Sleep is extremely important to our health and well being. Unfortunately, our
society doesn't always see it that way. Good mattresses and pillows are important, but since
we are continually pressured into doing
more and more stuff in our lives we barely have time to sleep anymore.
Many people treat sleep as though it is something we don't really need, that we
can do without it, or at least with very little it.
isn't good for anyone. Then when we do actually get the time to sleep,
sometimes we can't. Our minds are still thinking about everything we did
that day and everything we have to do the next day, week, month, etc.
What can we do? This isn't an easy problem to solve, but in this article
Susie Cortright gives us some good tips to help us fall asleep.
Secrets of Sound Sleep
by Susie Cortright,
A single good night's sleep can rejuvenate your mind,
body, and soul. Here's how to get one tonight:
- A regular exercise routine will help you fall asleep
faster and wake up feeling more refreshed, but experts
don't recommend vigorous exercise fewer than three hours
before bedtime. Instead, schedule your workout five to six
hours before lights out. (Exercise causes
your core body temperature to rise, and natural
sleepiness will set in when your body temperature drops
- Find another place for stressful activities. Pay your
bills at the kitchen table, not in your bedroom.
- Avoid nicotine and alcohol before bed. Nicotine is a
potent stimulant, and the metabolism of alcohol has an
- Skip the afternoon latte, too. The stimulating effect
of caffeine can remain for as long as 12 hours. Keep in
mind that many teas and sodas, such as Mountain Dew,
contain high caffeine levels, as well.
- Restrict your water intake just before bed and during
the night. Midnight trips to the bathroom can cut into
your sleep, particularly if you have a hard time dozing
off again. Six hours of continuous sleep often result in
a more rested feeling than eight hours of on-again,
off-again snoozing because non-consecutive sleep interrupts
its deep, restorative phases.
- Check to see if any of your prescription or over-the-counter
medications may be interfering with your sleep. Some
diet pills, birth control pills, anti-depressants, and blood
pressure medications can have a rousing effect. Sleeping
pills, while tempting, are not the answer. They quickly
lose their effectiveness and can be addictive.
- Create a nest. Eliminate clutter, maintain a comfortable
sleeping temperature, and keep the room dark. Nightlights
and bright moonlight can interfere with quality sleep.
Install window treatments that block light, such as wooden
Venetian blinds or shades with blackout lining.
- Practice aromatherapy. Lavender oil or a lavender sachet
on your bedside table may help you feel sleepy and more
- Maintain a consistent bedtime routine. Try eating a
high-carbohydrate snack 30 to 45 minutes before bed. Then
engage only in relaxing activities.
- Stock your bedside table with easy reads that are both
empowering and relaxing.
- Keep a notebook and a pen near your bed, as well, to jot
down any late night worries. The act of recording your
anxieties will help clear them from your head so you can
relax into slumber.
- Make a ritual of giving your subconscious a problem to
solve during the hours you spend sleeping. You'll be surprised
how often you'll wake up with the solution after a good
STILL CAN'T FALL ASLEEP?
-Just do it. Orgasms increase endorphins, which can help you
feel into a deep sleep.
-If your mate is causing you to lose sleep, get help.
Consult a doctor about a chronic snoring problem. Invest
in a good mattress so you won't move every time your spouse
-If you haven't fallen asleep within 30 minutes, there's a
problem. Staring at the ceiling will only increase your
anxiety. Get out of bed. Do something relaxing, such as
deep breathing or meditative exercises.
Then try again later.
Copyright 2004 Susie Cortright
Susie Michelle Cortright is the author of More Energy for Moms and
Rekindling Your Romance After Kids, as well as the founder of the
award-winning Momscape.com, a website designed to help busy women
find balance. Visit http://www.momscape.com today
and get Susie's *free* course-by-email "6 Days to Less Stress."