- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
20 Great Ways to Healthy Sleep
Where do we begin?
Some people can sleep any place, any time with just a blink of an eye. But I personally believe that your bedroom and what's it like inside -- the aura, the energy, the arrangement and the ambiance - contributes to your general well being. So do a bedroom tune up and see if there's anything you need to change or just give yourself a pat in the back for a job well done in making it a place of rest or sanctuary.
1. PICK THE RIGHT MATTRESS FOR YOUR BED
It's survey time! What kind of mattress do you have?
Is it too soft? When you lie down, does your whole body esp. the spine sag into it? WARNING: This causes backache when you wake up. There goes your good night's rest.
Or is it firm? How firm? If it is too firm, it also doesn't allow your neck and the curve of your lower back to stay in its proper alignment.
The best mattress is one that allows you to be comfortable and gently supports the right alignment for your spine and natural body curves. So, don't wait for the mattress to sag or for your back to ache constantly before you decide to replace it.
2. PILLOWS ARE IMPORTANT TOO
Been experiencing neck pains when you wake up? There are a lot of pillows offered in the market today. Your personal preference of course takes precedence over what others say you shoud use. But just make sure that your pillow is soft enough to conform to the curves of your head and neck; and that it is not in an awkward tilt. This way it still helps keep your neck and spine in good alignment.
- Proper Pillow Placement for Any Sleeping Position
Align your spine and muscles for optimal relaxation by using your pillow properly by Maddie.
3. CHOOSE CALMING COLORS
Create a bedroom ambiance by using the right color scheme. Learn the psychological effects of colors on your senses for greater well being. Avoid stimulating colors like red. Pink, cool greens, pale blue, off whites and beige are calming and soothing.
4. KEEP YOUR ROOM DARK WITH A COOL TEMPERATURE
If you live in a tropical climate like I do, it's very difficult to sleep when the weather is humid and hot. And the electric fan doesn't help much either. So if you are having problems getting a good night's rest due to the heat, maybe it's time to invest -- buy an airconditioner!
On cold nights, use enough blankets or covers to keep you from being cold. Electric blankets could interfere with deep sleep because it halts the necessary drop in your body's temperature.
And so when you are ready to turn in for the night, keep your room dark and cool; this will signal to your brain that it is time to sleep. Reminder: bright lights will cause a drop in levels of your sleep hormone melatonin and disrupts your normal sleep cycle. Install a night-light if you need to wake up during the night to use the toilet.
5. GET RID OF CLUTTER, DISTRACTIONS AND NOISE
Your bedroom is your sanctuary - it's a place for you to rest. So clear up the clutter. Keep your things tidy and orderly. Remove any distractions that may remind you of work -- exercise equipment, computers, phones, blaring televisions etc.
As for noisy neighbors and busy streets, wall to wall carpeting helps or use of draperies to absorb sound. If it's really worse, you may have to use an earplug.
BODY AND SENSES
Your bedroom has been transformed. Now let's move on to your body and senses. To sleep well, you need to learn to unwind after a busy day at work. Here are some things you can do to help you.
6. BEDTIME RITUALS
Before anything else, create a sleeping ritual. This will help your body remember. Stick to a schedule. We advise our kids. We tell them to sleep every night at the same time. I actually saw the value of this. So now, we must also implement our own rule. We come up with a bedtime ritual every night before we slide into bed. From playing the music, or doing meditation, or writing down your thoughts, brushing or flossing your teeth, to your facial care, etc.
7. PLAY SOOTHING SOUNDS AND MUSIC
This is one way to combat a noisy environment-- play soothing sounds and music. Or just to allow your body and senses to unwind and relax. There are a lot of classical, instrumental and meditation music for you to choose from. I find myself relaxing most when I listen to the ocean waves. Sometimes, I even play lullaby songs for kids. It's pretty good.
Recently a dear friend introduced me to the Tibetan Singing Bowls. It's very effective in helping me relax and truly get a good nights rest. Also, since it creates resonance in different parts of one's body, it also has a healing effect. I highly recommend you try it.
8. BODY TREATS
One way of relaxing before you head off to dreamland is to experience wondrous body treats. A delightful SPA, a full body massage with scented oils, aromatherapy or simply hop in your tub. A hot bath an hour before you sleep will raise yor body's temperature and then after, cool down -- a signal that it's time to snooze.
9. ENGAGE IN PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Getting a good exercise is good for our health, the doctors say. But doing physical activities like gardening, swimming, walking, cleaning the house during the day will help you sleep at night. Why? Studies have shown that engaging in exercise contributes to a person's longer periods of deep sleep.
Reminder: Intense workouts/exercise should be done three to four hours before your sleeping time.
10. THE WONDERS OF YOGA
I was once a worry freak. And because I analyzed too much and worried too much, I experienced waking up and feeling fatigued (like my body was run over by a truck!)
My best friend (who wanted to help me) researched about yoga and thus, yoga was born into my life. I found myself doing simple stretches combined with slow, deep breaths that relaxes, calms and brings me to a deep sleep after. And the next day, I always wake up feeling refreshed.
MIND AND HEART MATTERS
Our thoughts and our feelings affect our whole self. If it is filled with worry, fear, resentment and anger, it would surely affect our sleep. Whereas a positive mind and heart contributes much to our rest... and our health.
