BSI Guide to a Good Night’s Sleep
October 27th, 2010
A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book. ~Irish Proverb
Now that we’ve come to appreciate more the benefits of proper sleep, I’d like to discuss some good habits that will help facilitate a restful eve’s slumber. Remember that sleep is just as important as being awake, as the two help balance out that basic biological pattern I spoke about in my last post, the ‘circadian rhythm’. Ever wonder
why it’s almost considered normal these days if you have trouble falling asleep, but if you ever have trouble waking up, and I don’t mean just feeling groggy in the morning, but actually waking up, then you’ve got a first class ticket to the emergency room?
Double standard, I say. Anyhow, our brains sometimes won’t shut off, and we tend to just shrug it off as not much of a big deal. Little do we know we are contributing to some serious problems down the road. This circadian rhythm helps manage your natural, internal sleep clock. When this cycle works correctly, sleep comes easily and you will tend to sleep through the night. Your body asks for sleep on time, and wakes on time, not even needing an alarm clock – ever had that happen? When the cycle comes off its axis, then the sleep clock gets damaged and no telling when you’ll get to sleep or how long you will remain asleep or when you’ll awake for that matter! As a result, your whole body and metabolism suffers and then a host of problems associated with your appetite, weight gain, hormones and energy levels soon follow.
These are the first signs of sleep deprivation, and others much more serious can develop over time. Deep sleep allows your body to produce human growth hormone, also known as HGH, and this is the most potent anti-depressant and mood-elevator there is. Furthermore, this hormone is an essential player in cellular regeneration, helping your body to repair damaged, worn out cells, and replace them with new, fresh, healthy cells. Do you have some illness you’ve been struggling with for some time? Well then get to sleep. Are you tired, achy from a hard day’s work and subsequent exercise session? Get some sleep. Are you feeling run down with a cold or the flu? Sleep it off. Do you have any type of health issue or mental disorder? sleeping is the answer also for the bpd in adolescence as it is very common it wont cure it but it helps the mental state be in peace. On the converse, are you feeling energetic and vibrant? Maintain that state by relying on good sleep. Sometimes it’s easier said than done.
So, here’s my top 10 (plus 1!) things to do to get some shut-eye:
1. The attitude of gratitude. This I learned from a friend a few years back and
since then, I’ve seen this method employed by many people with great effect. In
the spirit of journaling, write down everything you can think of that you are
grateful for, that very day. No need to go over 1 full page, but just write and think
about people, places, events that you are grateful for. Start your sentences with
“I am thankful/grateful for…..”. This helps keep one’s world in perspective, as it
is quite easy to allow the mind to get wrapped up in the trials and tribulations of
the day. As you write, the heart will soften and you will tend to entertain feelings
of greater confidence in that things will work out just fine. The mind can have ‘a
mind of its own’ and it can easily get whipped up into a frenzy of anxiety and
worry — the attitude of gratitude can swiftly soften these tensions. This step may
be the most important one for you – please do not overlook.
2. The golden rule. Look at your day and think about one nice thing that you did
for someone that nobody asked you to do. Write it down. Then think about one
nice thing that someone did for you. Write it down. Then write down anything
you may have learned in the process, any valuable life lesson that taught you how
to be a better person, a greater person. This takes honesty and humility and can
be challenging, but life surely ends up rewarding those who display these very
same qualities in due time.
3. De-clutter and darken your bedroom. Make your bedroom a sanctuary.
Make it a dark sanctuary for the purposes of relaxation and regeneration. This
means, get black-out curtains if you need them and shut off all sources of light.
Better yet, move out any electrical appliances such as TVs and radios,
entertainment systems – multiple studies have shown the hazardous effects that
even small amounts of light have on our body’s internal clocks by upsetting the
release of various nighttime hormones such as melatonin. Yes, even the small
lights from an alarm clock – it’s true! Turn it around or stand it on its face. Have a
sleep mask at hand if your loved one insists on staying up to read. If you need to
get up in the middle of the night to use the restroom, do not turn on the light.
Some folks will need to even remove all electrical appliances that are plugged in to
the wall of their bedrooms because of the radiating electromagnetic fields that
these cause, and how they potentially upset brain waves (more on this topic in the
4. Avoid carbohydrates and sugars before bed. This is especially true of
processed, refined starches such as breads, crackers, cereal and the likes – not to
mention candy or even fruit for some. The reason is that these can provoke a
low-blood sugar response hours after you eat them (reactive hypoglycemia),
stressing your adrenal glands and this will cause you to wake between 1 – 3 am.
Ever had that happen? A snack of just a small handful of nuts can be helpful if
you need, as these contain magnesium and tryptophan which can relax the
5. Eat a light dinner. This is for those of you who lie down and feel heavy,
uncomfortable, and perhaps suffer from digestive reflux. No chance for a good
night’s sleep when this happens. Eat light, and have at least 3 hours between the
end of dinner and bedtime.
6. Drink in moderation for best sleep. This one has to be mentioned because it
applies to many people. One glass of a nice fine wine can do wonders to help
many people de-stress, but more than one can end up interfering with a good
night’s sleep. It has to do with the liver’s detoxification mechanism which gets up
regulated during the night, and more so if it has to process more alcohol. Alcohol
is a toxin and toxins are dose-dependant.
7. Drop the temperature. Now this is very interesting. Research has shown that
optimal sleep temperatures are somewhere around 65 degrees Fahrenheit. I can
remember in more than one client of mine, that nothing helped them improve their
sleep, absolutely nothing short of sedation, until they dropped the temperature in
the room to at least 70 degrees. Try it. Best to pile the covers on, as there is
nothing worse than being uncomfortable at night just because your body
temperature is up.
8. Do some simple stretching. This provides amazing benefits to the nervous
system. The best stretches for relaxation are those that you hold for 15 seconds
and breathe deeply. Target the lower back, hamstrings and neck for best effect.
Try a light yoga workout if you are more adventurous. If you can’t do any of this,
then lie on the floor, and prop your legs on a chair or on your bed if it’s not too
high. Lie there for 5-10 minutes while you focus on breathing deeply – this helps
to activate your parasympathetic nervous system which is the first step towards
your body relaxing.
9. Use aromatherapy with or without a bath, along with a cup of
‘sleepytime tea’. Essential oils like lavender, and certain herbs like chamomile
and valerian, have long been staples in homes across the world for their
restorative properties. They help bring about a sense of ease and calm, very
gently and naturally, and can even be used with children.
10. Instead of the nightly news, watch a comedy. Laughter is golden, one of
nature’s best cures.
11. Take your supplements. This is the last one here, and I won’t go into details
about which supplements to use because there are many, and in my practice, as
many of you are already aware, I test people for what nutritional supplements they
are best suited for individually. What works for you may not work for your friends
and family members as we all share both similars and differences.
Most people will do fine with the first ten steps, and if you really have further problems, then
consider getting tested with our (click here) bioenergetic assessment.
Early to bed, Early to rise (and proper exercise!), Makes a (wo)man healthy, wealthy
or…….sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite! (did I have to go there….?)
Have a great night’s sleep!
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