In spite of corporate expectations today, we are not
all Sir Winston Churchill’s operating at peak
on 4 hours sleep a night.
Recent studies have again proven the benefits of a
full 8 hours to allow the body to scavenge toxins, rebuild
damaged cells and promote the production of new cells.
Not getting enough sleep is a downward spiral of struggling
through work hours and being too tired to enjoy ones
During sleep, when you are not ingesting any food or
beverage, the body can concentrate on eliminating waste
products from the cells, instead of digestion. Help
this process by avoiding heavy meals in the evening
and late night snacks.
How to Beat Insommnia
If you are a great sleeper - terrific, just make sure
you get those 8 hours, but for those that need a bit
of help, here are a few tips.
Create a good sleep environment
Setting the atmosphere in your bedroom as a place for
you to sleep and rest is an important first step.
- Don't ever hold intense conversations or arguments
in the bedroom.
- Remove televisions, radios or anything that can
distract you from sleeping.
- Keep the room well ventilated and not too warm.
- Have adequate window dressings to block out any
- Make sure mattress and pillows are comfortable,
and keep bed linen fresh.
Prepare your body for sleeping
You will sleep better if you are slightly cool, rather
than too warm. Becuase your metabolism slows when you
are sleeping, your body temperature naturally drops.
Try to replicate this process using hot showers, baths
or spas shortly before retiring, letting the body cool
as you rest in bed.
Try to be relaxed about trying to sleep
Don't force yourself to sleep. If you are not asleep
in 15 to 20 minutes, get out of bed, go into another
room and engage in some sedentary activity until you
begin to feel sleepy. Then return to the bedroom.
Maintain a regular sleep cycle
Your body has an internal clock set by the cycling
of levels of melatonin in the body. This time keeping
system records and tracks your sleeping pattern, so
it is important to keep regular sleep hours, particularly
the wake-up time. This body clock, once it is established
in a routine, also ensures you will get the proper amount
of sleep you need before you wake up.
Avoid naps during the day
Taking naps during the day directly interferes with
your sleeping routine. Your ability to sleep at night
gets affected because all those short power naps actually
ensures that you get continual rest during the day.
So, when it comes for you to sleep at night, you actually
feel zippy and alert.
Avoid consuming stimulus such as caffeine and nicotine
late in the evening. Caffeine is a strong stimulant
that will keep your brain awake well after ingestion.
If you are having trouble sleeping, try to reduce the
amount of caffeine consumed during the day and avoid
it altogether after say 2pm.
Nicotine - activates your metabolism, keeping
your body energetic.
Sugar - reduce the amount of sugar later in
Energy drinks - are loaded with both high
levels of caffeine and lots of sugar, so avoid them
altogether. Try warm milk or hot chocolate instead.
Studies have shown that regular exercise approximately
4 to 6 hours before bedtime can actually help you fall
asleep later in the night. So keep those abs burning
and legs walking at least 20 minutes a day. However,
avoid heavy exercises close to bedtime as that will
raise your body temperature and keep you fully awake.