Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Good Night's Sleep

"Sleeping like a baby." We all love a good night's sleep. However for whatever reason our sleep is interrupted some days, or we have fitful night's sleep, tossing and turning or having nightmares.
Here are some tips to help you sleep more restfully.
1. Eating too close to bedtime can give you nightmares. A big meal revs up your metabolism and your brain is more active. NIH (National Institute for Health) has proven this translates into more vivid dreams. The goal should be to stop eating 2 to 3 hours before bedtime.
2. Keep your evening meal on the less spicy side. If you are a fan of hatch chilis or curry, you may want to eat this meal mid-day or earlier in the evening. Heartburn can ruin many a night's peaceful rest.
3. Beans or other gas producing edibles can interrupt your sleep. Your stomach may start talking to you in the middle of the night. Adjust your eating time accordingly.
4. Cocktails can help make you sleepy, but they can also interfere with your sleep pattern. Again, if you are drinking, have your last cocktail about 3 hours prior to bedtime.
5. Turn down the heat. The temperature in your bedroom should be comfortable for just one light blanket. Warmer than this or significantly cooler than this and your sleep can be disturbed.
6. Take a warm bath. A good soak in warm water can relax the body and calm the mind before snoozing.
7. Keep sleep interruptions at a minimum. A phone call or constant beep of a cell phone message will wreck havoc on your slumber. If you have outside noise, neighbors, cars, sirens, etc., invest in a white-noise machine.
8. Things such a reading a book or watching TV is an individual thing. To some folks, it realxes them and puts them to sleep immediately. To others, it stirs the mind and they will never fall asleep or wake after a short time only to have to pick up the book to see what is going to happen next. Monitor yourself and your habits.
9. If you are constantly thinking about tomorrow and you obligations, keep a pencil and paper near your bed. Write the them down and forget about it until tomorrow.
10. If all else fails, stay in bed with your eyes closed. Practice relaxation techniques of loosening and tightening muscle groups in your body, one at a time. Try meditation. Say your prayers. Rest is the next thing to a good night's sleep.

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