I have a history of sleep problems in my family, including insomnia, REM disorder, restless leg syndrome, sleep walking, and a few other things I can’t even remember… point being, I’ve had my fair share of problems getting some shut-eye! With the New Year coming up, I want to share my top five ways to help you fall asleep!
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1. Drink more water. We know how important water is for our health, but it’s also very important in our energy! Did you know that unless you’re fully hydrated, your body can’t absorb or properly digest most of the food you eat? You’ll be really tired because you’ll eat a lot of food but not have energy. And because you didn’t expel enough energy and enough calories, you won’t be able to sleep. It’s a chain reaction.
2. Cut out all sugar and caffeine for two weeks and see if it makes a difference. Quitting cold turkey isn’t too hard, as long as you drink lots of water and take aspirin for the headache. I find that after the third day it isn’t too bad. I’ve gotten myself off of caffeine several times (for various reasons).
3. Sit down as little as possible. There are muscles in your back that run between the spinal cord (multifitis) and along the outside of the spinal cord (erector spinae) that keep your back straight. When you’re standing and engaging your abdominal muscles and breathing deeply with your diaphragm, they engage. When you sit down or lay down, they relax. Our bodies are programmed to go to sleep when they relax. Because we sit so much in our culture, we’ve turned off that programming. So by standing more, you can turn that programming back on, and you’ll be able to fall asleep when you hit the pillow!
4. Go to sleep at the same time every night, for a week (even if you’re just laying there, staring at the ceiling!) eventually your body will get used to it, and when that time rolls around, you’ll start to get tired. In Psychology, this is called Conditioning.
5. Turn off all electronics 1-2 hours before going to bed. Consider this your wind-down period. Avoid going to Facebook/forums/blogs right before going to bed. You use your phone as an alarm clock? Great, you can still do that. Put it in the bathroom and set it on loud. It'll help you get your lazy @$$ out of bed in the morning.
Sometimes we have times where we’re wired for one reason or another, or super stressed, or upset, or just simply not tired, but you have to go to sleep. Maybe you have to wake up at 3am to catch a flight, and you can’t seem to fall asleep. For those times, I recommend Dream Water. It’s an all natural product containing high amounts of natural vitamins, and melatonin. Half a bottle puts me to sleep for six to eight hours, and leaves me feeling refreshed… even if I’ve been drinking coffee all day long! Pick up some Dream Water on Amazon.com.
7. Give yourself a ritual. Again with the conditioning; if you have a different routine every night, you're shorting yourself hours of sleep. Once the clock hits the hour of your choice. begin your routine and don't break from it. Some ideas to include: Clean up in the bathroom, hot shower, brush your hair 100 strokes, stretch your legs and back, read a book for 10 minutes, etc. Doing the same thing every night will train your brain and body when it's sleep time. By the time you hit the pillow, you'll be dead to the world.
My ritual includes stretching, cleaning up in the bathroom, and then putting some oils in my diffuser.
Do you have any tips for falling asleep? Leave them in the comments!