Here Are the Basics: How to Get Good Sleep
It’s no secret that sleep has a major impact on our emotional, mental and physical health. The body’s circadian rhythm is its ability to cycle with the rhythms of the sun.
When in harmony, it makes a big contribution to our overall health and vitality. We experience systemic DNA and cellular repair, enhance our ability to fight off infection and ensure greater quality of life.
When the circadian rhythm is off and sleep is poor, we leave ourselves vulnerable to health issues and premature aging.
Poor sleep is linked to…
- greater risk of heart disease and stroke
- increased weight gain and likelihood of developing Type 2 diabetes
Good sleep promotes…
- improved concentration and productivity
- enhanced athletic performance
- improved immune function
- mental and emotional stability and resilience
What does it mean to get good sleep?
When you wake up feeling rested and full of vitality, that’s a sure sign of quality sleep. So how do you improve your sleep hygiene? For starters, it’s important to go to bed before 11pm. Sleep longer in the winter (7-9hrs) and less in the summer (6-8hrs). Get more deep sleep – ideally, falling asleep quickly and not getting up at night.
Implement these 10 steps for a better rest:
1. Wind Down
Start a calming routine 2 hours before bed to prepare your body and mind for sleep:
- Light: avoid blue screens (ie phone, tv) or protect your eyes by wearing blue-blocker glasses. Turn down lights, make your bedroom dark, and sleep with an eye cover.
- Food: avoid heavy meals, caffeine, alcohol and nicotine 3 hours before bed.
- Ambiance: play soft music, take a warm bath with Epsom salts, light candles.
- Body: do light stretching or Yin Yoga, and avoid vigorous exercise several hours before bedtime
2. Train the Brain
Listen to Binaural Beats (Delta Waves) before bed to signal the brain to produce melatonin and enter sleep. **melatonin is neuro-protective – it keeps your brain young and healthy!
3. The Nose Knows
Diffuse Lavender Essential Oil. It goes straight to the brain’s limbic system and promotes relaxation. You can also apply it to the bottoms of feet and onto your pillow.
4. Noise Control
Wear ear plugs, or use a white noise machine. Double-pane glass goes a long way, too!
5. Maximize Comfort
Sleep on a comfortable mattress made from natural materials (avoid springs) and pillow – everyone needs something different. Use supportive body pillows, and natural fiber (ie cotton/linen/silk) bedding.
6. Minimize EMFs
The subtle buzzing of electric and magnetic fields stimulates the nervous system. Unplug as much as you can in your bedroom, turn off your WiFi router and put devices on Airplane Mode, and consider using a grounding (earthing) pad or sheet.
7. Herbs Help
Taken before bed, valerian, chamomile tea, and L-Theanine naturally promote a relaxed body and calm mind. CalmsForte and Belladonna are great homeopathic remedies.
8. Clear the Mind
Make time to meditate. Seek out apps (such as Calm.com) and videos with guided meditations. Journal and write down tomorrow’s to-do list until your mind is free from ruminating thoughts.
9. Turn Down the Heat and Purify the Air
Research shows that sleep is deeper and more restorative if the temperature is around 65F. Go ahead and use extra blankets – breathing cool air is what the body craves. Use and air filter – clean air promotes better oxygenation, which has health benefits for the brain, circulation and cellular repair.
10. Feng Shui for Sleep
Make your bedroom free from reflective surfaces (or cover them at night). Position the bed so that it is not in direct line to any doors. Have a headboard or wall behind your head.
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Acupuncture and Natural Medicine helps keep your body and mind balanced and clear, naturally. Sleep cycles are normalized and deep, restorative sleep can be yours again. Customized treatments, supplements and/or herbs can restore your circadian rhythm and normalize your sleep. CONTACT US to learn more, or BOOK HERE.