’t want is to become dependent on any substance for what your body can naturally heal and handle. If an aid is required, try natural ones like melatonin (a hormone your body naturally produces), or valerian root (a potent relaxer), but consult your physician on the safe dosage.
#2 Know Your “Window”
For the average person who ignores their bodies signs of sleepiness, a second wind will kick in, sending cortisol through your system and several sleepless hours your way.
Your “sleep window” most likely occurs between 10.45 and 11pm, but will obviously vary depending upon your chemistry and lifestyle. Figure out when your is and make it a date with your bed at that time every night.
#3 Make Friends with Omega-3’s
Omega 3 supports your energy all around. While you’re sleeping, your body is healing itself which takes stabilization. Bonus, it’s good for helping to rejuvenate your joints!
Pop some fish oil a couple of hours before hitting the hay.
#4 Don’t Be Afraid to Go to Counseling
Seriously. Your emotions play themselves out while you sleep and can lead to restlessness, discomfort, wild dreams, interrupted slumber or flat out insomnia if they aren’t appropriately dealt with. Never hesitate to ask for help if your bad bedtime could potentially be your psyche working against you.
#5 Write It Down
Stop internalizing everything, and write it down! Whether tomorrow’s impending tasks, or today’s gratitudes and frustrations, put it on paper before you lay down to sleep. It’s cathartic and with an uncluttered mind, you’re more likely to ease off into dreamland, rather than toss and turn with overwhelming thoughts.
#6 Keep It Cool
Your bedroom should be an oasis in every way, especially in climate. Being cozy is great, but if your body’s natural cycle (warmer during activity, cooler for resting) is interrupted, sleep onset will not occur. By no means do you need to be chilly. Comfort is king, but prep for your best sleep by lowering the temperature as necessary in order to catch all the rest headed your way.
#7 Make Your Bed Awesome
You don’t need to invest in an astronomically priced mattress - but you do need a quality one! Find the right firmness for your body type and sleep habits and stick to it. With so many bed-in-a-box companies vying for your attention, and mattress sales on every holiday, it can be difficult to choose, but keep it simple. Whatever gives you support and solid sleep. Then choose comfy, breathable bedding of a color that you find peaceful and calming. Your bed is your island.
If you have done everything “right” and are still suffering from poor sleep quality, consult your physician to rule out any underlying issues and find your best solution.