Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Problems Sleeping? Turn Off That Blue Light and 5 Other Natural Solutions

Did you know that more than 60% of Americans report having problems sleeping (according to the Sleep Foundation)? Add to that the fact that at least 25% of people in the US take some form of sleep medication, and most still don't get enough sleep (6 hours or less).



All of these problems sleeping are not good for us, especially since sleep deprivation can result in:
  • 32% decrease in daytime alertness
  • poor memory and cognitive function
  • poor quality of life
  • stress in relationships
  • auto accidents--100,000 automobile crashes, 71,000 injuries, and 1,550 fatalities (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
Yowza! Luckily, if you have problems sleeping there are natural solutions that can help you get the eight or more hours of beauty sleep that your body really needs to rest, rejuvenate, and recover each night!

Natural Solutions for People Who Have Problems Sleeping
So get this: blue light, such as the kind from smart phones or PDAs, have been shown by research to interfere with natural sleep. Of course, other types of light don't help, either, but in our modern society blue light is a big-time culprit when it comes to sleep problems. One way to get a better night's sleep is to turn off all electronic devices that emit a blue light (don't forget the television), and cover any electronics that you can't turn off. In addition, we have five other natural solutions that can help you get a better night's sleep!

Tip #1: Take Short Naps
Many people take naps when they hit that afternoon slump. However, research shows that naps can definitely interfere with sleep during the night. If you must nap, take a short 20 minute power snooze in your chair rather than going down for several hours. This may relieve your problems with sleeping at night. Better yet, instead of napping, go out for a brisk walk around the block or chat with a co-worker for 20 minutes or so to get yourself motivated again.

Tip #2: Take Bifidus at Night
Bifidus (also called Bifidobacterium) is one the friendly forms of bacteria that live in your large intestine. This form of bacteria not only helps you with digestion, but also produces the calming and soothing B-vitamins that can help you relax and wind down at night. Bifidus is one of the biggest sources of immunity during a child's first two years of life. It's no wonder that it is present in mother's milk as well as in the birth canal during birth. On a mental-emotional level, Bifidus is linked with feelings of self-esteem, as well as feeling supported and nurtured in life. All of these factors combined make bifidus a perfect natural solution for those who have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.

Tip #3: Create Your Own Bedtime Ritual
Routine can make a huge difference when it comes to sleeping through the night. One of the ways to create routine around sleep is to come up with your own bedtime ritual. Whether you take a warm bath with aromatherapy oils, read something soothing, meditate, or drink a warm glass of milk, taking the time to intentionally create calm and peace before you go to bed will help you sleep better at night. If your mind just won't stop at night, some experts suggest writing down all your worries and jotting quick solutions or ideas next to each worry. Promise yourself that you will return to these thorny life issues tomorrow, and then go to bed with the full intention of sleeping deeply and waking refreshed. Your intention has a lot to do with how well you conquer your problems sleeping at night.

Tip #4: Skip That Heavy Meal
One mistake that many Americans make at night is eating a heavy meal right before bed. Digestion requires a lot of energy, and can definitely interfere with sleep. Not only will a heavy meal keep your body awake and working, you may also suffer from symptoms of indigestion like acid reflux, stomach discomfort, gas, or bloating. Instead, focus on eating a light and healthy dinner at least one hour before bed. To assist your body with digestion, you may also want to supplement your meal with extra enzymes. Extra enzymes reduce the workload on your digestive system, ensuring a good night's sleep.

Tip #5: Stay Out of Bed Except for Sleep or Sex
Some of the people who have the worst problems sleeping have the bad habit of bringing all kinds of activities to bed other than sleep or sex. For instance, many people watch TV in bed, work in bed, read in bed, work on the computer in bed, or talk on the phone in bed. All of these activities "program" your body to be active while in bed when what you really want to do is rest and unwind in bed (or have a good snuggle). To get a better night's sleep, reserve the bed for just two activities, and do everything else in your living room, den, office, or family room!

Try these simple lifestyle changes and see if they don't help you get a better night's beauty rest! These tips are simple, relaxing, and can help you better unwind from a stressful day!

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