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7 Tips & Tricks for Getting to Sleep

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Oh, glorious sleep! Sleep should not be a luxury; it is an essential part of the human body's survival. Sleep is absolutely necessary for brain power, organ function, and heart strength. Lack of sleep weakens all your systems and can wreak havoc on your brain. A sleepless night is tantamount to a .05% blood alcohol level, which is just shy of the legal limit. For commercial drivers and people under 21, it ranges from .02%-.04%, which means you are legally impaired when you forego a night of rest! This type of faux-inebriation is what happens after remaining awake for more than 17-19 hours without sleep.

Most people do not choose to stay awake. It is estimated that approximately 50 million American suffer from some sort of sleep disorder whether it be medical, psychological, or material. The last meaning people uncomfortable in their surroundings, exposed to loud noise, reacting to stimulants, hunger, room temperature, and staying up past your personal sleep window.

A sleep window is that time during which you become very sleepy and your body is crying-out for rest and you stay awake. For medical and psychological issues, seek the treatment of medical professional. If you are over-stimulated, have too many blankets, or drink coffee after the witching-hour, read on for tips and trick for getting to sleep:

  1. If you are having trouble getting to sleep and you know that coffee is a problem, you have got to cut loose your late night sips of the beloved beverage. Yes, it is painful, and tastes soooooo good, but you have to say goodbye to this rocket fuel stimulant after 1PM. Try an herb tea or hot chocolate instead.
  2. Do not go to bed hungry if you want a good night's sleep. Do not skip your dinner and feel free to have a light and healthy snack after 8. People often think of night eating as some sort of horrible affront to humanity! A 6PM dinner to a 7AM breakfast is a long time to go without any food. Even pediatricians recommend allowing children a snack at night. Stay away from sugary foods and spicy foods at night. They can keep you up or upset your stomach. If you are on a diet or have dietary restrictions, please consult your physician before you snack at night.
  3. In order to get the best atmosphere for a peaceful way to sleep, do not use overhead lighting. When you get into bed, use your bedside tables. If you do not plan to read, just use a small nightlight.
  4. Televisions, e-book readers, iPads, cell phones, and computer screens are bad news for a mind trying to shut down for the night. These screens emit a white light with blue waves that send messages to the receptors in your eyes. The message is, "STAY AWAKE AND WATCH ME." The sleep-wake receptors will be on overload and get confused. Shut it all down.
  5. Music is a great way to get to sleep. Since music is the auditory version of, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder," you may like some rock n' roll before you sleep or Beethoven. Either is perfectly fine as long as you keep it light and the music at decibels lower than a train.
  6. Body temperature is a real issue for people at night. Too hot or too cold can destroy a night's sleep. If you can, keep the air conditioner going in your room during the day to get the room cooler so you will not have it running at night. Use light cotton sheets and organic bedding. Organic bedding is a lighter weave than traditional cottons. If it is cold outside, keep the windows closed all day and use natural wool bedding. Wool keeps the warm in and the cold out.
  7. Exercise, bathing, and meditating are wonderful ways to get to sleep. They may seem hard to swallow for someone not interested in doing any of the above, but they are successful methods. Talk to your doctor before you embark on an exercise routine. Do some research and find which of these suits your age, lifestyle, and physical condition.

Sleep is that thing that we love to skip when we are young. The less you sleep, the more fun you think you are having, but there is a price to be paid. Setting good sleep patterns is possible no matter what your age.


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