How much sleep do you need? Sleep is a very controversial issue. Here is my best to answer such a such a hard question. For most people 7-9 hours is an ideal amount of sleep, with more people requiring 9 vs. 7. Inadequate sleep disrupts health in many ways leading to hormonal and metabolic imbalances, accelerated aging, increased onset and severity of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, memory, loss and more. Insomnia is an epidemic as 25% of Americans have it occasionally and 10% have it chronic. So if you are suffering from lack of sleep know that you are not the only one!
1) Try to get to bed before 11pm. Your body performs the majority of its repair and recovery during 11pm-1am. The gallbladder dumps toxins during this time. If you are awake the toxins back up into the liver and then to your blood stream. If you are asleep toxins go where they should which is into the large intestine to be taken out through the bowels.
2) Go to bed and wake up same time each day, even on weekends. This rhythm makes it easier to fall asleep and get up
3) Sleep in complete darkness. If not, the pineal glands production of melatonin gets disrupted. You can get black out blinds, shades or a sleep mask
4) Avoid TV before bed. TV is stimulating to the brain which disrupts the pineal gland making it harder to fall asleep or sleep well. The same goes for reading material that is stimulating. If you read before bed read books that are relaxing and peaceful. Also turn off other electronics so no electromagnetic frequencies can disturb your sleep such as cellphones and computers.
5) Wear socks to bed because our feet have the poorest circulation cold feet can disrupt sleep.
6) Avoid using loud alarm clocks. It is very stressful on the body to wake up with a sudden loud noise. Ideally, you should sleep until your body naturally awakens, making an alarm clock unnecessary. If you need an alarm use a dawn simulator which gradually emits light to full intensity over 45 minutes, much like the sun. This way you don’t start the day in fight or flight mode.
7) If you lie in bed with your mind racing it might be helpful to keep a journal and write down your thoughts before bed. This allows you to download your disturbing thoughts to paper and clear your mind. Breathing helps too. I like using Coherent breathing.
8) Avoid caffeine and other stimulants because they can have a long lasting stimulatory effect on your nervous system
9) If you wake up in the night to urinate, don’t drink any fluids within 2 hours of going to bed.
10) Take a hot bath or shower for about 30 minutes right before bed. Heat has a relaxing effect on the body. Use lavender essential oil in bath, body wash or pillow spray.
11) Don’t eat right before bed. The body trying to digest can impair sleep. Worse is eating grains and sugar or alcohol which causes a spike in blood sugar and then the crash. When the body crashes sleep isn’t as deep and in severe cases you wake up in the middle of the night and need to eat something. Sleep eating occurs in severe cases. Also avoid foods which you are sensitive to. This is particularly true for dairy and wheat products as they may have negative effects on sleep, such as apnea, excess congestion, stomach upset and gas.