Ginger sleeps like a baby. The minute she hits the sack, she’s out like a light. Although she often naps during the day as well, she has no problem sleeping at bedtime. Ginger’s a happy soul and nothing seems to rattle her peace. She gets all the rest she needs everyday. How fortunate she is to have no concept of insomnia.
If only we could be more like dogs. For those who don’t already know this, Ginger’s my sweet doggie. My husband and I rescued her when she was a one-month old puppy living under the boardwalk on the beach. Those few short weeks of her infancy must have been the only period in her life that she experienced any kind of sleeplessness. As soon as we brought her home, bathed her in the bathroom sink, toweled her dry and wrapped her up in a soft, warm blanket, she was sleeping like a log. She had found peace at last.
Humans are complex creatures, so getting to sleep isn’t as straightforward for us as it is for pooches. Getting good quality sleep on a regular basis is vital, of course, as sleep allows our bodies to rest, heal and rejuvenate. If you have problems sleeping, maybe some of these tips for beating insomnia will help:
Avoid Stressful Activities
Wishful thinking? If you think about, many things are within your control. No one can make you mad, unless you let them. For things that you really can’t avoid, like paying the bills or dealing with a problem at work, try to handle this in the morning. That will give you the rest of the day to get over it.
No Caffeine After 2 p.m.
Caffeine – found in coffee, tea and soft drinks like cola – are stimulants. I used to start my day with several mugs of coffee, “easing” into tea later in the day. That was when I was working in the corporate world. I couldn’t get started in the morning, and keep going, otherwise. I’ve weaned myself off coffee since. I still enjoy tea, but I make sure I don’t have any after 1 p.m. When I break this rule, I find myself having trouble sleeping at night.
Go Easy On The Alcohol
Enjoy a glass of wine or some other alcoholic beverage in the evening? Keep it to no more than one glass.
Enjoy Soothing Non-Caffeinated Hot Beverages
Camomile, chrysanthemum, mint, momordica, red date tea, lemongrass and ginger tea with honey – these are a few of my favourites. Not only are they delectable, they help me to relax and also have health-giving properties. Mormodica, for instance, is an antioxidant and immune system booster which has been popular with the Chinese for centuries, and which is now used in certain western health supplements. You can find it in Chinese medicine shops and groceries, where it is usually better known as “lo han kuo”.
Relax With A Warm Bath
This usually helps most people to de-stress and unwind. It always makes me relaxed and sleepy. For extra pampering, sprinkle in a few drops of soothing pure essential oil.
Put Away The Blackberry
At least one hour before sleep time, put aside electronic devices like the Blackberry and game consoles, don’t touch the computer, and turn off the television set, These things are too stimulating so close to bedtime.
Create A Conducive Sleeping Environment
At least half-an-hour before you plan to go to sleep, try playing some soothing music or reading a book (no horror stories or thrillers, of course). Dim the lights and close the curtains. Loud noises and light interfere with sleep, so a completely quiet and dark environment is best when it’s time to turn off the lights and go off to dreamland. Sleeping at regular times and in dark and peaceful environments also encourages the production of melatonin, a powerful antioxidant also known as the sleep hormone.
Get Regular Exercise
This will help you de-stress. You don’t have to do anything fancy. Even 20-minute walks count. Strenuous exercise such as running and jogging late in the evening should be avoided, as that will just pump up your adrenaline (the ‘fight or flight’ hormone) levels and get you all hyper.
Take Melatonin Supplements
Many people suffering from insomnia have found relief from taking melatonin supplements, a natural sleep aid that contains melatonin, the body’s “internal clock associated with aging” regulator. The sublingual form – which is a liquid sprayed under the tongue – works faster than the pill form as it is absorbed and utilised faster by the body. Supplementary melatonin works by soothing you into sleep, relaxing your body and mind so you can get the healthy rest you need. It can be taken 15-30 minutes before bedtime. One interesting benefit for people who take melatonin supplements is that they usually end up sleeping so soundly that they don’t even get up during the night to pee! Neways’ Megatonin has helped many people get a good night’s sleep. It might help you too.
Posted: June 24th, 2009 under Health Basics 101, Rest & Sleep.