The Sleep Blog

..cos we all need sleep

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Get the Restful Sleep That You Deserve

Dealing with work and home life often deprives us of restful sleep and leaves us feeling like a walking dead. Here are some simple tips for you to get your sleep back on track and get the rest you need to rejuvenate your cells and prepare yourself for the next day.

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1. Try some bedtime snack, particularly one that has both complex carbohydrate and a little protein plus some calcium. It actually helps the brain use the amino acid tryptophan to manufacture melatonin. This is why dairy products containing both tryptophan and calcium are one of the top sleep-inducing foods.

2. Take something, like an antihistamine, thirty minutes before bed for one to three nights. This actually makes many people sleepy and it does not require any prescription.

3. Do not take your to-do list to bed. Instead, write down tomorrow’s task early in the evening and post the list on the fridge or in your bag. This will keep you from making mental notes the moment your head hits the pillow.

4. Try doing a yoga corpse pose (savasana). Lie on your back on a cushioned surface, arms at your sides but not touching your body, palms up, and legs slightly rotated out. Then, breathing naturally, slowly sink into the pose while letting your body go limp. Stay in this position for a few minutes, or for as long as you like.

5. Relax by stretching out in bed and then one by one, squeeze and release all those muscles in your body (from your scalp to your toes). Progressive relaxation is an effective and simple technique that’s been used since the 1930s.

6. If you lie in bed long enough, your mind will get busier and your muscles become tense as you stress over being awake. Instead, give it a rest. If you can’t sleep within twenty minutes, slip out of your bed and go to another place that is comfy, has no distractions (like TV, email, or other electronics), and has dim lighting. Try reading or some breathing exercises. Go back to bed after 20 minutes and see what happens. Repeat again if necessary.

7. Let scent send you off to sleep. Different aromas work for different people. Rose, vanilla, lavender, and lemongrass are considered to be relaxing. If one of these calms you, keep one near your pillow at night or use a scented hand lotion.