Friday, August 29, 2014

Enjoy a Deep and Restful Sleep

Many people today suffer from poor, interrupted sleep. Here are a few quick, easy, and natural tips to give you a great nights rest.

Avoid caffeine, alcohol, stimulants, and chemicals that prevent sleep.

The stimulating effects of nicotine and caffeine take hours to wear off and can wreak havoc on quality sleep. Alcohol might make you sleepy at first but it can disturb sleep later on in the night

Create a Bedroom that is Sleep-Inducing

Create a quiet, dark and restful atmosphere in the bedroom. Use a fan to help circulate the air and keep the room cool. Make sure to close blinds and curtains at night to make the room really dark.

Use cotton for sheets and other natural fabrics in the bedroom. Synthetics give off static electricity that can be un-relaxing and draining.

Turn off cell phones and keep EMR to a minimum in the bedroom.

Keep computers, TVs, and work materials out of the room to strengthen the connection between the bedroom and sleep.

Make a Smooth Transition to Sleep

Create a smooth transition from day to sleep time with relaxing activities.

Take an aromatherapy or Epsom salt bath (the rise and fall in body temperatura promotes drowsiness), read a book, do a soothing foot saok, massage feet or practice relaxation exercises.

Avoid stressful, stimulating activities, doing work or discussing emotional issues.

Use essential oils such as lavender and orange to feel calm and encourage good sleep. Mix a few drops with wáter in a spray bottle and give your pillowcase a spritz.

Go to Sleep When You’re Really Tired

If you’re not asleep after 15 minutes, stay in bed (if you not feeling anxious), or go to another room. Do something relaxing, like deep breathing, visualization, reading or listening to soothing music. Keep the room dim as bright lights stimulate the internal clock.

No Clock Watching

Turn the clock away so you don´t watch it if you can't sleep. This can increase anxiety.

Use the Light and Get Outside

Exposure to a regular pattern of light and dark is very important. Open the curtains when it is light in the morning and get up. Make sure to go outside during the day for at least 10-15 minutes in all kinds of weather.

Nap Early or Not at All.

Take naps before 5.00pm and try to keep them between 10-30 monutes.

Avoid Late Night Eating

Stop eating 2-3 hours before sleep. Avoid heavy meals in the evening.

Balance Fluid Intake

Enjoy teas in the evening that are relaxing and sleep inducing.  Peppermint, chamomile, kukicha twig tea with rice syrup and lemon, or hot apple juice with cinnamon are great examples. 

Sooth the Liver

If you wake up at around 4am and have a hard time getting back to sleep, make sure to have lightly cooked vegetables and salads during the day. Sprinkle lemon juice on greens. Enjoy sauerkraut and granny smith apples. Watch alcohol, heavy meals, and salty foods. Hot apple juice with lemon or a glass of water with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in the evening can help. Apple cider vinegar is also good for preventing leg cramps at night.

Exercise Early

Stop any strenuous exercise 3 hours before sleep. Instead, gentle stretching and evening yoga can be enjoyed as a way to relax before bed.

Manage stress

Learn simple meditation and breathing exercises to help calm the mind and body. Work on slow and deep breathing. Inhale for 5 seconds, pause for 3, then exhale to a count of 5. Start with 8 repetitions; gradually increase to 15.

Keep a Sleep Diary

Record your sleep patterns over two weeks and note what seems to make it worse or better

Write all your worries down in a notebook before sleep. Be detailed.

End your day with 3 blessings. Simple things that have been positive during the day.

Listen to a Bedtime Story

Enjoy books on tape, visualization tapes or hemi sync music for sleep

Increase Tryptophan

Tryptophan is an amino acid that can help create sleepiness.

Tryptophan boosting foods include, leafy greens, sesame seeds, sea vegetables, and oats.


Some people who have trouble sleeping have low levels of melatonin. Research shows that taking a melatonin supplement can help to regulate sleep/wake patterns

Darkness produces more melatonin, which indicates to the body to prepare for sleep. (That is why a dark room is important) Light reduces melatonin production and signals to the body to get ready to be awake.

Although it is best to be able to sleep without ‘extra’ help, melatonin can be extremely useful in getting back on track especially if someone is travelling or has work patterns that are constantly changing. And some people have a harder time naturally producing melatonin as they age.

Melatonin boosting foods include, Brown rice, oats, barley, oranges and sweet corn. Pineapple and bananas are said to contain the highest plant based levels.


Valerian is a staple medicinal herb used throughout Europe to encourage deep and restful sleep. Can be taken as a capsule or a tea.

Nourish the Kidneys

Take an Epsom salt baths, hot water foot soak, or massage the feet before bed.

Place a hot water bottle on the lower back.

Stop any coffee, alcohol, sodas, and sugar.

Increase whole living plant foods especially beans, miso and vegetable soups, dried daikon, shiitake, and sea vegetables.

Watch salty, dry foods like cookies, crackers, chips.

Good night and sleep tight xx