Often patients ask me if they want to sleep better and get more rest. It never surprises me when asked and I believe a third of my patients suffer from some form of insomnia. Curiously, I ask questions. Tell me if you get to sleep, stay asleep, what wakes you up, 3 a.m. for some is the devil’s hour…in Chinese medicine, it’s the liver overacting. There are many thoughts on this subject and we will discuss later blogs when we speak about the spleen. To help the sleep-challenged, I try to bring up the term “sleep hygiene”, and list off the points….I always know that most of the reasons for poor sleep relate to the following bad habits….eating too late, sleeping with smart devices, and drinking too many stimulates throughout the day, all are counterproductive for good sleep. Of course, stress is part of the whole picture and we all suffer from a bit of social malaise due to circumstances that are outside our personal control.
Here are a few things you can do to make your sleep more productive and more healing.
- 20 minutes of a salt and soda bath. Add 1/2 cup Epsom salts and 1/2 cup baking soda to a tub of warm water. Soak and think of the positive aspects of your day. Magnesium in the Epsom salts calms soar muscles and reduces nerve tension.
- Use abdominal breathing excursus prior to sleep, try a few minutes, and see if you can get to 10 minutes a few times a week.
- Try to have your last bite of food 3 hours before sleep, eating around 5pm is best due to cortisol levels. In Paris, there is a doctor who relates eating to heliotropic events and how the sun’s position on the earth during the day affects our eating habits.
- Meditate 30 minutes prior to your sleep time. Intentions create our reality.
- Use dichromatic green lights in your room, they can be helpful to reach relaxing brain theta waves.
- Remove all electronics for the bedroom, television computers, smart devices and the like keep them off if you have to have them there.
- The bedroom should be dark, keep the ambient light off, and close the blinds. Use candles as light.
- Avoid stimulative drinks, including herbal teas, 6 hours before sleep.
- Do not watch or read about violence before sleep.
- Spray lavender oil essence onto the bed sheets. Lavender has been shown to help relax the mind.
- Sleep requires a bedroom, it is a place for sex and sleep, make it your sanctuary!
- Valerian and Kava drop 30 minutes before sleep is nice to relax.
We hope this may help.