A good night’s sleep can mean the difference between feeling wonderful and feeling terrible. Your body needs sleep to rest and recover from the day. Most studies have shown that 7 to 8 hours of good sleep at night is essential to function properly. There are literally dozens of over-the-counter sleep aids on the market. The effects of these can either knock you out but it is not a normal and restful sleep. This tends to make people feel drowsy during the day and can be just as bad as not sleeping at all. It is very important to deal with the causes of insomnia before trying any sleeping pills.
Try these simple changes to your lifestyle to help get a good night of rest.
o Stop smoking. Smokers have more sleep problems than nonsmokers.
o Exercise regularly to get your heart pumping, but do not exercise within 2 hours of going to bed.
o Avoid drinking alcohol in the evening.
o Avoid caffeine for at least 2 ½ hours before going to bed. This includes coffee, tea, soda and other sweet drinks, and chocolate.
o Don’t eat a big meal within 3 hours of going to bed.
o Try to go to bed at or around the same time each night. This will help your body develop a routine and make it easier to fall into sleep.
o Leave stressors out of the bedroom. Try to break your chain of thought about bills, marriage problems, children, or whatever else is on your mind.
o Read a positive or motivational book, take a warm bath, listen to some relaxing music, or spend time talking with your spouse or partner.
o Use some relaxation techniques such as mediation or deep breathing. An easy thing to try is to take a deep breath and count 1 in your mind, then exhale and count 2 in your mind. Do this for as long as it takes to relax and feel at ease.
o Sex is also a great way to relax and unwind and its also the perfect way to connect with your partner.
Remember that it’s not an overnight remedy. It might take a few weeks to develop a normal sleep routine so be patient. If you find that you still have insomnia and sleeplessness after 4 weeks and your are at a normal body weight, then you may want to consult your doctor.
Herbs and essential oils are also a great way to promote rest and relaxation and there is no risk of side effects or addiction.