Here is another article written a few years ago. It was a part of my ongoing puzzle to solving the insomnia riddle. Learning about environmental toxicity led me to reading about the purported health effects from exposure to electromagnetic fields, (EMF.) Reducing these fields in the bedroom made a significant difference in the quality of my sleep.
Hopefully, there is at least one tip in this included article post that will help you to improve your sleep. This tips are not a part of our "Sleep Like a Baby" program, but we often share this article with clients suffering from insomnia. Many have found these tips helpful. Hopefully, you will, too.
Insomnia is often an unexplainable condition with a simple description: You either can’t fall asleep or you wake up wide-awake and can’t get back to sleep. Sometimes the solution is a quick fix, other times it’s a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.
So, what’s a reasonable night’s worth of sleep? Most doctors agree that it is about 7.5 hours. The amount of sleep required for each individual may vary, usually from about 6-9 hours. If you wake to feel refreshed, then you’ve slept enough.
There are two significant factors which cause most insomniacs to suffer from an almost incurable sleep deprivation...
1. Depression – the elephant in the room! Depression is the most common cause of insomnia. Be open to the possibility and talk to your doctor. There’s a multitude of courses of action one can take, with or without the need for anti-depressants.
2. Stress – the other elephant in the room. There are all types of stress in our lives. Take an inventory. Figure our what you can and can’t control. Implement small steps towards making some changes or shifts in your life. Find something that you look forward to doing. Maybe start a new project that has a potential for some new experiences or income. Again, if your stress persists, then talk to your doctor or health professional.
The following tips have worked for many people I know. Hopefully, that they will prove useful and effective for you.
38 Self-Tested and Proven Tips:
...not necessarily in order.
1. Try to set up an evening sleep ritual. In other words; develop a scheduled pattern of behavior preceding bedtime. Begin this at least one-hour preceding sleep-time. This includes no screen viewing of any kind. It's important to reset your circadian rhythms.
2. Make a list of everything that you need to do for the next day. Put the list in the same place every night and let it go. That means that you’ve done everything you can do today. Tomorrow is a new day to work the list.
3. Refrain from eating or drinking anything sweet three hours before bedtime. Most say no alcohol, but a wee dram of whiskey is OK. There are no initial sugars in whiskey, unlike wine, only when it processes during digestion, and this isn’t significant.
4. In theory, deleting all caffeine from one’s diet should help with insomnia. Chinese masters of Chi Energy (Life Force) believe that stimulants disturb the balance of Chi by “tricking” the adrenal glands. (Chinese Doctor T.K. Shih)
However, many insomniacs have a limited success from the omission of caffeine. It’s best to avoid the afternoon or evening cup unless you’ve been drinking coffee all day. In this case, like other stimulants, after the first dose or two, they tend to act more as depressants. The drinker may think that they’re getting the lift from the caffeine, but it’s the water in the coffee that’s giving them the energy boost. Dehydration from the previous cups of coffee was the likely cause of tiredness.
5. Many insomniacs also have GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease.) Some call it acid reflux disease. If you’re thinking about buying stock in Tums, then you probably have it! Refrain from eating spicy foods and sweet desserts in the evening. (“Shh, Don’t tell my daughter that dessert is food!”) If this is keeping you from falling asleep, or you’re waking with a sore throat, then you need to get this under control! I highly recommend seeing your doctor for diagnoses. However, I recommend to NOT take any PPI blockers (proton pump inhibitors.) These will not only stop the acid reflux but cause a whole slew of health problems if taken more than a few times. ELEXANA can help.
6. Resolve any conflicts or fights with your wife, children, or girlfriend before retiring for the evening. (Try not to argue in the bedroom. That’s for sleeping, and you know what.)
7. Take a long hot shower in the evening, Be sure to use a wash cloth to scrub off all the dead skin cells. Get your feet and ankles scrubbed clean! This will all help you relax. I like to include an old-fashioned wet-shave with a shave brush, double or single edge razor, and all the trimmings…Thayer’s Witch Hazel and homemade-natural-organic after-shave balm.
8. Put on 100% cotton pajama bottoms and either a loose fitting T-shirt, sweatshirt, pajama top or no top at all. Lose the elastic. No tight underwear. Having the legs covered helps with Restless Leg Syndrome. Also, try sleeping naked.
9. Ah, the day’s work is done. Now it’s time to completely RELAX. Enjoy the flavor notes of a slowly sipped dram or, if you don’t drink alcohol have a cup of warm milk, chamomile tea, or Celestial Seasoning’s Sleepytime Tea.
10. Resist watching the T.V. and all other screens before bedtime, especially news or sports shows. Instead, read a relaxing book. No, not a page turner! Or, relax to some soothing music.
11. Before bedtime, make it a habit of flossing and brushing your teeth. Brush your tongue. Use a mouthwash or salt water. (Look into oil-pulling using coconut oil.)
12. Go to bed by 10 P.M. The earlier the better. If possible, at the same time each night. My doctor says that each hour of sleep before midnight is like getting two regular hours of sleep after midnight. I find this to be true for me.
