I love sleep… and naps even
more. But, sleep is way more than just something you do when you get tired. It
is actually a vital Physiological event for the body and brain to grow,
regenerate, repair, sort brain storage and function, and produce hormones. All the major systems participate in
this performance: Endocrine, Neurological, Muscular, Skeletal, and Immune.
Quality sleep is essential for these functions to take place to wake in the
morning refreshed and ready to do battle once again.
Unlike our Stone-age
ancestors, who would have most likely turned in when the sun went down or hang
out by the fire and chat, then wake when the sun rose, today’s modern human is
bombarded with lights, sirens, televisions, delayed flights, and cell phones
then woken up by a raging alarm clock. (Funny, common definitions of ‘Alarm’
are: anxious, fear, panic, fright ,scare. Just what you want to wake up
to!) Anyway, all of these things
combine to disrupt our sleeping patterns, (intentionally or not), and we are
more challenged to get to sleep let alone achieve deep, restful, regenerative
Here are some tips to get a more restful sleep
Try and stick to a schedule
Hitting the sack around the
same time every night creates a consistent pattern and
learned response from the mind. Reinforcing your body's sleep-wake cycle
promotes better sleep at night. In addition, creating a ritual, like reading, a
warm shower, and/or listening to soft music are great relaxation techniques.
Shut down the mind thirty
minutes before hitting the pillow. Clearing the noodle of the current days
activities, setting tasks and getting organized for the next, helps to
de-stress and put your mind at ease. Dimming the lights around the house sets
the stage for down time.
Make your bedroom a place of rest, not work or entertainment
Keeping a chamber that is
dark, comfortable, noise, and clutter-free creates a sense of peace when you
walk into it. Watching tv or working on a laptop in bed does not set the mind
up to shut down.
Don’t eat too late
Digestion takes a lot of
energy and keeps the body up.
Avoid Pro-Inflammatory Foods
Yes, Grains again. Systemic
Inflammation is not limited to the digestive and cardiovascular systems alone.
Grains also swell respiratory tissue, including nasal, sinus, throat, and lung.
Histamine is released as an allergic response this brings mucus and drainage
that inhibit and block the breathing cycle causing snoring.
Buy comfy bed stuff
I think the whole sleep
study, sleep number, perfect mattress, and contour pillow industries are all
highly overrated and are more about treating the symptom rather than the cause
of poor sleep. That said, finding what bedding is comfortable to you is
Watch the social use drugs
Nicotine, caffeine and alcohol all have stimulating
effects, take hours to wear off, and can wreak havoc on quality sleep. And even
though alcohol might make you feel sleepy at first, it can disrupt sleep later
in the night.