Sleep Survival Tool Kit
Raise your hand if you have trouble with the following:
• Falling Asleep
• Sleeping Through the Night
• Waking Feeling Rested
Chances are this covers just about everyone!
Rest and Repair
A good night’s sleep is absolutely critical to your health. Melatonin, the body’s sleep hormone, is the most potent known antioxidant. That’s right, number one, ahead of the flavonoids found in green tea, leafy greens, berries, and just about anything else you can ingest.
While you sleep, your body rests and repairs itself. Your immune system takes this time to scour your body for invaders and clean up shop. If you’re having trouble sleeping, I can almost guarantee that your adrenals have been working overtime and need a break. When this happens, these small but mighty little glands get very confused about when you need another shot of adrenaline. Such as 3:00 in the morning, for example, when you are suddenly wide awake. Or at midnight, when all that cortisol (adrenaline’s long-haul cousin) makes your mind feel like a hamster on a wheel…
Why Can’t We Get a Good Night’s Sleep?
The answer, of course, lies with our 21st century North American lifestyle: caffeine-fueled, competitive, and admiring of the person who can ‘do it all’. The kids, meanwhile, are just as busy as the adults. Is it any wonder we’re so tightly strung we’re unable to get a good night’s sleep?
Sleep Survival Tool Kit
1. Relax! Let’s begin with the obvious: it’s time to take a few things off your plate and make time for yourself to simply RELAX. Note that relaxing does not include watching TV, playing computer games, or reading an iPad – the light from electronics prompts your brain (especially at night) to believe that your day is still underway and MORE cortisol is needed!
2. Cut Back on Coffee. Keep it to one or two in the morning, and don’t drink anything caffeinated after noon.
3. Daily Exercise. In addition to helping your body manage with stress and being beneficial in almost every way, it literally tires you out!
4. Herbal Tea. Oat, vervein, lavender, and valerian are all excellent sleep aids. Experiment with which one works best for you.
5. Epsom Salt Baths. Available at most pharmacies, epsom salts are loaded with magnesium, which is a muscle relaxant. Try this right before you go to bed.
6. Bach’s Rescue Remedy. Keep this excellent remedy by your bedside table and take a few drops when your mind just won’t turn off. Non-habit forming and completely safe for kids and adults.
7. Meditation. At any point in your day, find a comfortable place to sit, close your eyes, and simply be still.