- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
Want a better sleep? Great sleep inducers to help you out.
As we all know, insomnia can result from a wide variety of causes, i.e. hypoglycemia, muscle aches, indigestion, breathing problems, and side effects from medication, just to name a few...
In order to feel refreshed and be able to operate at peak efficiency during the day, children as well as adults need anywhere from eight to twelve hours of sleep at night.
Avoid taking any stimulants such as foods and beverages containing caffeine, refined sugars, or chocolate too close to bedtime. Did you know that a caffeine buzz can last from 6 to 8 hours? Avoid alcohol within two hours o going to bed as it can result in a light, unsatisfying sleep and the sedative effects wears off in 4 hours. Avoid eating and exercising for at least three hours before bedtime as both activities increase metabolism and heart rate thereby leaving you wakeful not sleepy. Have a glass of wine at dinner for minerals, digestion and relaxation.
Some foods that naturally induce sleep are bananas, cottage cheese, fish, dates, milk, peanuts, and turkey. These foods are rich in tryptophan - an amino acid that helps to stabilize moods and alleviate stress. Tryptophan is also used by the brain to produce serotonin, a chemical that regulates the mechanisms of normal sleep.
Brewer's yeast is high in the B vitamins and helps to calm the nervous system. It can be a big plus to a good night's sleep when taken about one hour before bedtime. Taking a balanced formula of calcium and magnesiumwith your evening meal can help with sleeplessness due to crampy legs.
To help yourself unwind and relax in the evening, there are a variety of herbal teas that can help when taken about one hour before bedtime. These include licorice root, chamomile, catnip-lemon balm, St. John's wort, Siberian ginseng, and Valerian root. BONUS: they are all effective sleep inducers that won't leave you with a drug-induced hangover in the morning. Did you know that a hops and rosemary sleep pillow is also a great sleep inducer?
To get more out of life -- establish a healthy sleep cycle:
- go to bed only when you are sleepy;
- do not stay in bed if you are not sleepy;
- take a hot bath an hour or two before bedtime;
- keep the bedroom comfortable and quiet;
- learn to put worries out of your mind;
- a program of regular exercise in the afternoon or early evening improves sleep quality.
Remember - sleeping like a baby is possible and goes a long way towards feeling refreshed, wide-eyed and ready to tackle the world the next day.