NIGHT, NIGHT, SLEEP TIGHT. . . Z z z z z z z
Healthy Sleep Tips
For the most part, sleeping involves a routine. So it makes sense that there are things you can do in your daily and nightly routines to improve your sleep quality. Along with consulting your healthcare provider, you might want to incorporate some of the following tips:
Change Your Day to Maximize Sleep
· Wake up and go to bed at the same time every day, even on weekends.
· Limit your intake of alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco products during the day,
especially in the hours before sleep.
· Finish eating 2 to 3 hours before bedtime, avoiding big meals.
· Exercise regularly. Finish your exercise a few hours before bedtime.
· Eliminate napping or limit the duration to 20 to 30 minutes.
Create the Best Possible Sleep Environment
· Remove electronics like computers and televisions from your room.
· Keep the room cool, comfortable, quiet, and dark.
· Use a comfortable mattress and pillows.
· Use the bed only for sleep and intimacy.
Prepare for Sleep
· Establish a relaxing bedtime routine: take a bath, read a book, listen to relaxing
music before bed.
· Don't watch the clock—it can cause anxiety about sleep.
· Get out of bed if you can't fall asleep within 15 to 20 minutes. Only spend time in
bed when you are actually sleeping.
· Write down concerns that keep you awake, creating a "to do" list for tomorrow.
Also keep a sleep journal to help you see patterns in your sleep.
10 Tips for a Good Night Sleep …
1. No afternoon siesta
You’re done with lunch. You’ve watched your favourite soap opera and now your bed beckons with open arms. Resist! Stay away from those long naps during the day. Let your body cry for sleep and then gift it a long night of rest.
2. No-no to these…
If you’re used to guzzling down pots of coffee after dinner then it’s time to stop. Also avoid drinking alcohol just before bedtime. It will affect your sleep patterns negatively. If you’re a smoker, then that could cause sleep trouble as Nicotine is a stimulant.
3. Exercise in the morning
Are you sending your body the right signals? Don’t confuse your body with a great workout just before you go to bed or your system will be begging you to stay up and party all night.
Full Body Exercise Program
4. Turn off the lights
You may have a bright neon billboard opposite your window with blues and pinks streaking through your room. However, try and keep the room dark so external lights don’t distract you from falling asleep.
5. What’s your iron count?
An iron deficiency could cause sleep trouble. So get a check up and if there’s a problem, iron supplements can help balance out your system so it doesn’t affect your sleep.
Get a Great Night’s Sleep
While there are many reasons for insomnia, it is believed that using a magnesium supplement could be your best bet for insomnia relief. Because magnesium relaxes your body muscles and has a calming effect, it will help bring you insomnia relief by reducing stress, and anxiety, as well as calming jumpy legs and jerking during sleep. Much research points to the fact that magnesium deficiency is often related to restless leg syndrome (RLS), insomnia and other sleep disorders. In many, many cases, upon taking magnesium supplements, people have woken up less and have slept for longer periods of time through the night, giving them their much needed deep sleep, which is imperative for the body to regenerate itself. They also found that they were much more relaxed, which helped them to fall asleep faster and once again, stay asleep for much longer periods of time. One research project revealed a 75-85% improvement. We recently had a friend try a magnesium supplement called Natural Calm. He was quite surprised to find that he had slept 7 hours that night, which he had not been able to do for years. This is quite often a normal response for many.
After oxygen, water and basic food, magnesium may be the most important element our bodies need. Unfortunately, over the years, our soil has become more and more depleted of magnesium. Our plants have also had an increasingly difficult problem taking up magnesium because of our use of phosphorus and potassium laden fertilizers, which actually alters a plants ability to do so. Our surface water supply is also low in magnesium, and to top it all off, our process of preparing food by way of steaming, boiling and broiling, further removes magnesium. It is easy to deduct that our bodies are crying out for this much needed mineral. Magnesium is the 4th most abundant mineral in our bodies and is necessary for over 350 different bodily processes, including digestion, energy production, muscle function, bone formation, creation of new cells, activation of B vitamins, relaxation of muscles, as well as assisting in the functions of the heart, kidneys, adrenals, brain and nervous system. Lack of sufficient available magnesium in the body can interfere with any or all of these processes.
Magnesium depletion can be caused by such things as mental and physical stress (including over-training, surgery, sweating), caffeine, sugar (including sodas – regular and diet), alcohol, tobacco, drugs of all types, high perspiration, low thyroid function, diabetes, chronic pain, diuretics, and a high carbohydrate, high-sodium or high-calcium diet.
