Simple Sleep Remedies
Been busy counting sheep lately? Every night, a person must sleep for at least 8 hours in order to recharge and be ready for the next day’s activities. However, there are nights when you find it difficult to get enough sleep, or wake up most often or even hard to fall asleep. Before you reach for that bottle of sleeping pills or turn on the TV to help you sleep, read these top 10 simple sleep remedies and say goodbye to those sheep every night.
Yes, it is difficult especially if you have tons of work to do or if you are waiting for your favorite movie to air on TV. In order for you to get a good night’s sleep, prioritize it. Studies show that people who lack sleep are more often stressed out, overreact to minor incidents, or are easily irritated. What makes it worse is that your overall health will also be affected. Persons who do not get enough sleep are at risk for depression, high blood pressure and weight gain.
Another one of the simple sleep remedies is to never skip the very first and important meal of the day. Eat foods that contain melatonin-producing chemicals, such as oats, cooked beans and bananas, because it encourages sleep hours later. You can also have a snack of pumpkin seeds, tomatoes and cottage cheese to induce sleepiness at bedtime.
Say “No” To Coffee in the Afternoon
Coffee is perfectly fine during the early part of the day, but by the afternoon, you must avoid drinking coffee and other caffeinated beverages or snacks. Caffeine is said to have a half-life of 5 hours. That means its effects in the body usually take place 5 hours later. However, as the caffeine goes into your system, you are continuously stimulated which makes you awake although it is already past bedtime. Another effect of caffeine is that it increases frequency in urination, which keeps you up during nighttime and affects your sleeping pattern.
Have a regular exercise every morning to improve the quality of your sleep at night. Simple exercises like brisk walking, jogging or playing Wii with your kids is enough to get those muscles and system moving. You may not notice it the first few days but you will observe your sleep patterns improve and your sense of well-being is enhanced.
At bedtime, take a hot shower with aromatherapy candles, if you must, to soothe and relax the muscles and prepare yourself for sleep. Ask your partner to give you a warm, light body massage to melt away anxieties and help you relax. Avoid rigorous massages because it stimulates your body and keeps you awake. And if you have the drive, get it on. Men usually fall asleep easily right after sex. Men’s bodies flood with prolactin which causes them to become sleepy after intercourse. Another hormone is oxytocin or the cuddle hormone which is associated with sleep, putting him into sleep easily. Women also produce oxytocin, so you are off to a good night’s sleep, too.
There is a difference between men and women in terms of the effects of alcohol in the body. Men who go to bed tipsy are able to sleep soundly, but women will have difficulties and wake up more often. Alcohol robs you of the deeper stages of sleep, so when you wake up in the morning, you feel sluggish and lazy because you were not able to rest properly during the night. Same as with coffee, alcohol also increases urination, so you will find yourself frequently awakened during the night to go to the bathroom.
Unwind When You Get Home
It may be impossible when you get home and you are confronted with noisy kids or a pile of bills. However, as soon as you are done with dinner and you get to your bedroom, unwind and have a private moment with yourself in the bathroom. You can take a bath, brew a calming chamomile tea or just stay in the bathroom for a while. Leave time for yourself alone to gather your thoughts or forget about the stressful day at work and prepare yourself for a good night’s sleep.
Turn Off Phones
Being connected with the outside world while you are on your way to sleep will alter your relaxed and peaceful state of mind. If your friends are texting you of their whereabouts or your boss is calling you after office hours, it will make you worried or irritated. So, right before bedtime, you must turn off your cellular phones, iPad and other gadgets. Another thing is that if you have been in constant contact with your gadgets the whole day, the blue wavelengths produced by these gadgets suppresses the melatonin production. You will have difficulty falling asleep at night.
A simple and short daily meditation right before bedtime will help calm your muscles and will relax the body. The brain will receive a signal that is already night time and that it is time to relax and sleep. If you have time, you can light incense candles to aid in a more relaxing and calming time for yourself.
Put the House to Bed
As you prepare yourself for bedtime, dim the lights, shutdown electronics in the bedroom or turn off appliances. Make your bedroom a relaxation haven. Eliminate the clutter and decorate your room in calm and soothing color palette. You can also play soft music or invest in a white noise fan to help lull you to sleep.
These simple remedies to sleep will definitely help you get a good sleep tonight. A little modification in your lifestyle, diet and mindset will all make the difference. Before bedtime, always bear in mind that bedtime is for relaxing, resting and recharging.