Tips for deep sleepPosted 23 March 11
If you’ve ever lain awake at night wishing sleep would come (and are sick of counting imaginary sheep!) then these tips might be for you.
INSOMNIA makes life miserable for three million Australians, and more women than men are affected. Try these self-help strategies.
1. Eat to sleep
An amino acid called tryptophan, found in milk, turkey, and peanuts, helps the brain produce serotonin, a chemical that helps you relax. So, a slice of toast with peanut butter or a bowl of cereal are good bedtime snacks. Check your iron levels: Iron-deficient women are 20 per cent more likely to sleep badly.
2. Avoid alcohol, caffeine and nicotine
All three lead to obstruction of the airways, causing snoring and possibly sleep apnoea.
3. Try nature’s sleep aids
A recent Swiss study found that valerian tea improved sleep quality and reduced dropping-off time by over 30 per cent. Homoeopathic remedies address different causes of insomnia: For example, Arsenicum album for anxiety; Coffea for overstimulation of body and mind.
4. Create a sleep sanctuary
A room that’s too stuffy, cold, or dusty, and a bed that’s too soft or hard can all disrupt sleep. Banish the computer and TV. Don’t read anything that’s work-related. Noise and light disrupt production of melatonin, a hormone necessary for sleep. If you do wake, don’t turn on the light.
5. Get a grip!
Anxiety is the most common cause of insomnia: It excites the nervous system, so your brain sends messages to the adrenal glands, making you more alert. Write down everything that’s on your mind and promise yourself you will deal with it in the morning.
6. ‘Legs up the wall’ yoga pose
Lie on your back with your behind two feet away from the wall and rest your feet up against the wall. As the blood drains from the legs, blood pressure is reduced. While you’re down there, inhale normally, but slow your exhale: During exhalation, your heart rate and brain waves slow down, relaxing you.
7. Walk, jog or swim
After studying the sleep patterns of sedentary adults troubled by insomnia, researchers at Stanford University in California’s Sleep Disorders Clinic found that exercising 20 minutes every other afternoon decreased the time the insomniacs needed to fall asleep by 50 per cent.
Article source: http://aww.ninemsn.com.au/dietandhealth/healthnews/775878/seven-tips-for-deep-sleep
Image source: © Ioana Grecu | Dreamstime.com