Steps to Better Sleep
a 17 year-old college student tried to set a world record for staying
awake. During his quest he experienced the following symptoms: visual
and auditory hallucinations, increased heart rate, low blood pressure,
and psychosis. After 264 hours and 12 minutes (just over 11 days),
he collapsed due to profound weakness. Thankfully, he made a full
recovery after sleeping 14 hours and 40 minutes.
this is an extreme example of the consequences of not sleeping, many
in todays society are suffering from health challenges that
are partly due to chronic sleep deprivation.
is essential for optimal health. The amount and quality of sleep we
get each night will influence the way we feel and our performance
during daytime hours.
functioning of the nervous system requires that we receive enough
quality sleep. Inadequate rest results in reduced ability to remember,
concentrate, plan, make decisions, and carry out math calculations.
Too little sleep also results in drowsiness and reduced physical performance,
which may result in a higher rate of injuries, including motor-vehicle
we sleep deeply, we allow for efficient cell growth and repair. The
release of growth hormones takes place during deep sleep. Sleeping
deeply at night helps us to engage at our best, emotionally and socially,
with others during the day.
people who have difficulty falling asleep and sleeping deeply turn
to medication. Experience has shown that many sleep disturbances can
be solved through natural means. The following are 9 steps you can
take to ensure a good nights sleep.
Reserve your bedroom for sleep.
bedroom should be reserved for sleep and lovemaking. Homework, office
work, and other stressful and stimulating activities should be kept
outside of the bedroom, as should televisions, radios, stereos, and
other entertainment equipment. This will condition your body to relax
and anticipate sleep once you walk into the bedroom. You want to keep
any stress and unnecessary stimulation as far away from the bedroom
Be consistent with sleep and wake times.
sleep at the same time each night, and get out of bed at the same
time each morning. This will condition your body to fall into a routine
of sleep and wakefulness. It is best not to disrupt this routine,
such as by sleeping in on weekends.
Avoid nicotine, caffeine, sugar, and alcohol close to bedtime.
caffeine, sugar, and alcohol often cause insomnia. Nicotine, caffeine,
and sugar are stimulants that cause you to sleep lightly and to wake
up before you need to because of withdrawal. Common sources of caffeine
are coffee, soft drinks, non-herbal teas, and some over-the-counter
and prescription medications. Alcohol prevents deep sleep and interferes
with REM-stage sleep, the stage of sleep that stimulates the learning
centres of the brain. Adopting an unprocessed and whole food diet
will help you avoid these stimulants.
Sleep in complete darkness.
is a hormone that initiates our desire to sleep and affects the depth
of sleep we achieve. Melatonin regulates our sleep-wake cycles and
is produced by a gland in the brain. The amount of light we are exposed
to at any given moment is what tells this gland whether or not to
produce melatonin. Darkness stimulates melatonin production while
light inhibits it. Thus, the darker it is when you sleep, the better
your melatonin production, and the better the quality of your sleep.
Even dim light from a night-light or hall light can disrupt sleep
cycles and prevent you from getting deep sleep.
at least 30 minutes a day. Being active promotes a greater need for
deep sleep and decreases stress. Do not exercise close to your bedtime,
however, as exercise is stimulating and can create difficulties in
falling asleep. It is best not to exercise vigorously within 3 hours
of your bedtime.
Make sure you have a comfortable mattress.
sounds simple, but there are countless numbers of people out there
who are sleeping on a mattress that is too hard, too soft, or not
supportive enough and are wondering why they cant fall asleep.
Invest in a mattress that you feel comfortable sleeping on.
Claim your bed space.
share your bed with a companion who takes up your space or who moves
around so much that you have difficulty falling or staying asleep.
This includes your partner, children, and animal companions. Children
after a certain age and animals should have their own designated places
for sleep. If you share a bed with your partner and/or children and
find it crowded, consider investing in a bigger bed, push two beds
together, or try sleeping with separate blankets. You may also want
to consider sleeping in a separate bed.
Get up if you cant sleep.
have not fallen asleep after 15 minutes, get up and do something else
in another room. Thinking about your inability to sleep will contribute
to the inability to sleep, which creates a vicious cycle. When you
get up to do something else, make sure that the activity you engage
in is relaxing and doesnt involve bright light. Reading and
listening to music can be good activities. Watching television and
surfing the internet are not.
Figure out how much sleep you need.
how long you need to sleep in order to function optimally, take the
time to sleep until you wake up on your own without external motivation
such as alarms or loud noises. Through this exercise you can determine
the optimal amount of sleep for you.
are following these steps and are still experiencing sleep difficulties,
you may want to consult with a qualified professional to explore organic
causes of sleep disturbance.
NOTE: Do you have sleepless nights? Can't seem to turn your brain
off, get to sleep, or stay asleep?
like to start getting consistently good nights of sleep, we have an
audio CD called NightTrain designed
to help you fall into a restful, continuous sleep.
what I experience with NightTrain: "The sleep I've been getting
with NightTrain has been so good that for the first time in my life
the alarm clock actually rips me out of sleep. Before I'd always been
conscious in some form before it went off. Now, thanks to NightTrain,
I'm deep in REM or stage 3 or 4 sleep before the alarm clock rings."
HERE to learn about this powerful CD.
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