We are working in a fast paced, challenging world where cell phones, text messages, and emails continually get sent to us at all hours of the day and NIGHT. There is no rest for the “weiry”. We feel compelled to answer our phones, even when in a deep sleep and hear the “ping” beside our beds.
How do we maintain optimal health in the 21st century, when we know the body heals best while sleeping?
1. Decide to leave your phone on air plane mode to decrease the electromagnetic frequency (EMF) close to the bed.
2. The bedroom should be free of all electrical devices so as to minimize EMF.
3. Choose a regular time to go to bed and try to stick with it. If you know you need eight hours of sleep, count backwards from the time you need to get up and that is your bedtime.
4. If you suffer like many of us of “mind chatter,” play some mind games (e.g. names that begin with the letter “C”, capital cities, multiplication tables). It is known that with repetition the inner mind talk will stop and you will fall into a deep sleep.
5. Eat some light foods with tryptophan in it (e.g. turkey). If not lactose intolerant, try some warm milk, or a teaspoon of peanut butter- which Japanese researchers say assists with insomnia.
6. Do a light exercise like yoga one hour before bed- there are many restorative postures that can induce sleep.
7. Fresh air.
8. Darkness is important in the bedroom as it decreases the amount of stimulation of the pituitary gland.
9. Some research shows that particular scents can also assist in sleep (e.g. Place lavender oil on a tissue and put it under your pillow).
10. Meditation for at least 10 minutes before bed has been known to induce rest.
11. Ensure your bed is equipped with the proper support your body requires. The neck should not be flexed with a high pillow, as this may create neck problems.
12. Do not drink a lot of liquids 1-2 hs before bed.
13. Some herbal teas like chamomile, sleepy time can help.
14. Ensure that your last meal happens before 7PM.
Whatever you choose, maintain a routine. Sleep clinics are busy with insomniacs, sleep apnea clients and generally busy people who cannot turn off their mind. It is important to discuss with your family doctor about alternatives like melatonin if none of the above techniques work. Some compound pharmacies can also create a combination of natural resources before a pharmaceutical medication is necessary. Be patient, you are worth the wait. Sleep disturbances do not occur overnight (no pun intended) but SLEEP is critical to optimal health.
YOU decide what is best for YOU!