If you are not feeling well sleep regenerates the body. If you don’t sleep you will not be healthy.
With creating new self-healing habits, the ability to sleep is vital. Just like eating well and being physically active, getting a good night’s sleep is vital to health. Once getting it is less of an issue your continual healing progresses more easily.
The don’ts of sleep
Exercise is great but don’t do it late in the day. Exercising even 15 minutes a day will give your body the activity and oxygen it needs to help you relax more and sleep better. But avoid exercising any closer than 5 or 6 hours before your bedtime.
It should be obvious, but some people forget that coffee is not the only drink containing caffeine. Tea (black, not herbal), chocolate and cola drinks are also high in caffeine. Even if you love chocolate try not to have it 6 hours or so before bed.
Avoid alcoholic drinks before bed. A “nightcap” might help you initially, but alcohol keeps you in the light stages of sleep. Also, you will tend to wake up in the middle of the night when the sedating effects have worn off.
Wait at least one-half hour (preferably longer) before going to bed after reading or watching television. Watching TV even changes your brainwaves which, makes it harder to sleep well.
Avoid large meals and beverages late at night. A large meal can cause indigestion that interferes with sleep. Drinking too many fluids at night can cause you to awaken frequently to urinate. Drink water in moderation if you awaken easily.
Avoid medicines that delay or disrupt your sleep, if possible. Some commonly prescribed heart, blood pressure, or asthma medications, as well as some over-the-counter herbal remedies for coughs, colds, or allergies, can disrupt sleep patterns.
Try not to take naps but don’t take naps after 3 p.m. Naps can boost your brain power, but late afternoon naps can make it harder to fall asleep at night. Also keep naps to under an hour.
Checking the time is bad for sleep, so an illuminated bedroom clock is only a source of light that can be extremely annoying.
If it is noisy, you can’t relax into sleep. You can become irritated and awaken by noise outside your window. Earplugs work for sound! Until you change your sleeping habits and then you will no longer need them.
What helps enhance your sleep
Stick to a sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day—even on the weekends. When your sleep cycle has a regular rhythm, you will feel better.
Relax before bed. Take time to unwind. A relaxing activity, such as listening to music, should be part of your bedtime ritual.
Have a good sleeping environment, a good bed, and a place that is not too bright. Get rid of anything that might distract you, such as noises, bright lights, an uncomfortable bed, a TV or computer in the bedroom.
Also, keeping the temperature in your bedroom on the cool side can help you sleep better.
Remember, your bed is only for sleeping. Not eating, reading, working on the computer or anything else.
Get a massage and/or have sex, both are relaxing. If you are able ask your spouse (or whoever) give you a massage just before going to sleep. If you can convince them to give you a full body massage, great! If not, even a short back rub and/or a face and scalp massage can be a big help. Have them make the massage strokes slow, gentle, yet firm, to work the tension out of your muscles and soothe you to sleep. You can even give yourself a foot massage, anything to give up tension.
Take a nice hot shower or bath – the temperature change makes a difference.
Drink warm milk – a glass of warm milk 15 minutes before going to bed will soothe your nervous system. Milk contains calcium, which works directly on jagged nerves to make them (and you) relax. If you don’t like milk—or are avoiding dairy products—try a cup of hot chamomile, catnip, anise or fennel tea. All contain natural ingredients which will help you sleep. Valerian is also popular. Most health food stores will also have special blends of herb tea designed to soothe you and help you get to sleep.
To help you sleep after a high-stress day, lie down with a hot water bottle on or near your stomach, close your eyes and breathe deeply. Humans carry a lot of tension there and the weighted heat releases it.
You can try rubbing your stomach. This soothes down the digestive system and helps to bring about a deeper relaxation. An extra benefit is that it will help you to lose weight by improving the functioning of the digestive system. Simply lie on your back and place your hand on your navel. Begin to make small circles in a clockwise direction as you gently glide your hand over your stomach. Let your circles gradually become bigger and bigger. When your circles reach the outside of your stomach, gradually reduce their size until you are back at your navel again. Then reverse the direction (to counter-clockwise) and do the same thing again. Repeat this whole series with your other hand. Do this several times.
Once you listen to your relaxing music at bedtime and are dressed comfortably, use your Energy Smile tool, go to your happy place and breathe. Then smile and say good night.