13. Sleep in a cool room. Not too hot, not too cold.
14. Leave a window cracked at the top to let in some fresh air.
15. Use a “Stay-Cool” pillow.
16. Use a Green Latex mattress with no metal springs or metal frame. Coco-Mat is a great company.
17. Use clean cotton sheets and pillow cases. Many single guys will go too long before changing their set-up. Dead skin cells, oils, saliva, bacteria, and who knows what else.
18. Use an organic moisturizing cream on your hands and feet. These appendages tend to dry out faster than other parts of the body. The moisturizer will help you relax.
19. If you’re a side sleeper, then support your back with another pillow.
20. Keep a container of water by the bed in case you wake up thirsty, this way you won’t have to get out of bed and stir yourself up. be sure use use fluoride-free water.
21. Keep the bedroom as dark as possible. If you can’t get it completely dark, then use a silk face mask.
22. Have thick bedroom curtains. These will not only help to keep the room darker and muffle outside noise, but will also insulate the bedroom from draft or summer heat (providing you use air conditioning – which we do use in NYC.)
23. Keep a flashlight near the bed, in case you have to urinate in the middle of the night. If it’s more than once, then you either drank too much before bedtime or you need to see your doctor.
24. If your room isn’t completely quiet, or your spouse talks in their sleep, wear soft foam ear plugs. I like the Hearos or the 3M’s.
25. Try not to lie on your left side. This makes your heart work harder. There have been times where my heart was beating so strongly that the vibration to the mattress would wake me.
26. If you can’t fall asleep, then try grandma’s recipe…a cup of warm milk. This works for our daughter, every time.
27. If you feel that your feet are still sore and your on-call masseuse is not available…either try soaking them in a small tub of hot water and Epsom salt, or try rubbing Tiger Balm on the soles of your feet and cover with a loose pair of white socks. You’ll wake feeling like you just had a foot massage!
28. Not falling asleep right away…close your eyes and imagine you are at a beautiful remote beach in the caribbean. (Leave the bikinis out.)
29. Another technique is to slowly breathe in, hold for an 8 count, then release, hold for an 8 count. Repeat this ten times. It will calm your body and slow the heart rate.
30. A third calming technique is to meditate on your breath and calmly dismiss, or release of any thoughts.
31. If you wake up and it’s still too early, don’t turn on a screen. Rather, go eat a bowl of a unsweetened cereal with milk. In 15 minutes, you’ll be sleepy, again.
32. Try using bed risers to raise the head of your bed 7-12 degrees. This will help with acid reflux. (Yes, we can also fix hiatal hernias, naturally.)
33. Add an air purifier to your bedroom, 6-8 feet away from your bed. It will help to improve your breathing during the night by eliminating dust and pollutants.
34. get plenty of natural blue light at sunrise and sunset. This is the light that promotes the production of melatonin.
35. Buy Ra Optics blue blockers to use when you are indoors using artificial light which deplete min opsin, the portion that is in process to making melatonin. Here’s a link for a 10% discount: Ra Optics
36. If you don’t have a good night’s sleep, after trying all of this, then be sure to exercise the next day. Or, at least get in a 40-60-minute walk. Regular exercise will definitely help mitigate sleep issues. Then, review these steps.
If sleeplessness persists, go see your doctor. Find out if the insomnia is being caused by having a medical issue. Bear in mind, sleep meds have side-effects. Insomnia can be solved naturally. Keep reading.
37. As we begin to sense that nighttime is approaching, the pineal gland release smelatonin. This chemical helps us sleep. If your pineal gland is calcified, then it may not function properly. (Many senior citizens think that sleep issues are a natural result of aging, but these are often because the pineal gland has become calcified over the years.) Taking chlorella and practicing proper nutrition is a good place to start to beginning decalcification. Seeing a nutritionist or having a consultation with us is also advised. (Please note: using melatonin from the health food store is an ill-advised option. After a time, this form of melatonin will render ineffective and actually inhibit your body’s ability to produce melatonin naturally.)
Also, the photons emitted from digital screens are picked up by the pineal gland through the retina. These short packets of energy bursts confuse the pineal gland into thinking it is still daytime and you will delay natural melatonin production.
Keep in mind, even if you have success with your new sleep-prep habits, you may still have occasional insomnia. Try not to stress about it.
If you have difficulties implementing these steps or sticking to a disciplined regimen, you may consider working with a cognitive behavioral therapist.
Sleep deprivation can put a huge tax on the quality of one's health. It not only affects coordination, energy levels, memory, patience, and focus…but, it can also cause long-term damage to the heart and auto-immune system.
Step up and take the necessary action to end your insomnia and move towards an improved life. Good night!
…And, here is the new additional point which has proven to be the coup de grace for many:
38. (added July 18, 2017) Turn off your Wi-Fi and cell phones before your bed time ritual. There are many more things you can do that are related to this point which can be accessed through consultation with us. We can reduce your accumulation of EMF exposure through the day, improve production and supply of all neurotransmitters related to sleep function, and much more. All insomnia cases are different but we are all human with a common anatomy.
If you do have sleep issues, I urge you to try these tips and contact us if you continue to struggle. You are not alone.
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