Insomniac Checklist 101: Natural Tips for Getting Your Sleep On
by Native R. www.gooddeedsmall.com
Next time you’re lying in bed wide awake wondering what is causing you to not be able to fall into the arms of Morpheus, the Greek god of dreams and sleep, take a look around you to see if these common things are the culprit of your insomnia.
Is light sneaking into your room? Everyone is different, but as a general rule, darkness helps the body ease into sleep. According to Shelby Freedman Harris, Psy.D, clinical psychologist at the Sleep-Wake Disorders Center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, “light signals your brain to stop producing melatonin, the hormone that regulates your sleep and wake cycles.” In my case, it was my smoke detector’s battery light. I’m not going to suggest taking the whole apparatus down- it’s there for a reason; but a little bit of masking tape will go a long way in reducing the bright green light.
Are you an erratic eater? Not having a regular meal schedule can interfere with your sleep cycles significantly. This is because your body’s internal clock relies on environmental cues (such as meal times) to establish sleeping and waking periods. The conclusion is that the more regular you keep meal times, the more regular your sleep cycles will be too. Adding foods rich in vitamin B to your diet, such as spinach, broccoli and potatoes will also help you establish more regular sleeping patterns.
Is a peppermint bubble bath a part of your nightly routine? Well, as delicious as it sounds, try to save invigorating scents such as peppermint and citrus for your morning shower when you need a burst of energy. Try soothing lavender instead to help your body wind down into a relaxing sleep after a long day.
Skip the late night drink (when possible). Sure, happy hour is fun; unless you’re not able to fall asleep- and then can barely keep your head off your desk at work the next day. Although alcohol is a depressant and technically does relax you, the effect is short lived because our body metabolizes alcohol very quickly. Not only that, according to clinical psychologist Anne Bartolucci, PhD, president of Atlanta Insomnia and Behavioral Health Services, “once alcohol is out of your system, your body experiences withdrawal symptoms that can interrupt your sleep.” The solution: give yourself at least 4 hours between your last drink and bedtime.
As always, we welcome your input and comments. Are there any other tips to prevent insomnia you know about? Let us know.
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