Make the rest of your years
The Best Years in Life
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Sleep Better and Wake Up Refreshed
A TBYIL guest article by JB Bardot
(The Best Years in Life) Do you have trouble sleeping? Do you fantasize that if only you could sleep better most of your problems would vanish? You’d be able to stay awake at work, be nicer to your kids, less grumpy to your spouse, feel better in yourself. Do worries keep you awake at night? If you answered yes to these questions you may need some new inspiration to help you sleep better. Studies show that preparing your bedroom for sleep really does make a difference; and can help you wake up with a smile on your face ready to take on whatever life throws in your path.
Keep your bedroom dark -- as dark as you can make it and not be afraid of the monsters under the bed. Melatonin is a natural hormone produced by the brain that enhances sleep; and its highest level of production occurs in the blackest darkness. So the darker the better. If you can’t make the room darker, use a sleep mask or install black-out shades on the windows. And, if you’re afraid of the boggie man, get a can of monster spray and leave it near the side of the bed just in case.
Remove as many electric appliances from your room as possible. That means the TV, clock radio, computers, electric blankets and heating pads. Turn off wireless routers and cell phones too. Electromagnetic frequencies have been shown to interfere with sleep. So, sleep better outside the electromagnetic zone and use a battery-driven alarm clock.
No home offices in the bedroom please. The bedroom is for two things -- one we are not discussing in this article -- and the other is for sleep. When your office is in your bedroom you will unconsciously direct a part of your mental focus on work even after you've retired for the night. Additionally, the buzz of the computer, lights on the screen or little flashing lights on the side can distract you from what you are attempting to accomplish… sleeping better!
Keep the room temperature on the cool side. It’s healthier and easier to sleep in cool air, and various studies on healthy sleep support this. If you get chilly, add an extra blanket. For those who experience hot flashes during the night, keep a fan in the room that you can turn on and off when needed. Invest in a fan with a remote control so you don’t have to get out of bed to use it.
Add some white noise to muffle traffic noises, house noises and of course noises made by monsters. A small fan with a soft whirring noise in the background works well, and doesn’t interfere with sleep.
If you need a snack before bed, eat at least an hour before you retire to allow your stomach to digest when you're not trying to fall asleep. When your body is ready to retire, the act of digesting food can prevent you from falling asleep. Digesting food during sleep may promote acid reflux attacks interrupting your rest. However, if you are going to eat, consume a small meal of carbohydrates with raw milk, if you can. Studies have shown that warm milk helps the body relax and release melatonin as well as endorphins and other chemicals that induce sleep and provide a sense of well being. Your mother was on to something when she offered warm milk and toast at bed time. No hot cocoa please. Chocolate is a stimulant.
Take calcium supplements at bed time to sleep better, and not combined with magnesium. Calcium will help you relax and is a natural sleep aid when taken alone. Magnesium acts as stimulant, so take that in the morning.
Organic honey is an excellent sleep aid and will help you sleep better. High in potassium, it helps to alkalize and balance the entire body, and your brain loves it. One to two teaspoons of honey in your mouth or mixed in a glass of water right before you go to bed will have you relaxed and sleeping like a baby in no time. You might even drizzle some on a piece of toast. If you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t fall back to sleep, take another spoonful of honey to help you get back to sleep.
Herbal formulas and teas to help you sleep better are available from health food stores. If you choose this method, find an herbal tea that contains valerian and/or chamomile, both being natural sedatives and relaxants. But be careful not to take too much of any herb. If you find yourself feeling agitated after taking herbs, stop using them.
Dim the lights in your house for at least one hour before going to bed. This creates a state of twilight, which triggers the brain to produce the sleep hormone, melatonin. If you have to get up during the night, use a small flashlight or a night light to maintain the twilight effect.
Most important is to make sure your bed is comfortable, pillows offer the proper support and you have enough room in the bed to move freely. Make your bedroom a sleep sanctuary where nothing else in the world matters but a good night's sleep.
Copyright 2012 Jean JB Bardot, all rights reserved worldwide
JB Bardot is trained in herbal medicine and homeopathy, and has a post graduate degree in holistic nutrition. Bardot cares for both people and animals, using alternative approaches to health care and lifestyle. She writes about wellness, green living, alternative medicine, holistic nutrition, homeopathy, herbs and naturopathic medicine.