Getting the Sleep We Need Every Night

Different kinds of sleep problems examined

How much sleep do you really need and how to go about getting It? Eight hours is the commonly touted average, but some people can get by on as few as six hours a night.  Any less than this, however and sleep deprivation will start to kick in. This means daytime drowsiness, increased hunger and less immune function, to name just a few. The need to sleep is as important as the need to eat and drink, but many try to cut back in this area.

The video on page 2 tackles the different kinds of sleep problems that occur most frequently. The first and perhaps most common is the “busy mind syndrome” as I like to call it. This is where your mind keeps going over and over the events of the day and is almost impossible to turn off.

The best way to deal with a busy mind is to practice some form of relaxation throughout the day as well as before bed. These are not time consuming and you can fit them into your day without too much trouble. When exercising (which is relaxing in itself) try a yoga session instead of going to the gym. Yoga is great for promoting relaxation and is good for your body too. Deep breathing can be done at any time as is a quick way to diffuse stress in the body. Simply breathe deeply into the stomach slowly, hold and breathe out again. This will stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system which allows the body to relax.

Sleep minerals?

The foods we eat can also affect how we sleep. Lack of calcium and magnesium and other trace minerals can lead to tightness of ther muscles and a tight body leads to an unrelaxed mind which can’t let go and slip into sleep. You can take a mineral supplement to obtain these minerals, but beware of calcium as supplements can cause health problems. What I do is take a magnesium supplement and try and obtain my calcium from food.

What to do when you wake up in the middle of the night? This can be frustrating when you can’t get back to sleep. A little known fact is that processes within the body’s organs can actually wake you up. For instance if you wake frequently at around 3am, that’s the time when the liver starts to detox. If the liver is carrying a large toxic load, this process could be enough to cause you to awaken. A diet high in fat and protein can be hard on the liver and including more vegetables in the diet may help. Milk thistle will cleanse the liver and drinking lots of water will help too.

Speaking of water, quite often those with “smaller” bladders need to get up in the night to visit the bathroom. Do most of your drinking before dinner if you can. Also watch your salt intake at night. A high salt meal will make you thirsty. Remember to make sure you go to the bathroom before you go to bed too!

One comment on “Getting the Sleep We Need Every Night

  1. Relaxation is the key to calm down the ‘busy mind’ what is the primitive stage of sleeping. Sometimes I feel I’m blessed that I have no problem of sleeping where many of us can’t take a sound sleep frequently. I hope your this contribution will assist the sufferers highly. Thanks for the feature with the clipping.

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