You toss and turn every night. When you finally fall asleep, you wake back up. Or your sleep is restless, and you feel like you haven’t slept at all. For 30-50% of us, that is our reality.
You may think the solution is to take a pill. But often the side effects are almost as bad as your sleeping issue. The pills make you feel drowsy and foggy. You forget things. You worry about becoming addicted.
Imagine falling asleep when your head hits the pillow and waking up feeling well-rested. Acupuncture treatments along with the five tips below did that for me!
1. Set up a sleep routine.
- Try to go to bed and get up at the same time daily.
- Avoid electronics for at least 60 minutes before bedtime. The goal is to start to transition the body into a more natural relaxation state. If you are going to watch TV, try to purchase a pair of amber colored glasses to block the blue light.
- Create an inviting and comfortable space for sleep. Minimize noise and light. Keep the bedroom for sleep and sex only. Diffuse an Essential Oil Calming Blend.
- It’s best to do vigorous exercise earlier in the day.
- Move “yin” type exercise such as yoga, a walk, and gentle stretching, closer to bedtime.
- Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol. While alcohol may help a person to fall asleep initially, it can lead to restless sleep later in the evening. The effects of caffeine and nicotine can last for several hours and disrupt sleep.
- Avoid large meals too close to bedtime. This can boost your metabolism, making it harder for you to fall asleep. It can also bring on reflux symptoms, making it uncomfortable to lay down.
- Learn tools to help manage your stress such as meditation, yoga, imagery, breathing exercises, and journaling.
- Get acupuncture, massage and/or cognitive therapy treatments.
- Magnesium is considered an “antistress” mineral and is found in leafy greens and several types of nuts and foods. According to World Health Organization, many people in the US are deficient.
- Use an unsweetened powdered magnesuim citrate supplement before bed – too much magnesium can have a laxative effect. The body absorbs magnesium citrate well.
- An alternative is to get magnesium the way your grandparents did – take a bath with epsom salts before bed. Add lavender, chamomile and/or vetiver for an added boost. Lavender essential oil promotes peaceful emotions and a feeling of relaxation; chamomile has a calming effect on the mind and body; and, vetiver soothes the emotions.
For more tips to transform your sleep, join the Restful Sleep Challenge which kicks off on Monday, August 1st, or call Northshore Acupuncture Center at 815.814.1319 to schedule an appointment today.