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Friday, February 27, 2009

Is your mind keeping you awake all night?


The economy is in a downhill recession, our 401s are decreasing, people are losing their jobs, anxiety is rising and Americans are having difficulty focusing on anything positive. When we are worried, a common symptom is the loss of sleep. Sleep may be as food, air and water, but more and more of us are having trouble calming our minds and getting a good night’s rest.

What typically keeps us from sleeping?

• Body noise. Side effects of medications, stimulants, caffeine, alcohol
• Mind noise. Anxiety, worry or repressed emotions from the day
• Bed noise. Enviornmental noise from outside, feeling hot, uncomfortable.

What are the five basic strategies for preventing insomnia?
1. Never oversleep. Get up at the same time every day even after you have lost sleep. Sleeping late just resets your body clock to a different cycle.
2. Set your body clock. Light helps restart your body clock to its daytime phase. When you get up get some sunlight or turn on all the lights in your room. Make sure you walk around to get oxygen to your brain.
3. Exercise. Keep active during the day—especially after a bad night’s sleep. When you sleep less you should be more active the next day. Try strenuous excise in late afternoon.
4. Don’t nap. When you feel sleepy go take a walk or do errands.
5. Set a bedtime schedule. Try to go to bed at the same time each night. If you have lost sleep the night before, go to bed a little later not earlier and then move it back to its original time.

Are there any other tips that might help us get a good night’s rest?
1. Some little all natural basics :
o Take a warm bath and never a shower before bed
o Dim the lights an hour before bedtime to stimulate dusk. And keep that room as dark as possible.
o Try to stretch and relax—read a boring book or watch a boring show.
o Make sure you don’t eat right before you sleep—try to eat 4 hours before you go to sleep
o Try warm milk at bedtime, which stimulates the serotonin in your body. Try a piece of whole-wheat bread or other carbohydrates. Avoid coffee, colas, tea, chocolate and fermented cheese cheddar cheese, avocados and red wines
2. Calm your mind by making sure you journal, talk to a friend about any concerns, and use prayers, meditation or other techniques to calm your mind so you can get a good night’s rest.

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