11. COOKIES AND MILK ANYONE?
Calm your brain with food? I had to smile at this one. But studies have shown that protein foods that contains tryptophan (hey, this is actually a sleep-inducing chemical) can help. A perfect sample would be a biscuit and a glass of milk. This will ensure you a restful night's sleep.
- Food Remedies For Sleep
What are the other foods that could help you sleep. Read what Shannon has to say.
12. WRITE IT DOWN
A familiar scenario crops up: an important activity is coming up tomorrow. And just when you want to go to sleep, you find yourself thinking about all the things you must do. And your mind starts working like crazy. The mind suddenly wants to remember it all. Now this can be a cause for you to wake up feeling sluggish and tired.
The next time this happens, grab a pen and a paper and start making a list of everything that's on your mind. It sounds so simple, I know. But creating that list can help you get a good nights sleep - because your mind is able to rest knowing that you are not going to forget what you have just been thinking.
Mountain Stream Relaxation Video
Meditation is the act of quieting the mind. A busy, very active mind keeps one from getting a good nights rest. By quieting the mind and keeping still (even for ten minutes) already helps you a lot.
I suggest you do some yoga stretches before you start meditating. Just try to empty your thoughts. If that is difficult, you can try visualizing your favorite scenery or your loved ones. And if your thoughts wander, don't get frustrated, just gently lead it back. It takes practice, but once you get the hang of it, you'll discover the beauty of its benefits.
Other options to help you: use meditation music, or a voice guiding you step by step on what to do.
Do an affirmation everyday without fail. Believe in the power of the word: Say to yourself "I am having a good night's rest. My body is relaxed. My mind is calm. And my entire being is ready to rejuvenate and re-energized while I sleep. Healing and renewing of my cells are taking place within my body. I sleep well tonight and I wake up tomorrow morning refreshed and recharged to face a brand new day!"
15. CHOOSE TO FORGIVE
You can stay up when you are unable to stop from thinking and replaying over and over in your mind the things that have hurt you. Anger and bitterness is a very powerful factor for you to loose a good nights rest. Your muscles and your body will be tense and you will wake up feeling exhausted. Forgive the person who have hurt you. You are actually causing more damage to yourself by choosing not to forgive.
16. RECEIVE THE HEALING TOUCH
I have defined the healing touch as something that soothes and comforts. You can receive a healing touch from your loved one. Because your love heals. Simply lay your hand on his forehead (very lightly) and visualize all the love you feel for him/her. Or you can gently start stroking their heads, combing your fingers through their hair.
If you are somewhere in my vicinity, you could call me up to receive "healing." :-) Most of the people I have laid hands on, usually fall asleep and rested like babies.
17. SLEEPING WITH A LOVED ONE
Watch babies sleep. They sleep basking in the knowledge that they are loved. Indeed, one can't discount the fact that there is much comfort in feeling secure. A good friend of mind says that it is so easy for her to fall asleep if her loved one is around. When things are not alright with them, she finds herself tossing and turning and feeling tired the next day.
For people who have been so used to sleeping with a loved one, sleeping alone can be hard for them. Getting a pet ( a cat or a dog) to cuddle may help. Others use an extra pillow or a soft toy (like a teddy bear).
18. PRAYER TIME
I define prayer as simply talking with God (or whatever name you would call Him/Her). Being able to unburden your problems would aid you in having a good nights rest. It's like having a good talk with a really great friend. God will not complain that you talk too much. In fact, He loves it when you share things with Him. (That is based on my experience.)
Prayer is also taking the time to listen to Him. So there should be moments when we spend time doing that. In the silence, He will assure you of His love and perhaps you will find wisdom as well.
The bottom line is...you will be able to sleep well because you know that the Almighty one knows and understands your cares. And you know you are not alone.
Andrea Bocelli sings Elmo to sleep
19. COUNTING YOUR BLESSINGS..instead of sheeps
If you do not have a personal relationship with any Divinity, that's ok. I respect that. So why don't we just count our blessings instead?
Gratitude paves the way for a good nights rest. Why? Because in its realm you have just claimed that all is well. So you are able to rest and sleep peacefully. While the sheeps listen quietly at the side, enumerate all the good and beautiful things around you. And be sure to include having a good nights sleep.
- How to Fall Asleep Naturally
Read Kenny's hub as he reveals his top 22 natural sleepy methods written with a lot of sense and humor.
20. CRYSTAL THERAPY
I've known that crystals are powerful healing tools. A lot of benefits has been seen as they can help you in the different areas of your life -- physical, emotional, spiritual, and financial health. It can also aid you in sleeping well.
For instance, Amethyst is known as a great asset in meditation and its ability to maintain peaceful energy during rest after doing rigorous mental activity. It is a sleep aide that helps reduce tossing and turning and for stress relief.
ONE LAST WORD
If you have honestly done everything you can and followed religiously all the tips on how to get a good nights sleep, and you still end up spending the next day feeling tired, it is time to find a good sleep doctor. Find out what's depleting your energy. You may have certain undiagnosed diseases that is disrupting your sleep. Some of the sleep disorders are sleep apnoea and narcolepsy.
We can't forego sleep. A lot of studies have shown the benefits of getting a good nights rest. Aside from being able to perform well the next day, it is also linked to a healthy immune system. One of its purpose is to allow the body to do its maintenance and repair.
Individual sleep needs vary from person to person. What is important is to remember that quality of sleep is as important as quantity. Better sleep equals to a longer life. So get a good nights rest. See you in dreamland.