Thursday, March 28, 2013

Beauty Sleep

There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to fall asleep.  My recent bouts with insomnia have lead me to take proactive steps to ensure I get a fitful night's rest. Below are some tricks to prevent evenings of tossing and turning.

Wake up feeling fresh as a daisy by following the simple tips below...

  • Unplug:  Winding down isn't an easy thing in our technology driven, go-go-go world.  A half hour before bed, put away your phone.  Turn it off, put it on sleep mode, don't bother with it.  Log off the computer.  Switch off the T.V.    Looking at the short-waved blue lights produced by our favorite gadgets keeps our brain stimulated and in "on" mode, making it more difficult to fall asleep.
  • Routine:  Having a bed time ritual is a vital step in teaching your body to fall asleep quickly.  Do something every night before bed that gives you the mental cue that rest is on the way.  Whether it be reading a chapter of a  book, having a cup of chamomile tea, or taking a bubble bath, any relaxing activity that is done repeatedly before bedtime will teach your body to shut down.
  • Stretch:  Allowing your body to relax is an important part of falling asleep.  Even if you're mentally prepared for bed, your muscles might not be quite there.  Try these yoga poses to relieve tension and put you in a perfectly sleepy state.  I've been doing these simple poses for a few months now, and they truly do work.  
  • Cut Caffeine:  This is *so* hard for me to do.  I love my Diet Coke and I rely on a cup of coffee around 3 pm to get me through the rest of the day.  You might even be one of those people who dub themselves "immune" to caffeine. Studies show you're not - you might not be "feeling" that energy that caffeine gives you, but it's stimulating your brain.  Cutting caffeine out of your life has lots of health benefits, including better night's sleep. 
  • Relax:   Try your best to avoid anything overly stimulating a few hours before bed.  Don't work out in the evening (those endorphins will keep you up), don't eat too late (bodies aren't meant to digest food lying down), and avoid any overly stimulating tv shows or books.  Let the mind and body be at peace.  
  •  Melatonin:  I was really hesitant to take any sort of sleep aid (be it natural or not) because I didn't want to have to rely on it to fall asleep.  I've found melatonin to be a really helpful supplement that not only helps me get to sleep quickly, but stay asleep.  It also doesn't leave me groggy when I wake up the next morning.  I take this kind about 45 minutes before bedtime. 


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