How To Sleep and Rest Better
by Nancy Addison CHC, AADP
Sleep can become a problem in today’s high paced, stressed-out world.
It’s World Sleep Day, and so I’m addressing a vital part of our lives and our well-being.
I’ve heard more and more people of all ages tell me how they can’t get to sleep, and that they have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.
In addition to this, as we get older, we don’t produce as much melatonin, which is what helps us sleep. If we don’t have enough melatonin, our body will pull it from our serotonin reserve in order to make it. You can buy melatonin as a supplement at the store. It comes in different strengths (one to three milligrams).
Dr. Gary Massad has researched melatonin and sleep problems in depth. He told me that the studies show that if you take half a milligram of melatonin around three in the afternoon and then another half gram again about an hour before bedtime, it will work most effectively.
If a melatonin supplement is taken, then it saves the store of serotonin, which affects our mood. If you aren’t draining it, you will have more serotonin to help with positive moods. Melatonin works much better with ample vitamin B in your system. If you are concerned about vitamin B—if you are a vegan or vegetarian—take a good whole-food vitamin B supplement.
Some think that a vitamin B spray under the tongue is the best type of supplement source, because it is absorbed better and faster. Other hormone imbalances can also disrupt our sleep patterns, so have your doctor check you for any hormone imbalance or a vitamin deficiency.
I recommend only using a vitamin from a whole food source. I do not recommend ever taking synthetic vitamins.
You might also listen to recorded sounds of rain or ocean waves to help with sleep. They can relax your mind. Experiment to find out what works best for you. In fact, what works for you might change from time to time.
What Can Help You Sleep?
- Eat a light, comforting early supper.
- Exercise and breathe deeply.
- Make the bedroom a place of peace and tranquility, with as little radiation, annoying noise, and light as possible.
- Write down your list of things you must do tomorrow. This will get all those thoughts out of your brain about the next day.
- Think calming thoughts that are positive, uplifting, and filled with gratitude and thankfulness for 20 minutes right before bedtime.
- Write down five things that you are grateful for, or five miracles that happened to you or your child today, or five things that you want to happen tomorrow. Focus on the most positive things you can. (I found this was a perfect time for me to put these in my children’s baby books for them for the future, so they read about what they were doing as they grew up. First words, steps, discoveries, accomplishments, food favorites, people they met, funny events, and more.)
- Get your hormones, adrenals, and vitamin levels checked for deficiency or see if a supplement like melatonin helps.
- Stay hydrated.
- Read a good book, with a positive message.
- Try a sleep CD to help relax the mind and body.
- If your mattress is more than 10 years old, consider replacing it. Falling asleep and waking up with well-rested starts with a quality mattress.