6 Tips for Getting Better Sleep

6 TIPS FOR GETTING BETTER SLEEP



A lot of the health problems that people are living with could literally be healed overnight if people were getting enough sleep.

It is while you are sleeping that your body repairs and rejuvenates itself, but because going to sleep is the last thing that we do each day, it tends to be the thing that we neglect and put off the most.

For example: If it getting late, but you notice that a movie that you've been wanting to watch is about to come on, you might feel tempted to stay awake and watch it, and you might tell yourself, "It just means that I'll get a couple less hours of sleep tonight, that's all."

You need to "wake up" to how important sleep really is, and below are 6 tips for getting better sleep...




1. DON'T WAKE UP WITH AN ALARM CLOCK

If you wake up to an alarm clock, you will wake up before you are fully rested and ready to wake up naturally on your own. (Which means that you will start the day feeling tired and wishing that you could just stay in bed.) This is obviously not a good way to start the day, and it is the way that most people do.

Waking up before your body is fully rested can result in many problems including poor memory, difficulty concentrating, and slower reflexes, which is why I believe that driving when you are sleep deprived can be just as dangerous as driving when you are drunk. (And statistics seem to prove this by showing that on "Daylight Saving Time" when everyone has to set their clocks forward 1 hour and they lose an hour of sleep, traffic accidents increase.)

The very name "Alarm Clock" should tell you that it's insane to use one!

You are the most vulnerable while you are sleeping, and getting woken up while you are in the middle of a deep sleep by any kind of an alarm (regardless of whether it's a "fire alarm", a "burglar alarm", or even an "alarm clock") can jolt and startle you, and can result in a "rude awakening" that will cause you to start the day feeling tense and irritable.

And to give you an idea of how unnatural and annoying it is to wake up to an alarm clock, the man who invented the alarm clock ("Levi Hutchins") created the first alarm clock back in the year 1787. But his alarm would only go off at 4:00 AM because he hadn't figured out how to set it to go off at other times, and shortly after inventing his alarm clock that would go off every morning at 4:00 AM, he was murdered by his wife one morning... At 4:05 AM!



2. BECOME UNREACHABLE WHEN YOU GO TO SLEEP

For some people, it would be virtually impossible (even at night) to go 8 hours in a row without someone trying to talk to them, so just turning their phone off before they go to bed would improve their sleep dramatically.

I encourage you to ask everyone you know not to call you or show up at your house at night unless it's an emergency.

And if asking people not to bother you when you are sleeping sounds "selfish", please keep in mind that getting a good night sleep requires you to be unconscious, and that few things will take a toll on your health faster than sleep deprivation will!



3. DON'T SLEEP WITH SOMEONE WHO HAS SLEEPING PROBLEMS

If you sleep in the same bed as someone who has sleeping problems, it can be contagious and result in you having sleeping problems as well.

If you sleep in the same bed with someone who does any of the following 10 things, please work on getting them help for their/your problem...

- Someone who snores.

- Someone who tosses and turns all night.

- Someone who frequently gets up to use the bathroom at night.

- Someone who has intense nightmares or sleepwalks.

- Someone who gets phone calls in the middle of the night.

- Someone who wakes up with an alarm clock.

- Someone who insists on having the TV on while sleeping.

- Someone who wants the room to be too cool or too hot for you.

- Someone who smokes and smells like cigarettes smoke.

By the way, if you and the person you share a bed with are thinking about having a baby, it is estimated that a new baby will result in an average of over 500 hours of lost sleep per parent during the first year alone.



4. AVOID CAFFEINE AND OTHER STIMULANTS

This should be common sense, but I've met people who drink 12 cans of Pepsi a day and wonder why they have trouble falling asleep.

Caffeine is something that people take to help them feel more awake during the day, and the problem is that it works so well that it can also cause them to feel awake at night and have trouble falling asleep at night. (Which means that they will wake up the next morning feeling tired again, and that they will need to drink caffeine again, and this cycle will continue indefinitely unless they can break their addiction to caffeine.)

If you don't get enough sleep, drinking a cup of coffee will help you feel more awake, but so would seeing a big lion running towards you!

We all have stored energy reserves that are intended for emergency situations, and what caffeine and other stimulants do is tap into these reserves and allow them to be used for non-emergency purposes, and doing this repeatedly taxes the body and can result in premature ageing and even premature death.

One of the best ways to improve your sleep and to eliminate the need for stimulants is to take control over your work schedule.

If you have a job where you have to work random hours (like 4:00AM - 12:00PM one day and then 3:00PM - 11:00PM the next day) I strongly recommend that you either find another job, or that you change your "availability" at work so that you can only be scheduled to work during a certain window of time each day so that you can sleep at the same time every night.

And if you have a job where you work at night, I would strongly encourage you to quit, because it has been shown that working late at night can be seriously detrimental for your health, and the extra dollar or so an hour that companies are required to pay any employees who work "the graveyard shift" simply isn't worth the toll that it is going to have on your health over the years.

I've met lots of people with unhealthy work schedules, and some of them drink so many "energy drinks" that it is literally their main source of calories for the day.

Please respect yourself enough to say "No" to any unhealthy work schedule that makes it impossible for you to have a healthy sleep schedule, and that is causing you to become a "slave" to caffeine.



