Although an adequate night’s rest is essential for maintaining good health, forty percent of this country’s population has trouble sleeping, according to a 1,500 person survey conducted by Consumer Reports. Memory loss, trouble concentrating, and emotional instability are just some of the unfortunate effects of troubled sleeping. Sources of lost rest include lack of a nighttime routine, poor diet and pre-bedtime eating habits, and significant life stress. Whatever the cause, though, the following are natural and practical solutions from Dr. John Schaaf to help identify and correct sleep disturbance.
Eat dinner at least three hours before bedtime. If this isn’t possible, go light for supper or eat a snack, avoiding greasy or high calorie foods that take more time and energy to digest. Abstain from drinking alcoholic beverages at night. Alcohol can prevent your body from reaching the deep stages of sleep, which robs you of its recuperative benefits. In fact, don’t drink a lot of any liquid around bedtime. Getting up to use the bathroom repeatedly can be a big sleep disturbance.
One of the primary aims of any meditative technique is to relax your mind and body in general, which is a prerequisite to a satisfying night of rest. No matter what type of meditation you ultimately choose, the holistic living advisors at Life Positive Magazine say to find a position most comfortable for you, concentrate on the darkness behind your eyelids, let your thoughts flow freely, chant any mantra, and meditate for at least ten minutes.
Taking herbs is a great way to ensure the proper function and balance of systems in your body which affect sleep. Valerian, hops and chamomile are among the most common sleep inducing herbs, but consult a certified nutritionist or a herbologist to ensure that you’re taking the proper dosage and administration.
Issues such as limited range of motion, headaches or numbness in the hands or feet can often make a good night’s rest impossible. Get checked by your chiropractor to address any of these issues, or to determine if they might cause sleep trouble in the future.
Invest in a new mattress
If you’re still sleeping on grandma’s old hand me down mattress, throw it out and get a new one. Different mattresses are made for different kinds of sleepers, so look around for a shop with salespeople willing to work out things like size, firmness, and the right type of box spring. The right rest surface can go a long way toward relieving sleep problems.
Many late night habits can contribute to sleep problems, so make an effort to form new and more beneficial ones. Go to bed at the same time every night. Contrary to popular belief, the body does not adjust quickly to changes in sleep schedules.
Turn off the TV
Shake the urge to watch nighttime TV, since watching television just before bed stimulates areas of the brain that keep you awake. A new study published in the Journal of Sleep and Sleep Disorders Research says that most Americans let television, and not a person’s need for a full eight hour’s rest, dictate when they go to sleep. Respect your body’s natural rhythm and turn off the tube.