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Natural Sleep Aid
copyright 2006 by Greg Landry, M.S.





Sleep Disturbances

Some activities can interfere with sleep — especially if you engage in them too close to bedtime:

Avoid exercising within three hours of bedtime. Some people try to tire themselves out by exercising close to bedtime. This tactic can backfire, since exercise actually stimulates the body by speeding up the heart rate and metabolism. There’s a positive flip side: Exercising on a regular basis (during the day, ideally) may help you sleep well at night. Otherwise, you may want to consider what I believe to be the best natural sleep aid available.

Nicotine is a stimulant that can keep you awake. Avoid smoking in the six hours before your bedtime.

Although alcohol may seem to help you fall asleep, it can disrupt your normal during the second half of the night and leave you feeling unrested. It’s best to avoid alcohol before bedtime.

Caffeine can delay your sleep and cause you to wake up during the night. Avoid caffeinated drinks and foods (coffee, tea, cola, chocolate) after noon. You may want to try avoiding caffeine entirely to see if your sleep improves.

Avoid drinking fluids before bedtime to decrease urges to go the bathroom during the night.

If your efforts to avoid common obstacles leave you still seeking sleep, you might want to talk to your doctor about ways to get better sleep.

When are we going to wake up to the realization that we need our sleep? Sometimes we find it necessary to improvise during the day if we missed out on precious sleep. If you’re dealing with a sleep deficit, here are some ideas that might help pull you through a sluggish day:

Eye-Opening Tips for Staying Alert:

• Keep moving to energize your body

• Eat a good breakfast

• Avoid sugar and junk food “highs” because you’ll crash and burn faster. Try healthy snacks instead.

• Go outside for a breath of fresh air

Don’t let your fatigue take over while you’re driving either. Watch out for signs you’re too tired behind the wheel.

Signs of Drowsy Driving:

• Excessive yawning

• Head nodding

• Difficulty concentrating

• Can’t remember driving the last few miles

• Drifting between lanes or off the road

Simple solutions to tired driving are to pull off the road at a rest stop to take a nap, let your spouse or friend take the wheel and realize that loud radios and cold air-conditioning simply won’t work to keep you awake and safe on the road.

And so it ends some sleepy time suggestions for a better night’s rest. The moral to this bedtime story is that sleeping for at least seven hours will carry you far in every facet of the waking hours of your life.

Good night, sleep well and sweet dreams!




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