Your body heals during sleep. It rejuvenates, renews, and recharges, mending what needs mending. 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. is a peak time to deeply nourish yourself after a busy day. If you’ve suffered from insomnia, you can sleep well to nourish your body, mind, & spirit.
If you’re not asleep by 10 o’clock, allow yourself to deeply rest from then on–stop work, turn off all electronic devices, no food or TV. Instead, deliberately calm your mind. Read an enjoyable novel, meditate, write down your thoughts, listen to a mind-balancing audio designed for sleep–begin a ritual to send signals to your mind that it’s time to prepare for deep, restful sleep.
Getting to the root cause of insomnia and returning to balance and wholeness is the holistic approach that sustains your body, mind, and spirit. (Using street or prescription drugs is like applying a bandage that remains on the surface and doesn’t truly heal. You know it.)
Here are 16 ways to sleep well, beginning with natural nutritional supplementation.
- Get adequate magnesium and calcium. I take a food-based magnesium supplement before bed and within 20 minutes I can hardly keep my eyes open.
- L-theanine is an amino acid that calms the mind and can be taken in the morning and again before bed. It’s especially good if you have a racing mind.
- Cortisol Manager by Integrative Therapeutics (available online) reduces cortisol levels to lessen stress and help you sleep–important for anyone living a high-stress lifestyle.
- Hyland’s Calms Forte is a homeopathic remedy that can help calm nerves and promote restful sleep. Find it online or in any natural foods store.
- MyoCalm PM by Metagenics is a combination of herbs and minerals for overall relaxation and sleep with no side effects.
- Drink relaxing tea, such as chamomile, in the early evening. There are several relaxing herbal teas specifically for bedtime at www.mountainroseherbs.com.
- Exercise daily, even if it’s just a 20-minute walk.
- Avoid caffeine during the day, or have green tea only in the mornings. Even chocolate in the early evening is enough to keep some people buzzing late into the night.
- Clear your bedroom of clutter, including computers, electronics, and television. Some people say they have to have the TV on to sleep. Really? That is a health problem waiting to happen!
- Stop answering the phone in the evenings if conversation activates your mind. Turn off your phone and all wifi at night. I know, it will cause anxiety initially, but you’ll get over it in a few days!
- Move electronics away from your bed and if possible, don’t have any in the bedroom. I have one electronic device in my room–an air filter–and I keep it many feet away from the bed.
- Calm your mind and spirit in the evenings by turning off the computer and television at least an hour before bedtime. Yes! Just do it.
- Go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even on weekends. Your body will thank you.
- Write down your thoughts and feelings to get them out of your head and onto paper. This way, they don’t swirl manically through your brain at 2:00 a.m.
- Meditate for a few minutes before bed to clear your mind.
- Put some sleep inducing music on your iPod and get your headphones ready. My favorite site for the best sleep-promoting CDs is www.monroeinstitute.org. You’ll find numerous amazing CDs for every sleep issue.
Finally, turn your bedroom into a sleep sanctuary. Get the unfolded laundry out of there, pick up the papers on the floor and put them in a different room, remove anything from under the bed, get comfy sheets and change them often.
If you still don’t sleep well through the night after you’ve tried these suggestions, see an acupuncturist, herbalist, naturopath, homeopath, or holistic practitioner. Each can help you with sleep disturbances. There is great hope and a solution waiting for you!