Sleeping soundly is as essential to great health as is food to nourish and water to keep us hydrated. But the majority of people now a days just do not get the amount of sleep needed. Or they do not get restful sleep. The Centers for Disease Control report that roughly 25% of adults do not get enough sleep. And that 10% suffer from chronic insomnia.
If you get less then seven hours of sleep a night your risk of getting sick triples. Most people don’t realize how important sleep is to their overall health.
Keep regular sleep patterns. Go to bed at about the same time every night, even on the weekend. And get up around the same time. Don’t sleep in on the weekend trying to catch up, it doesn’t work and messes up you sleep rhythm.
Not getting enough restful sleep is no laughing matter. Many researcher have found a correlation between poor sleep habits and chronic illnesses, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression and weight gain.
Can you die from lack of sleep? The jury is still out on that one. Some people claim you will die from lack of sleep before lack of food, but there is no research to back this up. More likely you will die from doing something stupid or by misjudgment from being sleep deprived.
One study shows that people who drive after being up for 17 to 19 hours have the same impaired coordination, judgement and reaction times as those with a blood alcohol level of 0.05 per cent.
5 Simple Steps to Sleeping Soundly
As always consult with your doctor before starting any of these.
- Avoid caffeinated drinks after 4 in the afternoon. If caffeine really effects you then avoid drinking it after 12 noon.
- Try a non-caffeinated tea such as Chamomile before bed.
- Also avoid foods that can cause acid reflux or heartburn such as garlic, onions, tomato products, mint or fatty and fried foods.
- Eat foods high in tryptophan, such as almonds, mozzarella cheese, bananas and of course turkey.
2. Essential Oils
- Lavender – Used for centuries for creating restorative baths, unwinding and relieving stress at the end of the day. Has unbounded health benefits in regard to promoting sleep, soothing restlessness, and relieving feelings of tension and anxiety. Add a few drops to your sheets or pillowcases for an aroma that will inspire restful sleep.
- Roman Chamomile – Diffuse or apply to bottoms of feet at bedtime. Diffuse to soothe anger or irritability. Apply to writs and/or neck for a peaceful evening at home. Has a calming effect on mind and body.
- Vetiver – Has a calming and grounding effect on the emotions. It is an ideal oil to use in massage therapy. It can also be rubbed on the feet before bedtime to promote a restful night’s sleep. Add a few drops to a warm bath for deep relaxation.
- Calming Blend – The essential oils in this blend have been meticulously chosen to lessen feelings of tension, calm emotions, and leave a peaceful feeling. It is the perfect blend to diffuse at bedtime for a restful night’s sleep, to calm a restless baby or child, or to help reduce the worry and stress so many of us feel.
- Cedarwood – used in massage therapy to relax and soothe the mind and body. Has a grounding and relaxing aroma. Can be diffused to create a relaxing environment. Will help maintain healthy breathing and respiratory function.
- Melatonin naturally induces sleep, but as age we produce less. A natural supplement of melatonin might be just the boost you need to fall asleep.
- Skullcap, Chamomile, Lemon Balm, Catnip and Hops are all known for their relaxing properties. Make a tea from any of them and sip a couple of hours before sleep.
- Magnesium has been shown to help with better sleep. Try this magnesium spray before going to bed, especially if you have leg cramps or restless leg syndrome.
- St John’s Wort is beneficial for depression. The National Sleep Foundation has found that insomnia is common with people who are depressed. Treating the depression may help with better sleep.
- Take a relaxing walk in the afternoon or after dinner. Don’t do any strenuous exercise late in the day.
- Any aerobic exercise is the best form of exercise for improving sleep.
- Sleep experts recommend exercising at least three hours before bedtime, and the best time is usually late afternoon.
- Keep the bedroom dark. Darkness signals our brains that it is time to sleep. Also eliminate as much light as possible. If necessary use black-out curtains to remove outside light.
- Don’t keep a clock within view. Watching the clock will only make you more anxious about not sleeping. Furthermore, if it has a light that can also disturb your sleep.
- Keep room temperature low, studies have shown that temperatures between 65 degrees F and 75 degrees F are best for sleeping.
- Take a warm bath or hot shower before bed, the drop in temperature after you get out signals the body to produce melatonin that helps induce sleepiness.
- Have some “quiet time” before going to bed. Try a relaxing meditation or relaxing music.
- Don’t turn your bedroom into an office. Keep it for sleeping not working.
These statements have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.
Pregnant or lactating women and persons with known medical conditions should consult a physician prior to the use of any of these products.