Many people do not realize that calcium and magnesium are actually two different sides of a coin. Calcium excites nerves while magnesium calms them down. Calcium makes muscles contract, while magnesium is necessary for muscles to relax, and calcium is needed for blood clotting, whereas, magnesium keeps the blood flowing freely. It is vital to keep these minerals in balance. Too little magnesium to balance calcium can be both uncomfortable and unhealthy. Also, to ward off the negative effects of a prolonged period of stress or an overreaction to stress, calcium needs to be balanced with adequate amounts of magnesium. Going through a stressful period without sufficient magnesium can set up a deficit which, if not corrected, can linger, causing more stress and further health problems.
While calcium has always been stressed as a supplement to take, magnesium on the other hand, has never gotten as much attention, yet it is a supplement that is just as important as calcium, if not more. You have much to gain by trying magnesium supplements for insomnia relief.
Calcium - Insomnia has been associated with calcium for centuries. People who don't have enough calcium have two sleep-related problems. First, they have great difficulty falling asleep. In most cases this occurs because low tissue calcium produces irritability. They're just too upset to be able to fall asleep. Second, people with low calcium levels are plagued with muscle cramps at night. These painful cramps occur even without any real exertion during the day. A calcium to magnesium imbalance causes these muscles to remain in a constant state of contraction.
Chamomile - Chamomile flowers are used in alternative medicine as an anodyne, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, nervine, stomachic, tonic, vasodilatory. The herb has pronounced anti-inflammatory activity, promotes wound healing, combats certain bacteria on the skin, and has a mild tranquilizing effect. Chamomile has been known to treat anxiety and insomnia.
Magnesium - Magnesium supplements may be helpful for relieving restless leg syndrome (RLS) and for treating insomnia. Magnesium is a mineral that is needed by every cell of the body. Magnesium is needed for bone, protein, and fatty acid formation, making new cells, activating B vitamins, relaxing muscles, clotting blood, and forming ATP - the muscle's energy source. Magnesium also regulates the heart by maintaining normal heart rhythm; converts blood sugar into energy; and promotes deep sleep.
Jujube -The jujube originated in China where they have been cultivated for more than 4,000 years. Jujube is widely used in Chinese traditional medicine for the treatment of insomnia and anxiety; it relieves nervous tension and apprehension. Also, compounds in jujube prevent damage to nerve cells.
Melatonin - Melatonin is a hormone made by a part of the brain called the pineal (say: "pin-ee-all") gland. Melatonin may help our bodies know when it's time to go to sleep and when it's time to wake up. Melatonin deficiency may cause sleep disorders, immune deficiency conditions, and depression. Melatonin has been found to alleviate sleep disorders and boost the immune system.
Niacin - Niacin is a member of the Vitamin B-complex, otherwise known as Vitamin B3. Like most of the B-vitamins, niacin is primarily required for energy metabolism, specifically converting carbohydrates into energy. Other than energy metabolism, proper intake of niacin keeps the skin healthy. It can also be used therapeutically to control cholesterol levels, maintain proper circulation, act as an anti-inflammatory to ease arthritis symptoms, balance blood sugar levels for the prevention of diabetes, and finally, it can be used to stimulate a healthy nervous system, thus easing symptoms of depression, anxiety and insomnia.
Passion Flower - Passion Flower is the herb of choice for treating intransigent insomnia. Passion Flower is a naturally grown medicinal herb, approved by the German Commission E in the treatment of insomnia and nervousness. It is also used as a sedative in nervous disorders (including gastrointestinal complaints of nervous origin), difficulties in sleeping, and anxiety or restlessness. The sedative effect of Passion flower has made it popular for treating a variety of ailments, including nervousness and insomnia. Research had indicated that passion flower has a complex activity on the central nervous system (CNS), which is responsible for its overall tranquilizing effects. Also, it apparently has an antispasmodic effect on smooth muscles within the body, including the digestive system, promoting digestion.
Valerian - Valerian, a member of the Valerianaceae family, is a perennial plant native to Europe and Asia and naturalized in North America. Used for thousands of years as a folk remedy, tranquilizer, and sedative for disorders such as restlessness, anxiety, and insomnia; scientifically proven to be a safe and effective anti-anxiety agent and sedative. Valerian is a common ingredient which is used as a mild sedative and sleep aid for nervous tension and insomnia. Many chemical constituents of valerian have been identified, but it is not known which may be responsible for its sleep-promoting effects. It is likely that there is no single active compound and that valerian's effects result from multiple constituents acting independently or synergistically.