Let me see if this accurately describes how you slept last night. You’re exhausted from a long day of work. During the last 16 hours you’ve dealt with:
All the while your mind is going through the mental gymnastics of what you still need to finish today while getting prepared for the events in tomorrow’s schedule. The news is over, it’s bedtime, you need a good night’s sleep, and you say to yourself, “Please Lord, just one good night’s sleep!" So you turn off the lights, get into bed, and lay your head down on the pillow only to lie awake. All of a sudden that distressing wave of anxiety that has become your constant nighttime companion says to you, “We’ve got to get some sleep or we’ll never function tomorrow!" Finally, just before the alarm clock goes off, you fall asleep only to be awoken by the constant buzz of the alarm reminding you that you’re exhausted but work and family commitments won’t allow you to stay in bed. You drag yourself into the shower, pump your body with caffeine, get dressed and repeat the days’ events all over again.
“Nah’ Dan, I just lay my head down and I’m out like a light until that alarm goes off!"
Men and Women and Sleep!
The little scenario above has two different sleep outcomes, and if I were sitting next to you as you read them, 75% of the men would agree with the last statement in quotes and 75% of the women would relate to the bullet points and paragraph. According to a recent National Sleep Foundation survey, 75% of women between the ages of 30 and 60 do not get eight or more hours of sleep. They get approximately 6 ½ hours of sleep per night during the workweek. This also applies to older women. Again, in a poll sponsored by the National Sleep Foundation, older women reported more often than older men that the quality of their sleep had declined over the past ten years of their life.
Sleep Loss Affects All Aspects of Your Life!
The amount of sleep you get can have a direct affect on your health. Here are some statistics to confirm this last statement:
Proper Sleep Can Be A Complex Problem!
Getting a good night of deep, restful sleep is important. Not just for you but also for all the people around you. Many people are resorting to over-the-counter medications, as well as prescriptions from their physicians, to help aid them in their search for meaningful sleep. It’s important to remember that every drug you put into your body has an affect on the health of your liver which, in turn, has an overall affect on your wellness and aging. If you haven’t gone the medication route to help with your sleep, then you might want to try the following steps to aid you in a good night’s sleep. If you’re on medication, then certainly continue unless you and your doctor feel that it is time to reduce your dependence on the medication and help you find a natural solution for achieving restful, deep sleep.
5 Natural Steps to Deeper, More Restful Sleep!
These are steps you can take to help you achieve your goal of a better night’s sleep. My suggestion is to read each step and then decide which one best fits for you. Don’t try all of them but start with one step and then add a second step if it doesn’t give you the kind of sleep you’re looking for. Unlike medication, none of these steps will interfere with each other but it is always best to start with just one. Whichever one you decide to start with, give it a good week to evaluate the results.
Step 1 – Your Partner!
If you’re single and live alone then this step won’t apply to you unless your dog or cat is sharing your bed. If they’re keeping you awake at night, then it’s time to find them their own soft cushion and place on the floor or in another room. Now, if it’s your sleep partner who snores, tosses and turns, repeatedly gets up and goes to the bathroom, talks in their sleep or does all of the above, it might be a little hard to get them to sleep on the floor. And, even if you did convince them to do so, the sound of snoring would still keep you awake. An easy suggestion for those who snore would be to get them to use “Breathe Rite Strips!" Seriously! They do work since a lot of people have slightly swollen nasal passages and these strips help to open up the passages so that better air flow can be achieved. My wife can vouch for this. Although I wasn’t a snorer I was a very heavy breather at night because of my allergies. Until I found a natural product that eliminated my allergy symptoms, I used the “Breathe Rite Strips" and it made a significant difference for both of us.
Maybe there are more serious underlying sleep disorder problems for your partner that would require a sleep expert to help them get a handle on some of their sleep issues. Maybe you might have to implement the extreme version of Ozzie and Harriet and actually sleep in separate rooms. It’s only for sleep purposes. You can always get together. In fact, it might be kind of romantic that way: “Hey fella, you want to come to my room tonight?!"
Step 2 – Turn Off The News!
Instead of taking the last 30 minutes of your day and adding to your stress by listening to news stories about all the violence in the world or how you’re going to have to deal with weather problems for your morning commute or how your favorite team lost a big game in the final minutes, why not do something to help you relax. Maybe it’s reading a book or meditating, praying or knitting, spending time on a hobby or soaking in a nice warm bath. Use the last 30 minutes of your day to unwind not keep yourself wound up. When you’re feeling tired enough to go to sleep then hit the sack.
Step 3 – Reestablish the Sleep Environment!
There’s a lot that could be done in this step like:
Step 4 – Avoid the Following!
Some activities done too close to bedtime can interfere with sleep like:
Step 5 – Try the Following Foods for a Good Night’s Sleep!
The following foods can relax tense muscles, quiet your overly active mind, and provide your body with the sleep-inducing hormones serotonin and melatonin:
I hope this information helps you like it has helped so many others. It’s not going to solve everyone’s sleep issues but it can have a profound effect for many. And, for those who are still unable to get a good night’s sleep than it’s time to see a sleep specialist who can help you develop a plan to bring those much needed “ZZZZZZZZZZZ" into your life.
Dan Hammer has a background in biology, chemistry and exercise physiology. He used to run one of the largest health club operations in the Chicagoland area and has been helping people with their wellness issues for more than 25 years. His website http://www.AgingNoMore.com provides current information on how to slow down the aging process. He offers a free daily email that breaks this information down into actionable steps that are easy to understand and implement.