Are you getting at least seven hours of straight, uninterrupted sleep every night? Do you fall asleep peacefully and wake rested? Or does your mind spin for hours waking you repeatedly until your alarm clock buzzes? Either way we all know that we function better as women when we get good solid sleep. How many of you have missed a few nights of sleep and felt more irritable, cranky, overwhelmed, tired, anxious, and frayed?
What does routine adequate sleep do?
1) It brings out growth hormone to repair and heal your body.
2) It helps modulate your immune system for the better!
3) It rejuvenates your body so you feel rested and full of energy.
4) It lowers blood pressure.
5) It lowers inflammation.
6) It helps with memory and recall.
7) It improves attention and concentration.
8) It helps protect against cancer.
9) It increases coronary artery disease risk.
10) It helps fight depression and anxiety.
Knowing this, how do you help yourself fall asleep if you’re having one of ‘those’ nights? Some simple home remedies include:
1) Taking time to wind down at night – turn off the computer, the tv, and your busy mind.
2) Eat a protein snack before bed to help your blood sugar (not a high sugar snack)
3) Write down your concerns, thoughts, and ‘to-do’ list before getting into bed
4) Sleep in total darkness – cover your clock and your windows.
5) Try relaxing herbs such as chamomile, lavender, passionflower, lemon balm, hops, and skullcap.
6) Take your calcium/magnesium supplement at night.
7) Many people sleep better in a slightly cool environment – so turn down the heat or turn on a fan.
8) Evaluate your mattress – how long have you had it? Is it too soft or too firm? Is it time for a new one?
9) Evaluate your pillow – same questions apply as to the mattress.
10) Evaluate who is sleeping in your bed (human or animal). Sleep is critical to health so if they are having sleep problems, make sure to help them too.
1.Szentkirályi, A, Madarász, C, Novák,M. Sleep Disorders: Impact on Daytime Functioning and Quality of LifeExpert Rev Pharmacoeconomics Outcomes Res. 2009;9(1):49-64.