Everyone knows that our daily mood is influenced by our nightly sleep. Of course, it’s not a surprise that this affirmation is also true in reverse order. As busy people, we must deal with lots of stress during our daytime but… what if I told you that taking care of your night sleep, will give you a tremendous power to overcome any day to day issues and much more… to relieve yourself of the inevitable stress.
Many studies have been done and are still being made on sleeping patterns. It’s not my goal to approach this theme from a scientific point of view right now. Therefore, you will not find any technical, mathematical, logistic reference about your sleep in the lines to follow. But… you will find what people have discovered through their own experiences over the centuries. Some of these you may have already known about, and others, I am sure you never have.
Who am I to make this statement? Well… here’s how my passion to study the sleeping patterns had started, and you have probably already read this in my previous article, “It’s Sleep Time! Be Zen!”. How everything has developed and what I found about this subject will probably form the contents of a future book. Moreover, it is an element that helped me a great deal while digging through it. The fact is that through my veins flow the same blood Dracula possessed. Did I get your attention? We will not develop Dracula’s theme here, and by the way… believe me when I say that what you know about Dracula, it is far, far from what the truth is. For now, we will only say that being born in the same location on this planet as this famous personage, I have had access to centuries, or millenniums, of “studies” regarding natural remedies, for almost any ailment.
Therefore, after we systematize what you maybe know, but probably didn’t pay too much attention to, we will go further inside some remedies that can change your life… especially if you are the “suffering from insomnia” type.
Let’s see for now…
15 Sleeping Tips
Sleep is a very complex process that scientists are still studying. One of their discoveries is the fact that from many, it’s influential elements; light is very important. But not specifically the outdoor light but the light that is perceived by our retina. This fact explains why those diagnosed with “cataract”, even though they are not exposed to too much daylight, they also suffer from insomnia caused by the light condition. The best tip for this is to be your own “therapist” and through several attempts, try to discover the exact light perception that makes you feel comfortable, so as to determine when you are having your best sleep.
Don’t worry if suddenly you discover that you can’t fall into sleep as before, meaning at the same hour. If no illness is related to this change, then it is a very normal thing. The sleeping cycle is determined by our biological clock, residing in the Hypothalamus. According to the studies, this “clock” is not functioning according to the 24-hour pattern but rather to 25 hours. During our lifetime, this difference starts to accumulate, and this is the reason for which when we get older, we can’t go to sleep too early. I repeat, don’t worry! All is under control, and this is only a rescheduling of your sleep. We have to admit that still… starring at the ceiling for several hours is not such a pleasant “activity” so let’s go on with other tips that help you embrace Morpheus’ arms with pleasure.
I know you know this but… do you really do it? Eat lightly in the afternoon/evening hours. Avoid sauces, garlic, cucumbers and fatty steaks. These are aliments that our stomach can hardly digest, therefore your metabolism will be awakened, and this state determines whether your sleep runs away. It’s ideal to eat your last meal of the day before 7 pm. The only exception to this rule is those who must work during the night or afternoon and sleep in the mornings. Their metabolism pattern is modified, so they don’t have to obey the same rule. But a rule being a rule, they also must calculate the new rules to help themselves have a better life.
Studies are also saying to avoid caffeine. I am not the one to give you this advice because it seems that I can sleep very well after a good coffee. In fact, drinking coffee makes me relax so much that I can hardly finish it because… I always fall into sleep even while still drinking it. But… I have my own rule… I always, always drink two cups of coffee each day; no more, and no less. Therefore, if those two cups were drunk before noon, for no reason would I drink the third one in the evening. I very well know my “limits.” Speaking of coffee, I remember an article that I wrote several months ago, which became viral. If you are a coffee addict, I am sure you’ll enjoy reading “Finally! The Truth about Coffee”. If you are not, at least, you will find facts about coffee, which many have interests to hide them. I’ll let you sense who are those “many” and why.
