The need for good, quality sleep each night is undeniable. Sleeping well and long enough helps keep your body and mind healthy and strong. Unfortunately, sleep is still something that many people struggle to get enough of. The National Sleep Foundation reports that around 45 percent of Americans claim that lack of, or poor quality of sleep, impacts their waking life significantly- as much as once a week.
If you find that you are one of the 45 percent struggling for a good night’s rest, it may be a good idea to evaluate your sleep environment. Is your bedroom the sleep sanctuary that you need it to be? Is it dark enough? Are your pillows and mattress comfortable? Is your bedroom the appropriate temperature? Is it quiet enough?
If you feel certain that your room is up to par, the next step would be to prep your mind and body to do their part in falling asleep. To do so, you will need to engage your five senses in ways that will relax you and enable you to nod off peacefully.
Utilizing the power of touch can increase the quality of your sleep, just like swaddling calms and comforts a baby. One way you can use the power of touch for a good night’s sleep is to learn how to apply acupressure to yourself at key points of your body. You could also try sleeping with a weighted blanket. These blankets provide continual physical stimulation over the body which can have a calming effect physically, as well as increase how long you stay in the various sleep stages.
A light bedtime snack consisting of the appropriate foods and/or beverages can help you to get a good night’s rest. Tart cherry juice increases levels of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep and wakefulness. A handful of walnuts or a warm glass of milk in the evening can induce sleepiness as they contain soporific amino acid tryptophan. If you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed, try a glass of chamomile tea as it can ease symptoms of anxiety and depression, which would aid you in sleeping more soundly.
Reduce anxiety and stress by listening to relaxing music for 30 to 45 minutes before you hit the sack. Doing so will allow you to fall asleep easily and even improve your sleep quality. Choose music with a slow beat, such as soft jazz or classical, as your heart rate will slow in response allowing you to drift off easily into the Land of Nod.
Keep a scented oil warmer in your room and inhale the scent of lavender essential oil while you sleep. The smell of lavender can reduce anxiety and enhance your sleep quality. The scent of lavender will not only reduce the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep, but it helps to increase the amount of slow-wave or deep sleep that you get helping you feel more rested when you wake in the morning.
The proper visualization techniques can help you unwind and fall asleep. The National Sleep Foundation suggests you close your eyes, sit quietly, breathe deeply, and imagine a place where you felt truly relaxed or peaceful in the past. Perhaps you were standing on a serene mountaintop or sitting by the ocean. Envision the colors and other aspects of the scene in detail and let the vision in your mind calm you.
If you have a comfortable sleep environment and the above tips fail to help you fall asleep, and/or you still find that you are having trouble sleeping through the night or feeling rested, then you may benefit from a visit to Valley Sleep Center. Call one of our five convenient Valley locations today to schedule your sleep consult.