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Thursday, June 7, 2007

A Good Night's Sleep is Essential for Managing Your Stress

Sleep is essential just as essential as food, air and water. But, some people have difficulty attaining the sleep they need. Statistics indicate that one in three adults have difficulty with sleep or insomnia in their lifetime. Tonight we will focus on some information to help you get a good night’s sleep.

What typically keeps us from sleeping?
• Body noise. Side effects of medications, stimulants, caffeine, alcohol
• Mind noise. Anxiety or repressed emotions from the day
• Bed noise. Environmental 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
exercise 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 for non-sleepers?
• Take a warm bath and never a shower before bed
• Dim the lights an hour before bedtime to stimulate dusk.
• Try to stretch and relax—read a boring book or watch a boring show.
• Make sure you don’t eat right before you sleep—try to eat 4 hours before you
go to sleep
• 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
• Don’t watch anything disturbing before bed—horror movies, shooting/dramas or
anything that will keep your mind going overtime.

Lastly do you have some suggestions for enhancing sleep environments?
• Keep the room at around 60 degrees and pile on another blanket
• Keep humidity in the room
• Try to have white noise or a fan running or music to block out disruptive
• Keep the room as dark as possible. Light suggests it is time to wake up.

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