Tips For A More Restful, Deep Sleep

sleeping-beautyChoosing the best sleep position for you is only one part of proper or more restful sleep. In addition, its important to make your bedroom a sleep sanctuary that is cool in temperature and free from any lights including those from a computer, TV, cell phone, night light or even digital electric clock which can interfere with your ability to sleep deeply. Surprisingly, doing this every night can produce a long-term health and even the risk of developing depression!

If your bedroom is not already pitch dark at night, I highly recommend installing blackout shades or thick drapes. Even the barely noticeable light from a streetlight, a full moon, or your neighbor‘s house can interfere with the circadian rhythm changes you need to fall asleep. You want your bedroom as pitch-black as possible.

The ideal room temperature for sleep is 60-68 degrees, otherwise it can lead to restless sleep.  You probably would not even notice that you are restless if you don’t actually wake up, but ability to feel totally refreshed when you wake up would be your Aha! moment. There is a natural temperature drop your body has during certain sleep cycles, so having a cool room mimics this body cycle comfortableness.

Taking a hot shower or bath about one hour before sleep is also very useful if you have trouble with “deep” sleep, because when you get out of the bath or shower and your body temperature falls, it equips the body to reach the right temperature during your sleep when your room is cool.

Researchers have linked poor sleep with a number of physical ailments, from short-term memory loss and behavioral problems, to weight gain and diabetes, for example. According to a report in the Journal of American Medicine Association, lack of sleep can even adversely impact more serious diseases, such as: Parkinson disease, Alzheimer disease and Multiple Sclerosis.

Gastrointestinal tract disorders can also erupt when your body does not get adequate rest cycles. The brain’s production of  melatonin, which is both a hormone and a potent antioxidant against cancer, does not get produced the way it should and this increases your risk of breast cancer. It is very important to make sure you are getting a sound night’s sleep. Pharmaceutical medicines for sleep are definitely not the best way to go.  The healthier alternative would be to try the following:

  • Don’t eat within 3 hours of going to bed;
  • Don’t consume caffeine after 5:00 p.m.
  • Limit the amount of sugars you eat throughout the day; Take 400 mg. of magnesium (capsule) 1 hour before bedtime;

Try the natural/alternative remedies you see in stores for sleep without the use of pharmaceuticals in them (meaning plant/herb based products like Valerian, Melatonin, or homeopathics). Practice relaxation visualization techniques if you have trouble quieting your mind.

Let us know what sleep tips help you the most and leave a comment.

Courtesy of The Nutrition Advisor Blog – you can also visit her website.

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© Copyright 2011  Allison Stuart Kaplan LLC

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