So many of the health problems that people are living with could literally be healed overnight if people were simply getting enough sleep. (It's amazing what just one 12 hour night of deep sleep can do.)
It is while you are sleeping that your body repairs and rejuvenates it's self, and builds up the energy that it will need for the following day, 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. (An example of what I mean is if it's getting close to someone's bed time and a friend calls them up and asks them if they want to go to a movie they will often think to themselves, "Sure, why not, it will just mean a couple hours of less sleep, that's all.")
You need to "wake up" to how important sleep really is and below are 6 tips for getting better sleep.....
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, and you will likely start the day feeling tired, upset, and wishing that you could just stay in bed... This is the absolute worst way to start the day and it's the way that most people do. People that wake up this way tend to continue to feel tired throughout the day and rely on caffeine to stay awake.
Waking up before your body is fully rested will result in many problems including poor concentration, poor memory, and slower reflexes, which is why I believe that driving when you are sleepy is just as dangerous as driving when you are drunk. (Statistics 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 are higher than normal, and on days when everyone sets their clocks back 1 hour and they get to sleep-in an extra hour traffic accidents are lower than normal.)
If you make sleep a priority and get into the habit of going to sleep at the same time every day you shouldn't need an alarm clock because we all have an "internal clock" inside of us and it will become as reliable as an alarm clock once you get into a regular sleep cycle.
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 an "Alarm Clock") can jolt and startle you and cause you to start the day feeling really tense and stressed out. And to give you an idea of how annoying and unnatural it is to wake up to an alarm clock, the man who invented the alarm clock ("Levi Hutchins") created the world's first alarm clock in 1787, but the only problem was that it could only wake you up at 4:00 AM and he hadn't figured out yet how to be able to set it to wake you up at any other time, 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...
2. MAKE YOUR BEDROOM A ROOM WHERE GOOD SLEEP IS ACTUALLY POSSIBLE
The environment that you sleep in will have a major impact on how well you can sleep at night, and below are some tips for making your room a lot more sleep friendly...
Bedroom Tip #1 - "Make Sure Your Bedroom Is Completely Dark"
Our bodies were designed to naturally start getting sleepy as the sun goes down and everything starts getting dark, and to naturally wake back up when the sun rises and lights everything up again.
Darkness triggers the release of melatonin (which is a hormone that helps us fall asleep) and light suppresses the release of melatonin, and our skin is sensitive enough to light that even small amounts of light can interfere with our circadian rhythm and confuse the body into thinking that the sun is coming up and that it's time to wake up, so I recommend that you start dimming the lights in your house in the evening and make your bedroom as dark as possible when you are sleeping. (Ideally make it dark enough that if you hold your hand in front of your face you won't see it.)
If you have to wake up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom or get a drink of water I urge you not to turn the lights on unless you absolutely have to, and to consider having a really dim flash light or a night light that you can turn on if you need some light instead of turning on really bright lights which will be a lot more stimulating and make it more difficult for you to fall back asleep.
Bedroom Tip # 2 - "Make Sure Your Bedroom Is Quiet"
It's a complete mystery to me how people who live in the city are able to sleep at night when they are constantly exposed to loud traffic, loud neighbors, and even loud room mates.
If you live in a noisy environment and can't sleep in silence your next best option would be to sleep with a fan on which will cover up a lot of these noises so that you at least won't be woken up by them. (Plus a fan will provide a very rhythmic sound that can help you fall sleep.)
Even if you claim to be a “Deep Sleeper” and you say that noises such as police sirens and yelling doesn't wake you up, keep in mind that you will still be hearing them subconsciously while you are sleeping and they can cause nightmares and stress to the body which will hinder your ability to get a good and healing night sleep.
Bedroom Tip # 3 - "Make Sure That Your Bedroom Temperature Is “Just Right”
Studies show that the best temperature for sleep is around 68 °F or 20 °C.
If the room gets too hot it will cause you to wake up off and on throughout the night and if the room gets too cold your body will have to use energy to warm it's self up during the night which will take away energy that could go into rejuvenation.
Bedroom Tip # 4 - "Make Sure That Your Bedroom Air Is Clean"
It would be best to sleep with your window open at night (or at least slightly 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, bright street lights, or crime I would encourage you to invest in a good air purifier.
(If you read the reviews of any good quality air purifier you will notice that lots of the people are claiming that their sleep improved a lot once they started using it.)
Bedroom Tip # 5 - "Make Sure That Your Bed Is Comfortable"
If you spend 1/3 of your life in bed make sure that your bed is comfortable, but be aware that too much cushioning and poor sleeping posture can cause your spine to be crooked for 1/3 of your life as well, which can result in problems later in life, so ideally have a mattress that is kind of soft but also solid enough that your back will remain fairly straight, and try to sleep on your back.
It is also best not to eat, read, or watch TV in bed because the more time that you spend in your bed not sleeping the harder it can be to fall asleep in it.
(If you are a “minimalist” and you want to take “minimalism” to a higher level try sleeping without a pillow, and once you are comfortable with that try sleeping without a bed by sleeping on the floor.)
