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30-Day Self-Care Challenge – Day 17

Do you get enough deep, high quality sleep?  If you don’t you’re more likely to overeat, get sick, be crabby, and be accident prone. 

One of the biggest challenges my clients have with sleep is getting to bed early enough.  They want to stay up late to get things done.  Or they want a little time to themselves after everyone else is asleep. 

Have you noticed, though, that once you stay up beyond 10:30 or so, you start having the munchies and you get a second wind and can’t fall asleep?  That’s because, according to Ayurvedic medicine, your digestive fires heat up again.  Getting on a regular sleep schedule helps bring the body in balance.

How do you get good sleep?
Over time I’ve figured out several things that help me get good sleep:

  • Go to sleep at about the same time every night.
  • Make getting to sleep a priority.
  • Wear an eye mask to block out any light.  You can purchase these in the pharmacy section of any discount store.
  • Make sure the room temperature is comfortable.  I use a small fan to keep the air circulating so I don’t get too warm.
  • Wear ear plugs if you’re a light sleeper.  They won’t block out noises that you need to hear.
  • Don’t work or watch TV right up until bedtime.  Your brain needs quiet time to “download” events that occurred during the day.  If you go to bed without allowing this down time, your brain will start this processing while you’re trying to sleep.  One way or another, your brain needs time to process the day’s events–why not make it while you’re awake?
  • Don’t rely on sleeping pills.  Occasional use won’t hurt, but if you regularly can’t sleep, get to the heart of the problem.  Sleeping pills are powerful drugs, and they can have side effects, including changing the kind and quality of sleep you get.  My mother fell and broke her leg after getting up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.  She was still under the influence of a sleeping pill and got disoriented.  She has vowed to stay off them.
  • As you start to wind down in the evening, take a hot bath or shower, or sip a cup of Sleepy Time tea with camomile.  It will help your body and brain slow down.  Camomile is an herb, and there are no negative side effects.
  • I read something inspirational for 20-30 minutes before bed and that almost always gets me in the mood to sleep peacefully.

If you’d like to get more sleep, create a comfortable evening sleep routine.  Routines help us stay in balance. 

I know I’ve just scratched the surface of ways to get a good night’s sleep.  What can you add to my list?

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