Night Night, Sleep Tight
June 22, 2016
Sleep is one of the greatest joys in life, and the older we get the more we appreciate its value. Not only is it a vital biological function needed by our bodies to survive, like food, water and oxygen, it improves our mental well being, aids in growth, development and cellular regeneration. Without sleep we would literally cease to function on almost every level.
Remember the days when childhood naps seemed like punishment and early-to-bed was torture? As we grow up and our lives become fuller and more stressful, sleeps becomes more of a luxury, and quality sleep can often be hard to come by. The agony and torment of lying in bed at night, lights off, staring at the ceiling is one that most adults encounter at some time in their lives.
All too often we forget to look after ourselves, and this includes making sure we get our required eight hours a night, although this number does vary for some. With life’s stresses and strains, busy schedules and overstimulation of our busy, bustling daily routines, sleep often takes a back seat. Here are ten tips on how to find the Nirvana that is a good night’s sleep without the aid of medication or a sledge hammer:
- Exercise is a wonderful way to help with sleep. Not only does it pump your body full of endorphins, the feel good hormones, which help with stress management, but it also literally tires you out.
- Phones, tablets and TV screens should be avoided for at least an hour before bed. Studies have shown that electronic devices such as these emit blue wavelengths which suppresses the production of melatonin, which is the sleep hormone.
- Yoga is great too for relaxation. Gentle forward bends and inversions such as shoulder stands help release tension and encourage restful sleep.
- Bananas are a great aid for sleep. They contain tryptophan which helps melatonin production. They also contain magnesium and potassium which are nature’s muscle relaxants.
- Cherry juice before bed is also a great source of tryptophan, as is turkey, hence the heavy eyelids after a big Christmas meal.
- Feng Shui your bedroom. Make sure that your bed is in the best position, not directly facing the doorway, and there is easy access from all sides. This will promote positive energy flow and gentle sleep.
- Declutter your bedroom. The sight of clutter in your sleeping space adds to the already existing stress of the day and creates thoughts of unfinished business.
- Get your body into a regular sleep routine. Try to go to bed at the same time every night so that your body recognises this as sleep time and learns to shut off.
- A warm bath is a great way to help with sleep. It relaxes the body and the mind.
- Essential oils such as lavender are renowned for their properties when it comes to sleep aid. They create feelings of calm and quiet.
- Chamomile is very well known as a natural sleep aid. A hot cup of chamomile tea will get you ready for bed before you know it.
- Warm milk is one from childhood, and this remedy has been around for generations, and there’s a reason. It works!
- Try to restrict caffeine intake after noon. It is a natural stimulant.
- Sleep in a state of total blackout. No light in your bedroom means that your body will produce the maximum amount of melatonin, and creates the minimal disruption when it comes to a good night’s sleep.
- Try to avoid alcohol before bedtime. The theory that a nightcap helps you sleep is totally unfounded, infact, quite the contrary. Alcohol inhibits and disrupts peaceful sleep.
With these tips, there is no reason why you shouldn’t sleep tight and wake up refreshed, revived and ready to take on the world!
Image Source: Flickr
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