Sleep Well RX Tips
Shut-Eye Made Simple
Staying asleep, a prescription from Tieraona Low Dog M.D.
- Prepare a warm bath and add a few drops of essential oils like sage, chamomile, or lavender.
- While in comfy pajamas, spend 10 minutes doing gentle stretching to soothing music.
- Wind down. Your body needs time to shift into sleep mode, so spend the last hour before bed doing a calming activity When you lay your head on the pillow, close your eyes, take a couple of slow deep breaths, and think about one person or event that happened today, for which you are grateful.
- Keep the room cool and turn down your thermostat to between 60 and 65 degrees at night.
- Make your room pitch-black and close the drapes to make the room as dark as possible. Avoid turning on bright lights if you have to get up in the middle of the night.
- Shut off cell phones, computers, tablets, and televisions 30-45 minutes before bedtime. Devices that emit blue light suppress melatonin, telling your body it is time to be awake.
- Exercise promotes better sleep, helping you to fall asleep faster and to enjoy deeper sleep. Timing is important, though vigorous exercise should be done early in the day; it increases stress hormones, making you feel more awake. If you exercise too close to bedtime, you might be too energized to fall asleep Evening exercise should be nothing more strenuous than walking and stretching.
- Spend at least 20 to 30 minutes outdoors in in natural sunlight to reinforce the body’s circadian rhythm. Your circadian rhythm is a 24-hour cycle that regulates biochemical, physiological, and behavioral processes and makes you feel tired when it’s dark outside.
- Melatonin signals the body that it’s dark outside and time to prepare for sleep. Studies show that taking 1 to 3mg of melatonin 45 minutes before your desired bedtime can be particularly helpful for those who have a hard time falling asleep and for jet lag, especially when traveling. Consider taking a herbal blend containing valerian hops, California poppy; and/or lemon balm if you have trouble staying asleep. These herbs have long been used as mild, non-habit forming bedtime remedies.
At Home (all of the above apply) but a few extra tips to consider…
- If you have a digital bedside clock or clock radio with blue lights, trade it in for once with red digits or an old fashioned alarm clock.
- If you live where there is noise at night, put on some white noise, sounds of nature, or soft music to put you to sleep.
- Eliminate all caffeine after lunchtime, and limit alcohol consumption to no more than one serving a day.
- Chamomile, sage and lavender essential oils have been shown to help ease people into a restful night of slumber. Mist over your sheets or add a few drops to your bath.
- Nutrition plays a significant role in determining your quality of sleep. A rule of thumb is to consume most of your calories in the first half of the day, avoid heavy meals at dinnertime, and have a light turndown snack to tide the body over until morning
(More on the subject of Sleep can be found in Tieraona Low Dog M.D., bookLife is Your Best Medicine).
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