Many people drag through the day, make mistakes, and feel unhappy or lethargic when they dont get a good nights sleep. Sleeping properly is a really important aspect of life that you shouldnt ignore or neglect. It can make a big difference in helping you to feel terrific when you wake up and are able to face your day with the best energy possible.
Studies show that people who dont get enough sleep have a harder time resisting the temptations to eat fattening foods. Getting enough sleep helps you to have better metabolism and be more able to stick to your weight loss goals. It also helps your immune system and gives your body the ability to fight things off.
I like to be rested so I can do well at my job. I know how wiped out I can be to face my day if I dont take care of myself. There are nine things that Ive found to be very helpful. Try them and see if you can also get the best nights sleep possible.
1. Be careful with concentrated protein.
I think this is the biggest thing. The right diet will help you sleep more restfully. Eliminating the excessive eating of animal products makes a huge difference for many people. I know that cutting way back on concentrated proteins from animals works wonders because so many people who have taken my classes say that they sleep so much better for a substantial amount of hours better when they do this and even the snoring disappears.
For optimum results, its best to completely eliminate animal products like meats, cheese, eggs, milk, fish, and any animal ingredient, then only have them sparingly or reserve them as good survival foods in an emergency. I dont know the exact reason why this is so, but it is. This is an area that hasnt been explored scientifically as far as I know except that the people who switch their diet notice it.
As long as you get enough to eat of grains, beans, vegetables, fruits, or seeds, you will be getting enough protein for good health. All plant foods have protein. You dont have to believe me or take my word for it. Just try it for yourself. Take a couple of weeks and just try it. Then make a comment here about how it worked for you.
2. Go to bed earlier.
Its really important for the best healing possible to try to start sleeping as early before midnight/12:00 a.m. as possible. Those hours are healing for the body. Its a special time of better rejuvenation and repair of the body. You can try 7, 8, 9, 10, 10:30.
Maybe you consider yourself a night owl. It may seem natural for you, but it is not good for you, your health, your heart or mood in actuality. And you should do everything possible to reverse this harmful habit. Start taking small steps if you have to by winding down sooner each night.
Remember the saying, early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, and wealthy, and wise. That is very true for better health, better brain function, and better productivity and ideas.
3. Pray yourself to sleep.
Typically, people think that they have to kneel at the bed and pray before getting on the bed and it is very special to kneel. But, any form of prayer is acceptable to God. You can pray standing up, sitting, or laying down with your eyes open or closed, your words vocal or in your mind. Heavenly Father loves all His children and hears all prayers.
Praying while lying down to sleep is good for helping you get to sleep and helps you to drift off to sleep more peacefully and have good dreams. Just focus on the prayer, dont think about trying to get to sleep or youll get too nervous. Give God your worries, your thanks, whatever you feel like youd like to talk about and before long youll be driftin off to a deep sleep. This works best if youre not nervous about falling asleep, if you start early enough and can just focus on praying.
Here is a mormon scripture from the Book of Mormon about how this technique helps. Its in Alma 37. Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings and he will direct thee for good. Yea, when thou liest down at night, lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.
4. Try to Focus on Restful Counting and breathing.
If worst comes to worst and you are super nervous and you really need sleep bad, but you just cant because you have got too much on your mind. Or, you just cant relax because you need sleep so bad and are just too nervous to sleep. You can try this little strategy that I discovered for myself. It works if you force yourself to stop thinking and start relaxing by counting, breathing deep. You have to really FOCUS on this. While counting, notice how you are tired and sleepy or any part of your body that is sleepy.
For each breath out, you count slowly. You breath deeply, calmly, and slowly in and out. On each breath out, count a slow one, then next a slow two. While counting focus your mind on the part of your body that might be tired; your eyes, your legs, your forehead, wherever there is tiredness. Just focus on any tiredness and that area, the increasing sleepiness while you breath deeply and count.
You have to stop the racing thoughts, force yourself to do these steps and you will be able to fall asleep. You might have to make a goal to make it to 100 before you can change position. For example, count to 100 on your right side, then 100 on your back, then 100 on your left side. If you can really focus, it shouldnt take that long though. And, I have found that I can fall asleep anytime day or night with this method. Its a way to get to sleep when you know you need it, but are stressed, nervous, or worried about time constraints and pressures.
