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Sleep Health-What Helps You Sleep

Updated on February 15, 2014

Getting comfortable for bedtime

Sleepy time ritual: bath, PJ's  and comfy slippers
Sleepy time ritual: bath, PJ's and comfy slippers | Source

Good Sleep Habits are Important

Sleep is an important part of our health.
Sleep is an important part of our health. | Source

What is a circadian rhythm?

Do you have difficulty falling asleep? Do you awaken in the wee hours and stay awake? Are you tired throughout the day? You may be suffering from insomnia. Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep, or stay sleeping under normal circumstances.

Just like the tides in the ocean, the body has a circadian rhythm it follows moving from sleep to wakefulness, and back to sleep. The cycle may vary with each individual, but in normal circumstances there is a natural period of time in which we begin to feel sleepy and desire rest.

When this cycle is interrupted our ability to fall asleep is hampered. When this continues over a period of time, not only do we lose sleep, but we also build a pattern. Much like the ruts made on a dirt road from traffic, the brain begins to recognize, and resort to, a memory of interrupted sleep.

Insomniacs run the risk of health problems. It is not normal to be awake all day and all evening. Even if one rests during the day time the interruption of nighttime sleep moves against a natural rhythm. Therefore, it is imperative to investigate the causes for the insomnia and come to a healthy resolution.

Falling asleep after eating

Snoring doesn't mean you are getting a good sleep
Snoring doesn't mean you are getting a good sleep | Source

Healthy tips for what will make you sleep

Good sleep is a well practiced habit. If you want to sleep well you must examine what the obstacles are and remove or reverse them. Some may be obvious, while others may be more subtle. For example, if you are taking a stimulant just before bed the chemicals will wire you, so the obvious thing is to cut out the stimulant. Caffeine is a typical, ordinary stimulant which can block the natural cycle for sleepiness. Cut out coffee, colas and energy drinks at least five hours before bedtime and over a period of cleansing the toxin from your body observe whether the effects offer noticeable improvement for sleep.

Some not so obvious examples are: harried thoughts or life style that keep us hyper vigilant at bedtime; racing thoughts as we attempt to fall asleep grinding away at us; what we did not complete during the day; conflicts that may have occurred during the day, etc. The grocery list in our heads can go on and on into the wee hours of the morning if we allow it to. One resolution is to practice putting the ‘closed’ sign on the door of your mind as you enter your bedroom.

Other healthy tips for good sleep include: stop exercising at least two hours before bedtime; eating lightly or refraining from any food two hours before you sleep; getting fresh air and exercise each day, preferably towards evening; refraining from any deep, emotional discussions just before bed; sipping a cup of warm milk before bed; engaging in a slow, relaxed breath while releasing any tense muscles as you lay on your bed; taking a warm shower or relaxing bath with candle light and soft music just before retiring; and refraining from watching the late version of local or world news; taking an over the counter herbal supplement such as menatonin may also assist someone to sleep.

If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, get the proper equipment which may help your breathing through the night. If you are obese and experience acid reflux or heart burn, sit up in a recliner to sleep or prop yourself up in your bed. If you are supposed to take medications for your condition do not skip them or stop taking them. Your doctor has prescribed them to enhance your living despite your condition.

If you wake in the middle of the night fall back into the relaxation breath work and check if your mind has ignored the ‘closed’ sign returning to a rapid, negative self talk mode. Then, if it continues, get up briefly to read, listen to soft music and make an attempt to return to bed after an hour.

If you wake in the early morning try ‘fooling’ your body by going to bed a bit later in the evening to see if you extend your sleep time. And, refrain from napping during the day. Again, examine and write in your sleep journal whether you are actually experiencing disturbing thoughts. If all else fails, get up, do something quiet such as meditation, yoga, or stretches and note if this will ‘quiet’ the body and mind.

Everyone deserves a good sleep. It is essential for our mental clarity and our health.

Helpful Sleep Aids

Company or product name
Contour foam pillows
Serta gel-memory classic
Sleep Better Iso-Cool
Sleep Innovation Cool Contour
Therapeutica sleep Pillow
Sleep Masks
Decreases the light
Day Dream Baskic Sleep Mask
Dream Essentials Sleep Mask
Ear Plugs
Decreases noise
Dream Essentials
Meditation and relaxation
Deep Sleep and Relaxation
Relaxing scents for sheets
Bath&Body Works sleep pillow mist: Lavender & Vanilla, 4 oz.
Bath Products
Relaxing scents for baths
Bath&Body Works: Foam Bodywash, Lavender, Chamomile, Honey
Medicinal Aids
natural or prescription
Doctor or Drug store
Herbal Drinks
helps for relaxation
Celestial Seasonings: Sleepytime
13.95/40 ct box
Technical Aids
enhances sleep environment
Conair SU1W Sound Therapy
Conair Relaxation Clock Radio
Homedics Envirascape
Marpac Dohm Sound Conditioner

Poll about insomnia:

Do you suffer from insomnia?

See results

Sound Therapy for sleep problems

How to get to sleep faster

1. Don’t consume caffeine products for several hours before sleep.

2. Do not eat a heavy meal just prior to going to bed.

3. Engage in a bedtime routine that encourages relaxation: hot shower or bath; playing soft music; reading; meditation or relaxation breath work.

4. Avoid exercising one – two hours before bed.

5. Avoid arguments or conflicts with others just prior to sleeping.

6. Do not watch the late night news that may show disturbing information or film coverage.

7. Don’t bring your worries to bed with you at night-let your mind release any concerns.

YouTube: How to fall asleep fast


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