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SLEEP - So what is the right amount of sleep?  Some say 7-8 hours is optimal, but what about those who feel great with less.  Too, there are those that know they NEED more than 8 and it's very obvious to everyone around them when they haven't had enough.
What's more important than the amount of time that we sleep is that we are going through all the stages of sleep, including REM (rapid eye movement) sleep!  It doesn't matter how long you sleep, if you don't go through each stage, you're not getting the sleep you need.  

THE STAGES OF SLEEP

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10 STEPS TO GREAT SLEEP

1.  EARLY TO BED AND EARLY TO RISE makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.  Humans have been doing this for hundreds of years, then with the invention of the light bulb we get up and go to sleep whenever.  Just because we can doesn't mean we should.  Going to sleep with the sun isn't reasonable for most of us especially during the dark winter months, but some suggest we should be in bed by 10PM at the latest.
"Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise"  
-Benjamin Franklin
2.  BE CONSISTENT with your wake and sleep times.  Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day sets the body’s "internal clock" to expect sleep at a certain time night after night. Try to stick as closely as possible to your routine on weekends to avoid a Monday morning sleep hangover.   
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3.  EAT NUTRITIOUS FOOD.  Eat whole foods and reduce sugar and processed foods. Avoid eating and drinking too late at night.  Caffeine should be avoided after 3PM - caffeine can stay in your system for up to 12 hours.  Although many people turn to a relaxing glass of wine in the evening, it can actually disrupt the critical deeper stages of sleep.  Too, if you have to eat at night, SNACK RIGHT.  If you need a little something before bed, grab a handful of nuts about an hour before bed.   Our bodies REALLY need to be allowed to detox and cleanse at night.  Digesting food takes away from the energy our bodies need to heal and renew.    

4.  EXERCISE REGULARLY to promote sleep.  Yes, amongst all the other benefits of exercise, it can also help us to get a better night sleep.  Studies have shown exercising in the afternoon is the most beneficial to help regulate our circadian rhythms.  Avoid exercise 3 hours before bedtime.  

5.  REST & MANAGE STRESS.  If you find yourself lagging during the day, take a quick nap of 10-20 minutes no later than 3PM.  To help manage stress, eat right and get some daily exercise.  You're only one workout away from a good mood, really!  To relax before bed, do some deep breathingprogressive muscle relaxation, or visualizing a peaceful restful place.  ...and be sure not to go to bed angry - find a resolution!

6.  TURN OFF THE ELECTRONICS at least 1 hour before bedtime.  Once in bed make sure all lights are out, including night lights and alarm clocks.  Any light can disrupt sleep hormones and negatively affect our circadian sleep rhythm .  Get some black out curtains so street lights and even natural light is completely blocked out.  Also turn off your wireless internet at night.  The EMF radiation can and will effect your sleep patterns.  Keep electronics away from the bed, at least a 10 foot distance.  

7.  TURN DOWN THE HEAT!  The temperature of your bedroom also affects sleep. Most people sleep best in a slightly cool room (around 65° F or 18° C) with adequate ventilation. A bedroom that is too hot or too cold can interfere with quality sleep. 

8.  HAVE A ROUTINE.  Take a relaxing bath with Lavender essential oils.  Do some simple stretches.  Read a book or magazine by a soft light.  Make simple preparations for the next day.

9.  DESIGNATE THE BED FOR SLEEP and sex ONLY!  If you associate your bed with events like work, tv or reading, it will be harder to wind down at night.  Use your bed for sleep and sex so your body gets a cue:  it's either time to be romantic or sleep. 

10.  GET AN EARTHING MAT for a better nights sleep.  We purchased an earthing mat at the suggestion of our N.D. and it really just makes sense.  
My last tip for getting a good nights sleep - get a new bed and pillow.  Did you know our beds gain weight?  I know you don't want to hear this any more than I did, but dust mites accumulate in our beds over the years eating our dead skin and hair.  Although they don't sting or bite, their body fragments and fecal pellets do cause allergies and asthma in many people.  Don't you feel better now that you know they don't bite or sting; and your allergic reaction is only due to burying your face in a pillow full of their poop? 

ESSENTIAL OILS FOR NATURAL SLEEP SOLUTIONS

  • Lavender
  • Vetiver & Juniper Berry
  • Roman Chamomile
  • Frankincense
  • Grounding Blend
  • Calming Blend
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2-3 drops of one essential oil on the bottom of the feet can help bring peace & calming.  Find out more here about how to use essential oils.
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Interested in learning more about essential oils?  Check out my essential oils page!  Ready to purchase?  Click here to contact me about what brand I trust most .
 


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