5. MAKE YOUR BEDROOM A ROOM WHERE GOOD SLEEP IS ACTUALLY POSSIBLE

The environment that you sleep in will of course have a major impact on how well you can sleep at night, and below are some tips for making your bedroom a lot more "sleep friendly"...

Bedroom Tip #1 - "Make Sure that Your Bedroom is Dark"

Our bodies were designed to naturally start feeling sleepy at night when the sun goes down and everything gets dark, and to then wake back up in the morning when the sun rises and lights everything back up again.

Darkness triggers the release of melatonin (which is a hormone that helps us fall asleep) and light suppresses it, so it would be best to sleep in complete darkness.

Our skin is sensitive enough to light that even small amounts of unnatural light at night can interfere with our circadian rhythms and confuse our bodies into thinking that the sun is starting to rise, so I recommend that you start dimming the lights in your house in the evening, and that you make your bedroom so dark at night that if you hold your hand in front of your face you won't be able to see it.

Bedroom Tip # 2 - "Make Sure that Your Bedroom Temperature is "Just Right"

* If your bedroom is too hot, it can cause you to wake up off and on throughout the night. (Which will result in less sleep and less healing.)

* If your bedroom is too cold, your body will have to use energy to try to warm itself up. (Which will result in less energy that can be devoted to healing.)

The best temperature for sleep is believed to be around 68 degrees Fahrenheit / 20 degrees Centigrade, so aim to keep your bedroom around that temperature at night if you want to have the best sleep possible.

Bedroom Tip # 3 - "Make Sure that Your Bedroom is Quiet"

Even if you claim to be a "deep sleeper" and you say that even loud noises such as police sirens don't wake you up at night, you will still be hearing them subconsciously while you are sleeping, and this can result in nightmares and psychological stress which will hinder your ability to get a good and healing night sleep.

If you live in the city and you can't sleep in silence, your next best option would be to sleep with a fan turned on "HIGH". (Which will not only cover up a lot of the noises, but will also produce a rhythmic "white noise" that can actually help you fall asleep.)

Bedroom Tip # 4 - "Make Sure that Your Bedroom Air is Clean"

It would be best to sleep with your window open so that you can breathe fresh air at night, but if you can't leave your window open at night due to noise, weather, pollution, streetlights, animals, or crime, then the next best thing would be to invest in a good "air purifier".

If you read the reviews of a good quality "air purifier", you will quickly notice that a lot of the people say that their sleep improved a lot once they started using one, so look for those kinds of reviews when searching for an "air purifier".

Bedroom Tip # 5 - "Make Sure that Your Bedroom is Free of Electronics"

Ideally don't have a phone, a TV, or a computer in your bedroom because of how difficult it can be to fall asleep right after you've been staring into a glowing screen, and because of how tempting it can be to turn these devices on if you are having any kind of sleeping trouble.

Try to avoid electronics for at least an hour before bed, and ideally spend that hour doing things that will help you to wind down and feel more ready for sleep such as reading, writing, and meditation.

Bedroom Tip # 6 - "Make Sure that You Have a Bed that is Right for Sleep"

If you spend 1/3 of your life in bed and you have poor sleeping posture, it means that you will spend 1/3 of your life with a crooked spine. (Which can eventually result crippling problems during the other 2/3's of your life as well!)

Ideally have a mattress that is soft, but solid enough that your back will remain fairly straight, and try to sleep on your back.

It is also important to try to use your bed for sleep only, so that your body will associate getting in bed with going to sleep, and so you won't suffer from sleep deprivation due to conditioned responses...

For example: If you get into the habit of eating in bed, you may frequently have the experience of wanting to go to sleep, but as soon as you lay down you suddenly have a strong desire to eat something, because your body has been conditioned to associate being in bed with eating.



6. FALL ASLEEP HAPPY

Millions of people will watch the late-night news right before going to bed each night, and if you are one of them, please know that there are people who were in "World War 1" and who still to this day are having intense flashbacks and nightmares about it. So don't think that watching news reports about crime that is taking place in your local area right before you go to sleep can't have a negative effect on your ability to get a good and restful sleep.

Make it a point to avoid any kind of negative stimulation shortly before you go to sleep, because stress raises your cortisol levels. (Which makes you tense and makes it a lot more difficult to relax and fall asleep.)

When you lay down to go to sleep, I would encourage you to spend the 10 minutes or so that it takes you to drift off to sleep giving thanks for everything that you experienced or accomplished that day and are grateful for, and to then spend the first 10 minutes or so when you wake up the next morning giving thanks for everything that you are looking forward to that day.

When giving these morning and evening "prayers", you can address the one you are praying to as "God", or "Universe", or your own name, or whoever or whatever you believe is the creative force in your life.

I would also encourage you NOT to ask for anything while praying, but to instead just count your blessings and express thanks for everything that you already have.

"If you are going to say a prayer, make it THANK YOU."
- Rumi

How you start your day can set the mood for the rest of your day, and if you go to sleep happy AND you get a good night sleep, then how could you not start the following day feeling great?

And if you not only feel "great" but you are "grateful" for it by going through life with an "attitude of gratitude", you will start to attract even more things into your life to be grateful for, and you will be far more likely to make your greatest "dreams" come true while you are awake.




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