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6 MORE, of 17, Helpful Ideas to Sleep Well


6 FINAL Helpful Ideas to Sleep Well

 …and some bonus info at the end…

This is a bit longer and “information dense,” so take two or three days to try and consider all I’m mentioning here.

12.  Relax and Clear Your Mind in the Evening

Many people have a pre-sleep routine that helps them relax.

Relaxation techniques before bed have been shown to improve sleep quality and are another common technique used to treat insomnia.

In one study, a relaxing massage improved sleep quality in ill patients.

There are many strategies you could try, including listening to relaxing music, reading a book, taking a hot bath, deep breathing, sex to reach a complete release, exercise of large muscles like pushups for chest, or deep kneed squats, visualization, meditation, and/or prayer.

You can try different methods to see what you like best.

I suggest you rest on your back with a pillow under your knees. Breathe deeply into your lungs and lower abdomen.

When we breathe in the diaphragm tightens, flattens and moves down, sucking air into the lungs. As the diaphragm moves down, it pushes the abdominal contents down, which forces the abdominal wall out. When we breathe out the diaphragm relaxes, air passes out of the lungs and the abdominal wall flattens.  (More about breathing later on this page.












Abdominal (diaphragmatic) breathing exercises

Find a quiet room where you will be undisturbed for about 10–15 minutes.

  • Lie down on the bed or floor with a pillow under your knees. Undo tight clothing and remove your
    shoes. Spend a few moments settling yourself down.
  • Close your eyes, spread your feet 12–18 inches apart, and check that your head, neck and spine
    are in a straight line.
  • Focus your attention on your breathing. Do not try to change your breathing for the moment.
    Become aware of how fast or slow you are breathing, whether you are breathing with your
    chest or diaphragm. Notice whether there are any gaps or pauses between your inhalation or
  • Now, put one hand on your upper chest, and one hand on your abdomen just below your rib cage.
    Relax the shoulders and hands. As you breathe in, allow the abdomen to rise, and as you breathe
    out, allow the abdomen to flatten. There should be little or no movement in the chest.
  • Allow yourself a little time to get into a regular rhythm. It may help to imagine that as you are
    breathing in, you draw half a circle with your breath around your body, and as you breathe out,
    you complete the other half of the circle. Allow your breath to become smooth, easy and regular.
  • Now, slow down your breathing out, then be conscious of a comfortable pause before allowing
    your breaths in to follow smoothly and easily. If any distractions, thoughts or worries come into
    your mind, allow them to come, then allow them to go, and bring your attention back to your
    breathing. Each inhalation and each exhalation should take about 5-seconds with a pause between
  • them. This is the healthier way to breathe and will improve ALL of your health picture over 2 and 4 weeks getting comfortable with it
  • When you are ready to end this exercise, take a few deeper breaths in. Bring some feeling back into your fingers and toes. Open your eyes slowly, and turn over onto one side before gently sitting up.

If you are intending to sleep you may visualize walking into a relaxation place, your own private room in a fantasy house on a beach or in a garden, or a church or temple. Sit in your own chair. See in your mind’s eye the deity and speak to this personage. Ask a question, wait for an answer, finally when the conversation is finished, remain at peaceful quiet and just allow yourself to turn your mind’s eyes inward until there is only darkness and rest, deeper, deeper rest. Sleep will come to you.

14. Take a Relaxing Bath or Shower

A relaxing bath or shower is another popular way to sleep better. It should be done every evening. Here’s why:

Negative ions are odorless, tasteless, and invisible molecules that we inhale in abundance in certain environments. Think mountains, waterfalls, and beaches. Once they reach our bloodstream, negative ions are believed to produce biochemical reactions that increase levels of the mood chemical serotonin, helping to alleviate depression, relieve stress, and boost our daytime energy.

And these are a few of the reasons we see negative-ion generators being sold in stores and all over the Internet, but do they really work as well as antidepressants? Can they also relieve allergies by filtering out dust mites and dander?

It’s too early to tell for sure, there is sound science behind the concept.

Ions are molecules

Ions are molecules that have gained or lost an electrical charge. They are created in nature as air molecules break apart after being struck by sunlight. Radiation, moving air and water also will break excess electrons from an otherwise stable ion.

You may have experienced the power of negative ions when you last set foot on the beach or walked beneath a waterfall. While part of the euphoria is simply being around these beautiful settings and away from the normal pressures of home and work, the air circulating in the mountains and the beach is said to contain tens of thousands of negative ions — Much more than the average home or office building, which contain dozens or hundreds, or may register No Ions.

The action of the pounding surf creates negative air ions and we also see it immediately after spring thunderstorms when people report lightened moods, so says ion researcher Michael Terman, PhD, of Columbia University in New York.

Columbia University studies of people with winter Seasonal Affected Disorder (SAD), and chronic depression show that negative ion generators relieve depression as much as antidepressants. Research about this is on-going.

More Suggestions:

(A)  Burn beeswax candles. They clean the air, produce negative ions, and assist with allergy and asthma reduction.