Bedroom Tip # 6 - "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 tempting it can be to turn one of them on if you are having difficulty falling asleep, and because of how much more difficult it can be to sleep well after staring into a glowing screen.
Avoid using electronics like these for at least an hour before bed and spend that hour doing a “bed time ritual” that will help you wind down and feel more ready for sleep. I recommend dimming the lights and reading a book, writing in your journal, mediating, or listening to music that has a calming and relaxing effect on you.
For some people it would be virtually impossible (even at night) to go 8 hours in a row without someone calling them, and for people like this just turning off their phone before they go to bed would improve their sleep and their health dramatically.
I encourage you to always turn your phone off before you go to sleep and to let everyone you know understand that you don't want them to call you or to show up at your house knocking on your door at night unless it's an emergency.
It may sound selfish, but getting a good night sleep requires you to be unconscious, and few things will take a toll on your health faster than sleep deprivation.
4. DON'T SLEEP WITH SOMEONE WHO HAS SLEEPING PROBLEMS
If you sleep in the same bed as someone who wakes up several times in the night it will be contagious and cause you to wake up several times a night as well.
If you sleep in the same bed with someone who does any of the following 10 things, you need to work on getting them help for their problem or consider sleeping in separate beds and maybe even separate rooms...
- Sleeping with someone who snores. - Sleeping with someone who tosses and turns all night. - Sleeping with someone who frequently gets up to use the bathroom at night. - Sleeping with someone who sleepwalks. - Sleeping with someone who has intense nightmares. - Sleeping with someone who gets phone calls in the middle of the night. - Sleeping with someone who wakes up with an alarm clock. - Sleeping with someone who insists on having the TV on while sleeping. - Sleeping with someone who wants the room to be too cool or too hot for you. - Sleeping with someone who has to wake up a lot earlier than you do.
By the way, if you and the person that you share a bed with are thinking about having a child, it is estimated that a new baby will result in over 500 hours of lost sleep for each parent during the first year alone.
This should be common sense, but I've met people that drink 12 cans of Pepsi a day and wonder why they have trouble falling asleep... Caffeine is something that people take to help them stay awake and the problem is that it works so well that it can cause you to feel too awake to fall asleep at night. (Which means that you will wake up feeling tired again the next morning and will need to drink more caffeine in order to stay awake, and this cycle will continue until you stop consuming caffeine and start getting more sleep.)
If you don't get enough sleep drinking a cup of coffee will help you feel a lot more awake, but so would seeing a big lion running towards you! You see, we all have stored energy reserves that are intended for emergency situations, (like being chased by a lion) 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 rapid and premature ageing.
One of the best ways to improve your sleep and eliminate your need for caffeine is to take control of your work schedule. If you have a job where you have to work random hours (Like working 9:00AM - 5:00PM one day and then working 2:00PM - 10:00PM the next day) I strongly recommend that you either find another job or change your “availability” so that you can only be scheduled during a certain 8 hour window of time each day (and ideally during the day time so that you can sleep at night) because working at random times (or late at night) will greatly interfere with your ability to sleep, and people who have an inconsistent and unnatural work schedule tend to consume so many stimulants such as “energy drinks” that it will often be their main source of calories for the day.
If you have a job working late at night or for more than 8 hours straight you will most likely be paid extra for it sense it has been proven that working these kinds of shifts are bad for your long term health, but the extra money that you get paid to work like that is in no way a fair exchange for the toll that poor sleep will have on your health.
Even in America there are a lot of people who get scheduled to work really unhealthy and unnatural work schedules ... Fire fighters work 24 hour shifts and then have 2 days off, and I once had an Aunt who worked 12 hours a day at a hospital but her shift was broken into 3 smaller 4 hour shifts so she would work for 4 hours then have 4 hours off, then work 4 more hours and then have another 4 hours off, and sometimes she would have to do this for several days in a row leaving her with no chance of getting more than a few hours of sleep at a time.
Please respect yourself enough to make sleep one of the biggest priorities in your life.
Millions of people watch the late night news right before going to bed each night. If you do this please understand that there are people who were in “World War 1” who still to this day are having intense flashbacks and nightmares about it, so don't think that watching news reports about violence taking place around the world or in your own neighborhood right before you go to bed at night won't have a negative effect on your ability to get deep and restful sleep that night.
Make it a point to avoid any kind of negative stimulation shortly before you go to sleep (and ideally altogether) because it raises your cortisol levels which makes it a lot more difficult to relax and fall asleep.
I encourage you to spend the 10 minutes or so that it takes you to fall asleep reflecting on the good things that you experienced that day and mentally envisioning a positive tomorrow, and when you wake up in the morning smile and feel grateful that your life isn't over yet. (The first thing I do when I wake up each morning is smile and say “Thank You” to the universe for another day to learn, to grow, and to live my purpose.)
How you start your day is extremely important and if you go to sleep happy and you get a good night sleep, how could you not wake up and start your day feeling happy???