Better sleep leads to a better You

The title was the phrase written in a CD left in a Crown Plaza Hotel room I stood this days.

Its excellent content is a relaxation program with very soft music to listen and do after you go to bed and before you fall asleep, with the aim to make you sleep better.

I found it so effective that I read more through the CD cover. It is produced by a company called SoundSleep with the help of a certain Dr. Michael Breus.

The cover also contained some other “holistic approach to sleep principles” which I also find useful and would like to share:

  • Relax before bedtime. Stress can make you miserable and restless. Take some time for a pre-sleep ritual to break the connection between stress and bedtime. Try listening to the enclosed Sleep CD, reading, meditating, light stretching, lavender aromatherapy or a hot shower.
  • Watch the caffeine. Coffee and many teas and sodas contain caffeine and may keep you up. If you’ve already had too much, consider eating some carbohydrates like bread or crackers to help reduce the effects.
  • Watch the alcohol. Alcohol may initially help you fall asleep, but as your body clears it from your system, it can also cause nightmares, sweats and headache. Drink one glass of water for every alcoholic beverage consumed to try to reduce these symptoms.
  • Exercise at the right time. Regular exercise relieves stress and encourages good sleep. However, if a little exercise really gets your blood pumping, you’d be wise to not work out in the evening or just before bedtime.
  • Cut down on noise, light and extreme temperatures. Try earplugs, a night light, an eye mask or drape clip. The best temperature for sleep is 20 to 22°C (68 to 72°F).
  • East right, and sleep tight. Avoid eating a large meal just before bedtime or going to bed hungry. It’s about balance. Some foods that promote sleep include: milk, pumpkin, artichokes, avocados, almonds, eggs, peaches, walnuts, apricots, oats, aspargus, potatoes and bananas.
  • Understand jet lag. Before you cross time zones, try waking up later or earlier to help the body adjust to time difference. And remember, it takes a few days for the body to catch up.
  • Remember the purpose of the bed. Avoid TV, eating, and emotional discussions in bed. The mind and body associate bedtime activities with being in bed. So don’t let a bad habit keep you awake.
  • No drinks after 8 p.m. It’s a fact; most of us cannot simultaneously go to the bath room and sleep. So shut down your fluid intake before 8 p.m. so you can get your rest.
  • Nap smart. A little 20-minute power nap during the early part of the day can really be refreshing. But sleep too much, and you may spend the night staring at the ceiling.

4 thoughts on “Better sleep leads to a better You

  1. Great list – thanks for sharing it! Many, at least in the abstract, were familiar, but several (including the great sleep-promoting foods list) I had never heard of.

  2. Yes, these are definitely some of the most powerful sleep promoting foods. Things with a lot of tryptophan them especially. Don’t forget about optimizing your inner sleep clock as well. This is what will minimize the time it takes to fall asleep drastically.

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