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human relex
man sleeping

14
March

Written by
Travis Richardson

19 Tips for Better Sleep

Feeling sleepy?  If you are like 40% of all Americans who are sleep deprived, the answer is a resounding YES!!!!

  • The problem is we are sleep deprived at most every stage of life…
  • As an infant or toddler you slept whenever you got tired.
  • As a child, you sleep when it is dark, and wake with the sun.
  • As a teenager, you sleep whenever you had the chance.  Your sleep cycles are sporadic as hormones shift (sleep deprived!)
  • As a college student you party a lot..  Sleep cycles are often disturbed! (sleep deprived!)
  • As a parent, you are exhausted, your babies want you 24/7.  Sleep deprivation super common! (sleep deprived!)
  • Your kids get older and you start sleeping normal again and then…
  • Your children start dating and driving.  Back to no sleep! (sleep deprived!)
  • Your kids go to college and you start sleeping like you did when you were a child again.  Asleep when it gets dark and up when the sun rises…life is good.

Sleep is so important.  We are meant to recharge our batteries nightly and if we don’t do that we start to bear the consequences.  

At so many points in our lives we are sleep deprived!

Some of the sleep deprivation affects:

  1. Growth
  2. Reasoning
  3. Diabetes
  4. Weight (gain or loss)
  5. Healing
  6. Memory
  7. Ability
  8. Function (performance)

True story: Michelle is about 13 years of age and she does not sleep at night.  The doctors think that the problem is hormonal.  The problem is so severe that she is missing large amounts of school and seeing sleep specialists from outside our area.  They made some changes to her environment to help her sleep to be less disrupted.  It is like eating, the cause needs to be looked at to try to influence her behavior and at the same time, you do everything around it to try to make it better.  What they did to her environment did not eliminate the underlying problem.  It did take away any of the contributors.   They took out anything with a small light on it, digital clocks, boom box, nightlights, etc.  They put up 100% room darkening drapery so that no light could enter from outside.  All the colors in the room were limited to non-stimulating and tranquil.  She stopped using the computer or watching television several hours before bedtime to slow down the brain a little.  She quietly sat and read a book before bedtime.  Problem solved!

Whenever you have troubles sleeping, you could tie your troubles to hormones, stress, pharmaceutical drugs, children’s activities and wine!  As long as you know the reason, I think you can eliminate the problem

Some tips for better sleep:

  1. Establish a rhythm of sleep, go to bed at the same time nightly and get up at the same time.
  2. Take short naps if you missed sleep the night before (20 minutes is optimal)
  3. Supplement your Vitamin D (if you aren’t sure, have a blood test and get it checked…then supplement it)
  4. Get some sunshine during the day
  5. Get exercise during the day
  6. Turn off your television, computer and iPad at night
  7. Turn lights down at night
  8. Have a comfortable bed
  9. Block noise out
  10. Block light out
  11. Make sure your bedroom is cool
  12. No caffeine 10-12 hours before sleep
  13. No large meals (especially beef) before bed
  14. No alcohol
  15. No smoking
  16. Learn relaxation techniques
  17. Deep breathing
  18. Muscle relaxation (like biofeedback where you progress through your body)
  19. Envisioning your peaceful place

One last word…on sleeping pills.

Cathy shares her experience with Lunesta and Fluorazepam.

“I had a doctor, when I was going through big hormonal changes, who gave me sleeping pills.  He said take no more than 3 nights to get you back in the rhythm, then quit taking them.  If you are not inclined to addiction, this can be a life saver.  DO NOT TAKE sleeping pills for more than 3 days.  Even if they say they are non-addictive, they are!  The sleeping pills that are “non-addictive” (Lunesta) are still addictive in a different way that is that you cannot sleep without them.  If you can avoid sleeping pills altogether, you should.  I was taking the “non-addictive” type sleeping pill about 10 years ago.  I could not sleep without them.  To get off them, I took my Fluorazepam and went on a cruise.   I took the Flourazepam for one night.  Then I figured that I was not going to need to perform for 8 days…so I went cold turkey.  You don’t get any kind of withdrawal…you just don’t sleep.  I thought I could sleep whenever I had a chance and I didn’t really have to be nice to anyone and the world would not end if I made a mistake.  It worked.  There was one thing I hadn’t figured in that helped, the relaxation of the trip.  That helped and by the end of the trip I was not taking any sleeping pills.

I quit taking sleeping pills altogether in 2009.  By changing the way that I eat, getting lots of exercise and being more aware of the things I do, I have eliminated my sleep problems entirely!  Well, except when I have little munchkins who get scared at night and crawl into bed with me but that is okay, grandmas like to snuggle and that is very relaxing.”

What are some of the sleep challenges you have had?  How do you get to sleep?  Share it below!  I can’t wait to hear!

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