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Sleep For Natural Health

written by Guest Blogger November 8, 2012

Are you finding sweet zzzs elusive? Well guest blogger, Bianca Osbourne from Vitality Guide for Women, has a few tips to help us naturally improve our sleep and overall health!

We’ve heard it once, if we’ve heard it a thousand times, sleep is crucial to health and wellness; and it’s true, rest, relaxation and good sleep are essential to vitality, as sleep serves to balance the activities of a full day and provide nourishment to the nervous system.

Sleep Conditions Have Changed, Humans Have Not

For centuries, human activities were ruled by the passage of day, night and the seasons. Only recently has technology provided the freedom to live without these guiding elements. The invention of the light bulb means we are no longer going to bed and waking up with the sun; yet our need to replenish ourselves during sleep has not changed. The muscles in the mind need rest to maintain health; and for the overactive mind, sleeping can prove to be difficult.

However, resorting to sleeping pills, which are often habit-forming, create an unhealthy habit as it removes the body’s coping mechanism and offers a crutch that can make sleeping naturally even more difficult – ironic how something that’s supposed to help you sleep, can end up making it more difficult in the end. By resolving nagging thoughts, you improve sleep quality, but also increase the self awareness necessary for maintaining emotional well-being.

If you find yourself counting endless sheep with no result, the following tips for a good night sleep may be just what you need.

Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep

  1. Keep Your Bedroom Dark. Light can disrupt the body’s internal clock; so install heavy blinds or curtains and start wearing an eye mask when you sleep, to ensure your surroundings are pitch black when it’s time for slumber.
  2. Keep Room Temperature around 65 ºF (18 ºC). When a room is too hot or too cold the body is unable to rest because it is forced to work at regulating its temperature.
  3. Eliminate Noise. Although this is a no brainer, very rarely do people sleep in complete silence. If this isn’t possible for you, wear ear plugs or block out noise with a white noise machine or an MP3 of soothing sounds.
  4. Avoid Napping During the Day. Enough said.
  5. Exercise Regularly. Exercise is essential to sound sleep but make sure to avoid it several hours before bed, or else your body will be far too energized for sleep.
  6. Use Your Bed for Sleeping and Sex Only. Some people use their beds as offices, television watching stations and the like; but reserving your bed for bed only activities trains your brain to know when you hit the sheets, one of two things is about to happen.
  7. Create a Schedule. Go to bed at the same time each night, and get up at the same time each morning.
  8. Avoid Alcohol, Caffeine and Spicy, Heavy or Sugary Foods. At least four to six hours before bedtime avoid these foods; the body has to work hard to digest foods of this nature, therefore making it difficult to sleep.
  9. And if All Else Fails… If after practicing all the aforementioned tips you still cannot sleep, get up and do something; but avoid any type of computer, TV and cell phone screens as the light they emit stimulates the brain.

Create a Routine

By creating a bed time routine (yes, even adults require a bed time routine) we increase our chances of a sound sleep. Hydrotherapy, such as taking a hot shower or bath, can help sleeplessness by improving circulation. Deep breathing techniques can also be used to relieve tension and encourage sleep.

Without proper rest, physical and mental work suffers tremendously; and without sufficient stimulation, relaxation is not fulfilling either – they are ying and yang and must be in balance in order to achieve the desired result: sleep.

Finding and maintaining harmony between mental and physical work will naturally promote good health; and with proper rest and relaxation the body can repair itself in an ongoing fashion to help maintain optimal natural health.

About the Author:

Bianca Osbourne is a professionally trained chef and aspiring nutritionist; through her website Vitality Guide for Women she provides healthy food ideas, showcasing all the ways to eat healthy – without sacrificing flavor!

What do YOU do to naturally promote deep, healthy sleep?

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1 comment

Elizabeth Smoots MD November 8, 2012 at 9:33 pm

Catch some rays each morning. Outdoor exercise like walking helps set your body clock so you feel alert during the day and tired at night. For more information on the benefits of sunlight and the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D, see my blog post at http://drsmoots.com/?p=1306

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