5. Take More Melatonin
Melatonin is a natural hormone that people tend to have less of as they get older. It is a necessary hormone to be able to sleep restfully. There are melatonin supplements that you can buy over the counter at your local pharmacy. You dont need a prescription and these pills are entirely safe with no side effects, except for drowsiness, deep sleep, and good dreams. I have heard of Melatonin from my dad and others, but I havent had a need yet to try it.
I recently attended a great class by Phil Fons. He is in his late 80s and teaches awesome classes about how to have a healthy heart and avoid cancer. His wife Evelyn has been having troubles getting sleep and her doctor told her to take Melatonin. He said to increase the dosage past the recommended one per night until she found the amount that would work for her. He also said that they are safe and with absolutely no side effects. She knows that in order to be healthy, you have to get enough sleep and as you get older, that can be hard. She started out taking one and that didnt do the trick, so then she upped the dose according to her doctors advice. Now, she just takes 3 or 4 in order to get them to work for her. That amount gives the best effect.
Phil and Evelyn are two of the healthiest senior citizens I know. They dont have to take flu shots because they know how to take care of their health and he saved her from stage 4 liver cancer many years ago by studying up and trying alternative methods like wheat grass juice, sprouts, and raw foods. They do their homework and figure out the best sources for information on health. You can try their advice to use more melatonin since only one pill may not be effective.
6. Be Physically Active During the Day.
Physical activity during the day can make you more tired, so you can get to sleep easier. When I spend 3-4 hours on a class; getting ready for for it, teaching, and clean up, I can really sleep more soundly that night. So, do what you can to make yourself more tired. Maybe the reason you cant sleep is because you dont need it as much, you havent done much but sit around all day. Exercise during the day will help you to sleep more restfully at night.
7. Make a Restful Environment.
Studies have show that sleeping in complete darkness is more restful. Turning out all the lights, putting blankets over the windows covering up lights of an alarm clock helps the room to be totally dark. And, if there is quiet it helps. But, if there is noise, you need to learn to accept and tune it out if you cant control it. You can also imagine the noise to be soothing and feel sleepier. Get comfortable, have a comfortable bed, use body pillows, wear loose clothing. Be warm. Wear slippers and a winter hat if you have to.
8. Stay Awake During the Day
Being careful during the day and night will help to train your body to sleep when it is time to sleep. If you need to be awake during the day for your job, then you need to avoid naps during the day during vacations or weekends. Its OK to take a nap if you are tired, but you could be setting your body cycle to be sleepy again at that time the next day. It can throw off your sleep cycle so you are not sleepy that night, it can be hard to be alert at work if you are sleepy and needing your usual afternoon nap. However, naps are great and sometimes really needed to be able to function better if you want to be more awake that night. Busy moms need to catch some sleep whenever they get a chance.
9. Be Careful with Night Wakefulness
Many people wake up during the middle of the night and then they cant get back to sleep. If you dont have a day job, you can just wake up and read a book or do something, but if you have a job during the day, you will be sleepy and not function as well during the waking hours if you get up too much. Minimizing activity during the sleeptimes can help train your body. Avoid waking yourself up too much. Lay there if you can instead of getting up.
Be careful if you have to get up for a drink or bathroom trip that you hurry back to bed so you dont get all woke up and alert. If you break the sleepiness it will be harder to get back to sleep. I pay attention to how I feel when I wake up in the middle of the night. If I feel sleepy or my eyes and body arent totally awake, then I know for certain that I still need more sleep. Getting up or laying there awake can cause the sleepiness to go away. Sometimes, you can make yourself sleepy with a book that relaxes you and helps you get sleepy.
It is worth it to get enough sleep on a regular basis. You will have a stronger immune system, you will have better metabolism, self control and success with your weight loss efforts, you will be alert and better able to have your brain functioning at top capacity, you will be able to do better with all the little details of life and work. And, best of all you will feel more energetic, happier, and healthier. I like not getting sick, being able to do my job well, and feeling good.
Getting to sleep naturally will help you to avoid the unhealthful side effects of sleep medications and keep your liver clean from the toxins of drugs. You can try getting to sleep more easily with these natural methods. Use the daylight to be active and worried. Use the nighttime to relax and have some rejuvenating deep sleep and good dreams.