Tips & Advice On Getting A Good Night's Sleep
"Oh the worries! Oh the anxiety, the depression, the multiple nightmares, & countless hours of over thinking & feeling sluggish! What am I to do?" - Does this sound like you? Are you one of the millions who can't seem to get enough sleep? Have you tried just about everything or are clueless to what you can do to get a better night's rest? I've been there before & I will agree that it is not one of the best ways to live a healthier, longer life. Below you can read my suggestions and before you begin, know that I am not a professional of any sort in this specific field and do not recommend that you take my advice as an only means of combatting insomnia or sleep deprivation.
Countless Alternatives To Staying Awake At Night
- Have you ever thought about changing the color scheme in your bedroom? (How about painting the walls darker colors which reflect less light and therefore give you a darker ambient in which you can sleep better in? Go ahead and experiment with colors that promote a relaxing mood. Pinks, beiges, and baby blues seem to do it for me. Also, hang up nice picture frames and portraits that promote calming sensations. How about paint clouds on the walls?)
- Eat &/or consume liquids 3-4 hours before your bedtime. (Taking fluids or eating late at night can keep you up, believe me. Everyone has at least one memory of eating very late at night or drinking a little more liquids than normal only to have to wake up to use the bathroom a while later. By the way, food needs time to digest and break down. So give it time so you wont end up with an upset stomach.)
- Feng-Shui anyone? (Here's the definition from Wikipedia: "Feng shui is an ancient Chinese system of aesthetics believed to use the laws of both Heaven (Chinese astronomy) and Earth to help one improve life by receiving positive qi." - It's a system of re-arranging around your bed, changing what a mirror faces, or even adding certain object, plants and the like to create a positive surrounding and bring about good luck and kick out negativity. Look further into it. Here's a good link: http://fengshui.about.com/od/fengshuiforhome/qt/feng_shui_bed.htm - What are you waiting for? Let positivity radiate in your bedroom!
- Tryptophan. (Turkey and milk are two of my favorite foods that contain this "amino acid" which helps to increase serotin levels in your brain and as a result calm you down and put you to sleep. You wonder why kids are given warm milk at nighttime and it's because it helps them to fall asleep faster! Pretty much, warm foods are better to eat if you're looking to fall asleep faster rather than very cold ones, like hmm... icecream, iced coffee, etc. Here's a link to check out if you're interested in finding more about tryptophan and what foods you can eat to take advantage of this amino acid: http://www.naturdoctor.com/Chapters/Research/insomnia_tryptophan.html)
- Hot showers or bubble baths are magical. (Soak in the bath tub and relax your muscles after a long day at work. Indulge in a creamy lathering bath experience in the shower. Yes, why not? You deserve it! Hot water works efficiently by calming our nerves and achy muscles and putting us in a relaxful mood. You'll have nothing but a wonderful spa therapy right at the comfort of your home. People pay lots of money to soak in saunas which help them lose more calories after fitness routines when they can just soak in their bathtub for free!)
- Do some exercising! (This can get your body in the mood for the above - a hot shower or bubble bath- and it certaintly helps you to live longer and who doesnt want that? Exercising also helps you to get more oxygen to your brain and to your muscles and can help you breathe easier. So if you snore at night, clear your airways. Go running. Get up and exercise for healthier lungs! Even asthma suffers can benefit.)
- Do not engage in smoking and drinking habits. (Hmm, how committed and disciplined are you? You should implement smoking less and or receiving counseling for your bad drinking habits. A lil' here and there might not hurt you say. But over the years, a lil adds up and becomes a lot. The damage you can be causing your livers and lungs can be fatal. Take care of your body and your body will take care of you. Its simple. Healthy eating and healthy activities create healthy habits, such as healthy sleep. * Wink! Nicotine can stimulate your heart and keep you up, as can excessive amounts of alcohol that your body may not handle. Plus who wants hangovers? You surely dont enjoy them. I have yet to meet someone who does.)
- Change your mattress, pillows, & sheets. Make sure they're clean and have a comfortable and smooth feel. Maybe look into a different fabric? (Silk bed sheets fit my liking perfectly! They're soft to the feel and to my skin as well. They also don't create friction as I tend to move a lot in bed, so I can glide very easily and move around with ease when I toss and turn. Also be aware that you should change your pillows every once in a while and keep them with clean cases. I enjoy mine being fluffy and huggable, but that's just me. There's also pillows that can specifically meet your needs, like one where your neck feels more comfortable, higher or lower as intended for your sleep. Mattresses are also a big one. They can be expensive but Im sure it will be worth it. But here's a good tip that I learned throughout the years. Flip it! Yes, flip the mattress on its other side!)
- Aromatherapy. (This here is a preferred method by many! Theres so many essential oils out there. You can use them in diffusers and even use candles and other fragrances to sooth and calm you. A very wide known oil for falling asleep is "lavender oil." It's an extraordinary scent. Experiment with lots of other ones and see which one is best for you. Even a lavender scented lotion or soap before bed can do the trick!)
