Insomnia can be a frustrating short-lived complaint or may be a constant burden that significantly impacts daily activities. Getting a good night’s rest is essential to overall health and well-being; while you sleep the body heals and repairs itself so interferences with sleep impair this process. Proper rest is as essential as diet or exercise to maintain energy, mood, immune function, and overall health.
Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep:
- Reduce any stimulants from your diet particularly caffeine (tea or coffee and chocolate). Remember that energy drinks are also full of caffeine too. If you can not give up your morning coffee try to completely avoid all stimulants after 3:00pm as they may prevent your nervous system from relaxing later in the evening.
- Reduce sugar intake throughout the day to maintain more stable blood glucose values.
- Eating late at night is not advised as the digestive system is still working hard when you are trying to sleep and the body cannot completely succumb to a restful slumber.
- Deep breathing and meditation may help to prepare the body for sleep by activating the parasympathetic nervous system.
- A foot-bath or a foot massage from a friend or partner using a calming lavender essential oil. The aroma of lavender removes nervous exhaustion and restlessness and induces sleep.
- Set an “electronics curfew” an hour before bedtime and dim the lights, turn off the television and avoid using the computer. The light exposure from electronics before sleep can disrupt body rhythms and suppress the release of the hormone melatonin, which promotes sleep.
- A relaxing temperate bath to slow the body and mind down, to relax the muscles add 1/2 cup of epsom salts to the water.
- Exercise to use up pent up energy and to relieve stress, though avoid intense physical activity less than 3 hours before bed.
- Magnesium is also an important nutrient for sleep for hormonal synthesis of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone needed by the pineal gland to produce sleep hormones and program the pattern of sleep.