Restful Sleep…an integral part of recovery
In reviewing and using the following, you’ll probably make some lifestyle changes. Most people do. This is what I remember from borrowing and reading ,RESTFUL SLEEP by Deepak Chopra, and some from Dr. Oz; also, chiropractor, Maria Best. These are suggestions. If they ring true, you may decide whether to give them a try.
• Try not to nap.
• At night, gear down with comedy, romance, and reading. Avoid video games and violence, etc.
• Quit eating 2 hours before bed, but don’t go to bed hungry. Try ½ a banana or a couple of bites of yogurt.
• Begin your evening routine early (closing blinds, locking doors, brushing teeth, etc.); so that, by bedtime you’re not waking yourself up all over again w/duties.
• No caffeine, alcohol, chocolate, or sugar before bed.
• Sip water throughout the day to stay hydrated.
•Take a walk, pet an animal, garden (something quieting) for at least 10 minutes a day.
• Yawning is how our respiratory system, spine, and brain get extra, needed oxygen.
• Deep sighs relax the lungs, spine, and respiratory system. Exhale completely (more, more…) then inhale. This expands your lungs. The more often the better.
• Eat foods without too much spice or hot sauce.
• Drink some warm milk before bed. It relaxes brain chemistry.
• Sleep in clean clothes and sheets. 60 degree room.
• Spray some lavender or bergamot, lightly on bed–sheets. These fragrances calm the mind.
• Sleep in natural darkness, approx. 10 p.m.—6 a.m. Natural dark allows the brain to produce a balance of mood chemicals. No night lights, hall lights, audio–visual lights (radio, TV, computer, phone…you can turn them to the wall, cover, or turn off). “Peace, be still.”
• Put a small pillow between your knees when sleeping on your side. Tuck full–size pillow along your back. These two tricks take stress off your lower back and spine.
• If you sleep on your back, put a pillow under your knees. Your lower back needs this relief.
• If you sleep w/a pillow…don’t. Roll a towel and put it under your neck instead. Just enough support so that your head still touches the bed.
• Breathe fresh air. Don’t sleep with covers, sleeves, or pillow over your nose (you’re breathing in the carbon dioxide that your body is trying to expel); and,
• Tuck your chin down — just a bit— to create a more open airway. Your body will take a deep sigh.
• Breathe through your nose.
• If you still can’t fall asleep: keep your eyes closed; relax each part of your body starting with your toes and work up to your forehead; and then think of black, only black…only. (Remember, you're through for the day. Tomorrow comes soon enough. You need to be rested. Sometimes we need to give ourselves permission.)
• If you’re sleeping on a too–hard or too–soft mattress, you can try replacing it with an air mattress (not a fancy, expensive one)…the kind you find in the camping section. You can adjust the firmness to suit your needs. Get a flocked top, so the sheets don’t slip around. Use a mattress pad and/or towels between bottom sheet and flocked top. “Peace, be still.” Mark 4:39.
• No alarm clocks. Over time you can adjust your sleep schedule, so that you’ll wake up naturally. Alarms don’t allow our bodies and minds to wake up naturally.
• If you live in an area where days are longer in the summer than in the winter, Keep a cooling sleep mask near at hand, and put it on when the sun wakes you too early.
• “Whatsoever things are lovely…think on these.” Philippians 4:8.
• If you have allergies, congestion, etc. place a damp washcloth over your face.
• Aim a fan in your direction. The breeze will also keep mosquitoes away. The white noise in the background will calm and help you sleep.
• As we get older, we need less sleep, so don’t worry about it.
• By the way, worrying is not thinking and doesn’t solve anything. Imagine a clean slate for tomorrow. It is a new day.
Years ago on a television program, Dragnet, Lead Detective, Jack Webb, always said, “Just the facts, Ma’am.” We need to deal with the facts, not the drama.
Don’t be surprised when the Universe gives you answers that you never thought of. Our minds can receive this help when we rest.