(B)  Run an indoor water fountain.    The force or energy of falling water causes the neutral particles in air to split which frees electrons to attach to other air molecules resulting in negative ions. If a fountain in the bedroom doesn’t seem quite right perhaps a small fountain within a fish tank might appeal more. The sound of water falling down a few rocks into the lower half of the tank might be appealing.

There are several plants that will help us sleep better too.

  • Aloe Vera (Aloe vera) …
  • Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens) …
  • Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii) …
  • Bromeliad (Bromeliaceae) …
  • Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) …
  • Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema) …
  • English Ivy (Hedera helix) …
  • Gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides)
  • Lavender (Lavandula) Lavender is a popular bedroom plant often used to help create a relaxing environment and induce better sleep

Studies have shown that for many, these ideas improve overall sleep quality. You’ll fall asleep faster, and this is especially excellent for those of us who have passed our 65th birthday.  

In one study, a hot bath 90 minutes before bed improved sleep quality and helped participants get greater amounts of deep sleep.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to take a full bath at night, studies have shown that just soaking your feet in hot water for a few minutes can help you relax and improve sleep.

15.  Rule Out a Sleep Disorder

An underlying health condition may be the cause of your sleep problems.

One common issue is sleep apnea, which causes inconsistent and interrupted breathing. People with this disorder stop breathing repeatedly while sleeping. It is often related to snoring.

This condition may be more common than you might expect. One review found that 24 percent of men and 9 percent of women had sleep apnea.

Other common medically diagnosed issues include sleep movement disorders and circadian rhythm sleep/wake disorders, which are common in shift workers.

If you’ve always struggled with sleep, it may be wise to speak to a doctor about it.

16.  Be sure you have a Comfortable Bed, Mattress and Pillows

Some people wonder why they always sleep better in a hotel. Well, apart from the relaxing environment, bed quality can also have an effect.

One study looked at the benefits of a new mattress for 28 days. They found it

  • reduced back pain by 57 percent,
  • shoulder pain by 60 percent,
  • back stiffness by 59 percent and
  • improved sleep quality by 60 percent.

That’s a lot of percent…. The next time you think, “Oh but a new bed is expensive,” consider what you would pay for a therapist to work on you once every week for the next 10-years. I’m jesting, but really, if your bed is bad your spine needs a good shape for you to sleep well.

If you were made of glass and we could see through you, we would like to see, lying on your side, that your shoulders and hips sink and the rest of the spine remains straight.

Part of this can be corrected with positioning. Part of it can be corrected with a long pillow between your knees and down to also support your feet. If you’re lying on your side that pillow will reduce hip joint strain and the muscles around the hip joint will rest and then the rest of your body will relax.

Several studies have found that new bedding can enhance sleep. Additionally, poor-quality bedding can lead to increased lower-back pain.

The best mattress and bedding is extremely subjective. If you are upgrading your bedding, base your choice on personal preference.

In the US the expensive TV advertising promotes box spring mattresses, but truth is, you can be very comfortable on a 4” thick foam of good quality or 3” foam with a 1” thick softer top layer. That combination you can actually build and customize yourself, and then hand sew blankets, sheets, or big towels to make a mattress cover, or buy a 3” thick mattress and then another thinner, softer foam mattress to make 1 or 2 layers of softer foam on top. You could end up with the best bed at a much reduced expense.

It is recommended that you upgrade your bedding at least every 5–8 years.

If you haven’t replaced your mattress or bedding for several years, this can be a very quick repair and a great improvement.

Another nice benefit is that a foam mattress can, in a small room, stand against a wall behind a couch or lie on a table that is hinged to the wall and folds away during the day allowing more space for other purposes.

Your improved mattress and pillow can greatly impact sleep quality, health quality, and reduce or eliminate joint and/or back pain.

16. Exercise Regularly

Exercise is one of the best science-backed ways to improve your sleep and health. Many say, “But Not Before Bed.” However at least for me, a little pre-sleep exercise is a big help in falling asleep faster.

Exercise can enhance all aspects of sleep and has been used to reduce symptoms of insomnia.

One study in more mature people found that exercise nearly halved the amount of time it took to fall asleep and helped them sleep 41 minutes longer at night.

In insomnia patients with severe issues, exercise provided more benefits than most drugs. Exercise reduced

  • time to fall asleep by 55 percent,
  • total night awake time by 30 percent,
  • anxiety by 15 percent and
  • increased total sleep time by 18 percent.

Although daily exercise is key for a good night’s sleep, performing it too late in the day may also cause problems falling asleep for some people.

This is due to the stimulation effect of exercise, which increases alertness and hormones like epinephrine or adrenaline. However, some studies show no detrimental effects, so it clearly depends on the individual.

Regular exercise during daylight hours is one of the best ways to ensure a good night’s sleep.

17.  Don’t Drink Any Liquids Before Bed

Nocturia is the medical term for the need to urinate during the night. It affects sleep quality and daytime energy.

Drinking large amounts of liquids before bed can lead to similar symptoms, though some people are more sensitive than others. Coffee and tea can be a bad habit after 5 PM.

Although hydration is vitally important, it is wise to reduce your fluid intake in the late evening.


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