If you are a milk drinker, drink one glass of warm milk, half an hour before going to bed. Milk… the natural milk and not the one “full of liquid chemicals” which we used to call milk… has somniferous properties. Milk molecules gain these qualities when in contact with a source of warmth. Why drink it half an hour before going to bed? For a very simple, natural and humanly reason… you must give your body time to eliminate the liquid surplus. It’s your choice to decide if you want your good sleep interrupted by your bodily needs. 🙂 No big science here. But… keep in mind… if you are like me and are allergic to milk… avoid drinking it, even if the deepest studies are telling you to do it for a good sleep.
Take care of the temperature in your bedroom. The best is having it between 64-68° F (18-20° C). If the temperature is too low, your mind will become busy wishing to warm up your body. If the temperature is too high, the mucous becomes dry, and this gives a discomfort towards having a good sleep.
Use some soft incense in your bedroom before going to bed. Your body will relax, and Morpheus will come quicker. You don’t need complicated tools for doing this. It is enough to place 2-3 drops of your favorite essential oil on a piece of cotton wool and put it near your bed. You can even combine the oils but keep in mind not to mix more than 2-3 kinds and also add no more than 3-4 drops from each one of your choices. The best would be any of the following essences:
- lavender: (recommended for anyone… except moths… for them this is a poison 🙂 )
- santal: (don’t use it if you are pregnant or suffer from deep depression)
- vetiver: (avoid it with babies and in the first pregnancy trimester)
- orange: (doesn’t have any restriction)
- chamomile: (to be avoided in the first pregnancy trimester)
- ylang-ylang: (if you suffer from hypertension, it’s better to avoid it)
- marjoram: (to be avoided during pregnancy)
- basil: (again… avoid it during pregnancy)
- sage: (avoid it if you are pregnant, you have cancer or suffer from ovarian and uterine problems)
If you have someone close who can massage your body, you should take advantage of it. If you are alone, it’s enough to use the aromatherapeutic massage for the head, neck and shoulder’s areas. The massage movements should be slow, without using too much pressure so that the body will feel relaxed. Of course… do this before going to bed and not when you are at work. A very useful recipe, which can always be easily done is prepared from:
- 30 ml vegetal oil (cocos, jojoba, sweet almonds, olives, etc.)
- 3 drops of lavender essential oil
- 2 drops of chamomile essential oil
- 1 drop if ylang-ylang essential oil
- 1 drop of salve essential oil
- 1 drop of marjoram essential oil
You can take your time and have a refreshing walk. This kind of exercise before going to bed not only relaxes your body but at the same time will make it easier to gain a good sleep, and your spirit will also free itself from the many daily problems you had to deal with.
Take a bath. You will find a very relaxing bath method in the “It’s Sleep Time! Be Zen!” article.
Even if you prefer a drink of alcohol before going to bed, you should know that it may help you fall into sleep but… your sleep will be far from a relaxing one.
If you are under medication and hardly unable to fall into sleep, you may want to read the prescription label to see if your drugs have an insomnia effect. In the case that the answer is yes… check with your doctor and see what they may recommend instead. There is no reason to try and cure something using a method that will ruin your sleep time. A good sleep is always a great way of allowing your human body to recharge its batteries and not only this but… to allow your cells to regenerate themselves faster. We will come back with details on this later.
Create a sleeping ritual, so your body will receive the necessary impulse that will attract Sandman for you. It doesn’t matter if the ritual is to have the same initial sleeping position in bed or listening to a specific music, or… as I am doing… playing cards on my tablet (this habit transformed me into a champion at never ending one single card game. As soon as I start the game, my eyes are instantly ready to close). All that matters is to form a habit that will send those impulses. The rest will be done automatically by your body.
Make a habit for consciously breathing while you are in bed and waiting to fall into sleep. See more details in our previous article “Breathing Done the Right Way”.
And finally, my favorite tip. 🙂 For a great sleep, choose to stay in your loved one’s arms all night long. I’ll let your imagination freely fly there. You don’t need any other advice regarding this tip, so… follow your heart and enjoy the best possible sleep!
Mr. Sandman – The Chordettes