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celebrate national sleep week: sleep tips!

March 7, 2008

Partly because of Night Terrors, I have had problems with getting to sleep and staying asleep (it’s hard to want to go to bed to sleep when you suspect you will wake an hour or so later in a full-on panic attack due to a very real hallucination!).

Here are some tips (which I added to and adapted from an interview with the editor of the Ladies Home Journal) which can help us all get more sleep!

1. let in the morning light: sit in the sun, go for a walk–don’t wear your sunglasses!

2. walk at sunset— by walking at sunset, you let those last rays of sun tell you it’s time to wind down–let the last rays of light sustain you for the night; this will help with anxiety, depression, and insomnia

3. practice yoga, both asana (active yoga poses) and restorative poses which show your body how to release and relax. yoga asana (done 3 hours before you intend to sleep) will tire you physically. yoga practice balances your hormones and other internal systems, and will teach you how to breathe smoothly and calmly. when you’re tryign to get to sleep, bring the breathing practice to bed: breathe in with gentle breaths thinking “joy” and breathe out with soft breaths thinking “peace.” focus your mind on breathing in joy and breathing out peace while doing yoga and again while dropping off to sleep.

4. or any active exercise if done 3 hours or more before sleep

5. take a hot tub or warm bath in the evening–and let your body temperature drop (that cold dash in the house will do it!) before climbing into your cool sheets

6. turn the lights down in the evening–light candles for dinner and around the house, use twinklelights, dim the lights

7. turn the media off (TV, computers etc) an hour or so before you go to bed, and turn your eyes to the page and read for awhile–let the back and forth motion of your eyes relax you, hypnotize you

8. sleep in a dark room–dim any lights, including the glow from your clock!

9. cut out or cut back the caffeine!! avoid it after 3pm–or about 8 hours before you want to go to sleep

10. enjoy light meals; avoid overindulging in alcohol or using alcohol as a sedative

11. use aromotherapy–lavender and/or myhrr in particular will calm your brain and your nerves (see previous posts on frankinscence and myrhh)–put essential oil on a pillow liner or on a handkerchief and put it in the pillow case

12. write out what’s on your mind with your left hand in a journal before trying to go to sleep

If you do wake up in the night, get up, pee, drink some water, maybe eat a small bowl of healthy cereal with or without yoghurt, and try some of the tips above like reading a little, then when you feel wound down, climb back into bed.

what works for you? post your comments below!

on the prowl for ways to get off the trail sometimes…the art predator

2 Comments leave one →
  1. A me TC permalink
    March 7, 2008 9:03 pm

    I find that I wake up and can’t get back to sleep when Madeline comes into our bed in the middle of the night. By that time, I’ve gotten 4 hours of sleep or so so my body thinks “okay, we’re up now.” Then I lay there for two hours trying to get back to sleep. Either writing or reading work pretty well for me. (It’s been happening a lot since I’ve gotten pregnant this time.)

  2. March 7, 2008 9:31 pm

    gotta teach maddy she can come to your bed when it’s light…that’s worked with our guy

    those preggo hormones can really get you going, can’t they?

    seriously, tho, breating in joy and breathing out peace has helped me

    are you taking extra omega 3s?

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