- Reading a good book. (This one sounds much better than counting sheep if I must say. But as a rule of thumb, anything that engages your mind, sooner or later creates a calming effect, for me anyways. If you've ever gotten lost in a good book, that you couldn't put down, you know how tired your eyes become and how miraculously your body goes into some sort of trance and you fight every bit of sleep taking over you. Well the point is, to not fight it and the trick is in choosing a book that is of your interest and will be guaranteed to keep you glued, literally to your bed hehe.)
- Setting a sleep routine. (This might sound very cliche and I know, I know, you've heard it over and over again but what do you have to lose? Invest a few minutes of your day to set up a sleeping schedule. Set a time where you will "be" in bed, rather than asleep. But make sure you stick to it. This way you train your body to get into sleeping mode at a certain hour and wake up around the same time in the morning, unconsciously. & please, by all means, do not interrupt this flow very often as it will disturb your slumber.)
- Diminishing the amount of caffeine taken before bedtime. (I see you, all my coffee lovers and addicts! Did I forget my carbonated drinks lovers as well? Do yourself a favor. Sleep better tonight! If you must have a caffeinated beverage please do so 5 hours before your set bedtime. But if you drink lots of caffeine throughout the day and cant do without it, the least you can do is also drink a glass or two of water an hour or so before bed, to cleanse out your system some. Also, many people dont check labels and even though some drinks dont say they contain caffeine, they contain high amounts of sugar and fructose syrup which are just as bad and can give you short jolts of energy which might leave you unable to sleep and very sluggish. Be realistic in what you eat before you decide it's time to sleep.)
- Eat healthier. (A balanced diet helps you get all the needed nutrients for your body to function properly. You can in turn, have less headaches, pain and aches in the joints, and have an overall rejuvenation. Multivitamins work wonders in improving the way your body functions. When's the last time you even considered taking some? You might have some deficiencies, so check with your doctor or physician before taking any specific vitamin supplement or any other supplements which can interfere with prescribed medication.)
- Room temperature is a strong key. (Are you the type who likes warm climates or cold climates? If it's summer, consider an air conditioner. If it's winter, consider a heater. Do what it takes to keep yourself as comfortable as possible. Sweating or shivering does not create a comfy situation. Some people even like sleeping with the window open to feel a nice breeze coming in. If you'd like, leave your bedroom door open to create a nice even flow of air.)
- Purchase an air purifier. (Is the air you're breathing the culprit of your sleeping habits? Maybe you live with a smoker or someone who is constantly cooking and the aromas fill your room. Think of ways to keep a fresh scented room. You can always get an air purifier to ensure the air you breathe is a little more purified and healthier to breathe in. How about a little Febreze? That can work well too.)
- Black curtains & shades for your windows? (This can reduce any lighting coming into your room immensely! You might prefer sleeping in a bedroom where it's very dark. Consider taping the shades around the windows if you'd like. You do have to keep in mind that if you dont have an alarm clock, and you need to wake up in the morning, you might have a problem if the only thing that wakes you up is the sunlight peeking in.)
- Buy some earplugs if you sleep in a noisy environment. (I purchased some pink ones from Walgreens at a very low cost and even though they didnt block out noise completely, they did reduce the noise by a huge amount. Besides, you dont want to be completely tuned out in case of emergencies like someone knocking on your door, your cellphone ringing, or the fire alarm going off. Use these at your own risk, but Id recommend not living alone and not keeping your bedroom door locked, just in case someone is knocking. There's various brands that you can choose from.)
- Music soothes the soul but can it also soothe you to sleep :) ? (Many individuals can not go a day without a lovely song or two. What genre fits you? The type of music you play can have positive or negative effects on your mood. It's up to you. Play some jazz or some soul music in the background or liven it up and play some hip hop if that's what you find to be soothing. Either way, if you live with others, keep it at a comfortable level. You wouldn't want to disturb anyone else's sleep would you?)
- Nightlights aren't just for children. (If you currently suffer from bad dreams, be wary of watching scary movies at night and stay away from anything that can cause uneasy feelings and moods before bed. Believe it or not, some people may find that nightlights or even lamps with dimmed lighting can help them have a better sleeping experience through nightmares. If you even have sweating episodes, keep a glass of water by your bed. A very good point to ponder on is: Did you ever go to sleep feeling happy with a smile on your face and not a care in the world and woke up the next morning feeling like you had the best sleep ever? Yeah, it happens. Keep your mind with happy and positive thoughts. Leave anything that you couldn't finish today for the next day. Don't worry so much. Chances are you might spend the whole night waking up thinking about whatever is bothering you and everything you didn't finish today and won't even wake up as early tomorrow to finish it off.)
- If nothing seems to work, please visit a health proffessional and maybe he/she can prescribe sleeping pills or another form of treatment. (Insomnia is a sleeping condition, along with many other sleep conditions. It should be taken very seriously if it is causing major changes in your health and interfering with your everyday life tasks. Get the help you need immediately as you only have one life to live. Take the correct precautions and live your life wisely.)
Well, hope I have been of great inspiration and help to you all. Off to bed you go! Go on now and sweet dreams! May guardian angels fill your bedrooms at night and help you sleep sound and safe!