Sleep! Are you getting enough?

Is Sleep or Good Quality Sleep an issue for you?

 

Working with clients over the years I have come to understand that for many, sleep or Good Quality Sleep is a big issue!

Without the proper amount of good quality sleep we don’t function well either physically, mentally or emotionally.

In a lot of cases personal stress leads to poor quality sleep and lack of sleep leads to more stress as you try to function through you busy lifestyle.

 

There are many recommendations that you can do to prepare for a good nights sleep

 

1:         Regular bedtime routine: Stop watching TV or working on the computer at least a half hour before you go to sleep.  So YES! Stop taking the laptop to bed to work.  Remember how as children it was 730pm and the TV goes off, wash your face, brush your teeth, get into bed and read for a few minutes then lights out.  As adults we can still benefit from a regular routine to prepare to relax and to prepare to sleep.

 

2:         Music: There are many music cd’s that have the correct “rhythm” to work with your brainwaves and send your body into a relaxed state so you can fall asleep.  One of my favourites is “Peaceful – Music for Sleep” by Dr. Jeffrey Thompson.  I use this CD in my studio during reflexology sessions.

 

3:         Light: Block out as much as is possible.  Blinking lights from alarm clocks, TVs or other electronic devices can disturb the brain patterns and prevent you from getting into a deep sleep. A sleep mask is another great idea especially for those working shift work!

 

4:         Exercise: Light exercise like yoga or stretching can relax the muscles and allow you to stay in a deep sleep.  It may also prevent you from waking suddenly with a muscle cramp.

 

5:         Hydration: Ensuring that throughout the day you have had sufficient water intake to keep the body hydrated.  Dehydration is another reason why muscle cramps happen.

 

6:         Meditation: Take 5 minutes either before you get into bed or lying quietly in bed try some visioning.  Allow your mind to release those thoughts that are still reeling and give yourself permission to shelve them until tomorrow.

 

7:         Food: Eating before bed can be harmful but eating the right foods can be beneficial.  Here are some examples:

 

Almonds: A handful contains muscle-relaxing magnesium and sleep-inducing tryptophan, which increases the brain's level of feel-good serotonin. 

Bananas: Beneath the peel is a trifecta of soothers: serotonin, magnesium, and melatonin, your body's natural sleep regulator.

Skim milk: We should have listened to Mom- a warm glassful will help you sleep better. The milk's tryptophan has a sedating effect. Plus, it's calcium that helps your brain use that tryptophan.

Oatmeal: Oats are rich in sleep-regulating melatonin. Drizzle just a little honey on top, it tells your brain to turn off orexin, a neuropeptide linked to alertness.

Whole-wheat bread: A slice of toast dotted with banana slices releases insulin, which helps tryptophan get to your brain. There it changes into serotonin and whispers, "Sweet dreams."

 

8: Reflexology: Reflexology is a pressure treatment that can be done on the feet, the hands, the head and the ears.  There are pressure points relative to every body part, organ and gland.  By applying pressure to these points it is a relaxing therapy that can help you release tensions and aches and allow your body to float into a deep sleep. 

 

9: Aroma therapy bath: 2 cups of Epsom salts or Sea salt along with a few drops of an essential oil, such as lavender, will help to ease the muscles and the mind.  There are many different blends that can be prepared for every nose to enjoy.

 

10: Deep Breathing: Once you climb into bed take three deep cleansing breaths.  Breathe in through the nose for the count of 2 hold it for the count of 3 and release it breathing through the mouth to the count of 5.  Close your eyes while you do this and just allow your body to relax into the bed.  Give your body permission to let go of all the strain it is holding and just let it float away.

 

Good night!