How to get a Good Nights Sleep

If you are having sleep problems, whether you are not able to fall asleep, wake up too often, don’t feel well-rested when you wake up in the morning, or simply want to improve the quality and quantity of your sleep, try as many of the following techniques below as possible to find one that suits and helps you:

 
  1. Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). This is a popular energy psychology tool. Most people can learn this gentle tapping technique in several minutes. EFT can help balance your body’s bioenergy system and resolve some of the emotional stresses that are contributing to the insomnia at a very deep level. The results are typically long lasting and the improvement is remarkably rapid.
  2. Listen to White Noise or Relaxation CDs. Some people find the sound of white noise or nature sounds, such as the ocean or forest, to be soothing for sleep. There are a number of relaxation CD’s on the market that are readily available.
  3. Avoid before-bed snacks, particularly grains and sugars. This will raise blood sugar and inhibit sleep. When blood sugar drops too low (hypoglycemia) often people are woken up easily as their sleep patterns become disrupted.
  4. Sleep in complete darkness or as close as possible. If there is even the tiniest bit of light in the room it can disrupt your circadian rhythm and your pineal gland’s production of melatonin and seratonin. There also should be as little light in the bathroom as possible if you get up in the middle of the night. Please whatever you do, keep the light off when you go to the bathroom at night. As soon as you turn on that light you will for that night immediately cease all production of the important sleep aid melatonin.
  5. Avoid TV right before bed. Even better, get the TV out of your bedroom or even out of your house, completely. It is too stimulating to your brain and it will take longer to fall asleep. It also disrupts your pineal gland function for the same reason as above.
  6. Wear socks to bed. Due to the fact that they have the poorest circulation, the feet often feel cold before the rest of your body.
  7. Read something spiritual or religious. This will help you to relax. Avoid reading anything stimulating, such as a mystery or suspense novels, as they may have the opposite effect. In addition, if you are really enjoying a suspenseful book, you might wind up unintentionally reading for hours, instead of going to sleep.
  8. Avoid using loud alarm clocks. It is very stressful on the body to be awoken suddenly. If you are regularly getting enough sleep, they should be unnecessary. I gave up my alarm clock years ago and now use a sun alarm clock.
  9. Journaling. If you often lay in bed with your mind racing, it might be helpful to keep a journal and write down your thoughts before bed. This is a powerful tool to help you recover from the effects of stress and helps get things out of your head before you sleep.
  10. Melatonin and its precursors. If behavioral changes do not work, it may be possible to improve sleep by supplementing with the hormone melatonin. However, I would exercise extreme caution in using it, and only as a last resort, as it is a powerful hormone. Ideally, it is best to increase levels naturally with exposure to bright sunlight in the daytime (along with full-spectrum fluorescent bulbs in the winter) and absolute complete darkness at night. You can also use one of melatonin’s precursors, L-tryptophan or 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP). L-tryptophan tends to be the safest but must be obtained by prescription only. However, don’t be afraid or intimidated by its prescription status. It is just a simple amino acid.
  11. Get Blackout Drapes for Your Bedroom. This will prevent light from coming in from the outside. Even very tiny levels of light are sufficient to completely shut down your body’s production of melatonin. Sleeping in complete darkness and having bright light exposure in the daytime is a powerful natural method to increase your melatonin levels and decrease your risk of cancer.
  12. Get to bed as early as possible. Your body, particularly your adrenals, do a majority of their recharging or recovering during the hours of 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. In addition, your gallbladder dumps toxins during this same period. If you are awake, the toxins back up into your liver, which then secondarily back up into your entire system and cause further disruption of your health. Prior to the widespread use of electricity, people would go to bed shortly after sundown, as most animals do, and which nature intended for humans as well.
  13. Check your bedroom for electro-magnetic fields (EMFs). These can disrupt the pineal gland and the production of melatonin and seratonin, and may have other negative effects as well. You will need to purchase a gauss meter to measure EMFs. Some experts even recommend that you pull your circuit breaker before bed to kill all power in your bedroom.
  14. Keep the temperature in your bedroom no higher than 21 degrees. Many people keep their homes, and particularly the upstairs bedrooms, too hot. Try to keep your bedroom cool by shutting out sun that comes in, particularly the afternoon sun, and opening windows after dark to let in some cooler air.
  15. Eat a high-protein snack several hours before bed. This can provide the L-tryptophan need to produce melatonin and serotonin.
  16. Also eat a small piece of fruit. This can help the tryptophan cross your blood-brain barrier.
  17. Reduce or avoid as much medication as possible. There are medications that you will have to take, but discuss with your doctor if there are any alternatives. Many medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, may have effects on sleep.
  18. Avoid caffeine. A recent study showed that in some people, caffeine is not metabolised efficiently and therefore they can feel the effects long after consuming it. So an afternoon cup of coffee (or even tea) will keep many people from falling asleep. Also be aware that some medications contain caffeine or stimulants.
  19. Alarm clocks and other electrical devices. If these devices must be used, keep them as far away from the bed as possible, preferably at least three feet from your body. This will minimize potentially hazardous electromagnetic fields.
  20. Avoid alcohol. Although alcohol will make people drowsy, the effect is short lived and people will often wake up several hours later, unable to fall back asleep. Alcohol will also keep you from falling into the deeper stages of sleep, where the body does most of its healing hence the fact that after a big night of drinking you wake feeling restless even after many hours of sleep.
  21. Lose weight. Being overweight can increase the risk of sleep apnea, which will prevent a restful night’s sleep.
  22. Avoid foods that you may be sensitive to. This is particularly true for dairy and wheat products, as they may have an effect on sleep, such as causing apnea, excess congestion, gastrointestinal upset, and gas, among others.
  23. Don’t drink any fluids within two hours of going to bed. This will reduce the likelihood of needing to get up and go to the bathroom or at least minimize the frequency.
  24. Take a hot bath, shower or sauna before bed. When body temperature is raised in the late evening, it will fall at bedtime, facilitating sleep.
  25. Remove the clock from view. It will only add to your worry when constantly staring at it … 2 am … 3 am … 4:30 am …
  26. Keep your bed for sleeping. If you are used to watching TV or doing work in bed, you may find it harder to relax and to think of the bed as a place to sleep.
  27. Check hormone levels. If you are menopausal or peri-menopausal, get checked out by a good natural medicine physician. The hormonal changes at this time may cause problems if not properly addressed.
  28. Don’t change your bedtime. You should go to bed, and wake up, at the same times each day, even on the weekends. This will help your body to get into a sleep rhythm and make it easier to fall asleep and get up in the morning.
  29. Make certain you are exercising regularly. Exercising for at least 30 minutes everyday can help you fall asleep. However, don’t exercise too close to bedtime or it may keep you awake. Studies show exercising in the morning is the best if you can do it

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