Skip to content

How to get a Good Night’s Sleep!

Written by: Dr. Christine Davis, Naturopathic Doctor

Establishing a great sleep routine:

Develop a calming bedtime routine– try reading or meditation. Don’t read stressful or emotionally charged material as this can be more stimulating. Try a hot bath, shower or sauna about 2 hours before bedtime, keeping the water hot for at least 25 minutes to stimulate the drop in body temperature before bed. Keep household lighting dim from dinnertime until you go to sleep to prepare your body and hormones for sleep.
Establish regular sleeping hours– keeping a routine will help you maintain a regular circadian rhythm. Try to get in bed before 11 pm. The adrenals (your stress glands) renew themselves from 11pm-1am. Try slowly moving back your bedtime by 15-30 minutes until you reach this goal.
Sleep 7-9 hours a night– if you still feel tired after 9 hours, it’s time to visit your doctor to look into other sources of your fatigue.
If you can’t sleep, get up and do something else. Sometimes making a “to do list” or writing in a journal can be helpful to get things off your mind.
Create bedroom “Zen”- remove clutter, homework, calendars and anything else that could cause you stress. Use calming essential oils like lavender. Choose comfortable bedding that isn’t too warm or itchy. Remember, the bed should be used for sleeping and sex only.
Sleep nude– wearing tight clothing will increase your body temperature and interfere with melatonin release while you sleep.
See the light first thing in the morning– daylight and morning sounds are key signals that help waken your brain. Turning on lights or opening the blinds will reset your body clock and ensure that your melatonin levels drop back down, ensuring better energy throughout the day.

Things to Watch/Avoid:
Alcohol– Alcohol can impact brain chemicals as you sleep. An ounce or more two hours before bedtime can be disruptive as your body will metabolize the alcohol while you sleep. It shortens total sleep time and prevents you from falling into the deeper stages of sleep (where most healing and renewal takes place).
Fluid intake– Try to avoid fluid intake 2 hours prior to sleep to decrease those mid-sleep washroom visits.
Caffeine– Caffeine is metabolized at different rates in different people. Most people will metabolize caffeine in 4-5 hours, however some people will take much longer. If necessary try to only have caffeine in the morning. Caffeine impacts cortisol which can result in mid-sleep waking around 2-4 am.
Bedtime snacks– Try to avoid snacking 2 hours before bed. Watch out for bedtime snacks that are high in sugar or simple carbohydrates. (for example breads, cereals, muffins, cookies, or other baked goods) These foods will create a quick spike in your blood sugar levels, and a resultant drop in blood sugar. This drop in blood sugar stimulates adrenalin, glucagons, cortisol and growth hormone, all of which will stimulate the brain and keep you more awake. If you do need to eat, go for protein-rich, high-fiber snacks like a few almonds and half an apple. The protein will contain tryptophan which will be converted to serotonin and melatonin and the sugar from the apple may help the tryptophan reach your brain.
Napping- If you’re getting a good sleep at night you shouldn’t need to sleep during the day. If you must, limit nap time to 30 min.
Exercise timing– exercising fewer than 3 hours before bedtime may be too stimulating and can impede your ability to fall asleep. Yoga and strength training may not be as stimulating, but pay attention to your body on this one. Exercising 3-6 hours before sleep may actually enhance your deep sleep as your body will attempt to repair itself after the physical stress. Exercise will increase your body temperature (not good for sleep) and then slowly decrease it (good for sleep).
Alarm Clocks- waking up suddenly to the blaring wail of an alarm clock can shock your body and interrupt you in the middle of a sleep cycle. Look for a sunrise alarm clock with natural light built in that simulates a sunrise, OR an alarm that gradually gets louder, or plays soothing classical music.
Light at Night– Make your room as dark as possible. Light disrupts the circadian rhythm of the pineal gland and as a result, hinders the production of melatonin. If you go to the bathroom at night, try to keep the lights off.
Electromagnetic fields– also disrupt the pineal gland and production of melatonin and serotonin. EMFs are emitted through digital alarm clocks and other electrical devices, if you use them, leave them three feet away. Turn off the TV.
Activities– avoid stimulating activities such as watching TV, using the computer and doing work-related activities. Computers raise dopamine and noradrenalin keeping you more awake.

Sleep tight!

Advertisements
18 Comments Post a comment
  1. I have been exploring for a little for any high-quality articles or blog posts on this sort of space . Exploring in Yahoo I finally stumbled upon this site. Studying this information So i’m satisfied to express that I have a very good uncanny feeling I discovered exactly what I needed. I so much indubitably will make certain to don?t overlook this web site and give it a glance regularly.

    November 29, 2011
  2. Magnificent post, very informative. I’m wondering why the opposite specialists of this sector don’t understand this. You should continue your writing. I am confident, you’ve a great readers’ base already!|What’s Taking place i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve discovered It positively helpful and it has aided me out loads. I’m hoping to give a contribution & assist different users like its aided me. Great job.

    November 29, 2011
  3. Hello There. I discovered your weblog the use of msn. That is a really neatly written article. I’ll make sure to bookmark it and return to learn more of your helpful info. Thanks for the post. I’ll certainly return.

    November 30, 2011
  4. Hello there, I discovered your blog by means of Google even as searching for a comparable matter, your web site got here up, it seems to be great. I have bookmarked to favourites|added to my bookmarks.

    December 2, 2011
  5. I’ve been exploring for a little bit for any high-quality articles or blog posts on this kind of house . Exploring in Yahoo I ultimately stumbled upon this website. Reading this info So i am glad to express that I have a very excellent uncanny feeling I found out exactly what I needed. I most definitely will make sure to do not forget this website and give it a look regularly.

    December 6, 2011
  6. Just want to say your article is as surprising. The clearness to your post is simply spectacular and that i can suppose you’re an expert on this subject. Well with your permission let me to seize your feed to stay up to date with imminent post. Thanks one million and please keep up the enjoyable work.

    December 6, 2011
  7. Hi there, I found your site via Google at the same time as searching for a related topic, your website came up, it seems great. I have added to my favourites|added to my bookmarks.

    December 8, 2011
  8. Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read anything like this before. So good to find anyone with some unique ideas on this subject. realy thank you for beginning this up. this website is one thing that is wanted on the web, somebody with a bit of originality. useful job for bringing one thing new to the web!

    December 8, 2011
  9. Hi there, just was aware of your blog through Google, and found that it’s really informative. I’m going to watch out for brussels. I will be grateful should you continue this in future. Numerous other people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

    December 9, 2011
  10. Just wish to say your article is as amazing. The clarity in your put up is just nice and i could suppose you’re knowledgeable in this subject. Fine together with your permission let me to grab your feed to stay updated with imminent post. Thank you a million and please keep up the gratifying work.

    December 26, 2011
  11. Hi there, You have performed an excellent job. I’ll definitely digg it and personally recommend to my friends. I’m sure they will be benefited from this site.

    December 26, 2011
  12. Normally I don’t read article on blogs, however I wish to say that this write-up very forced me to check out and do so! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thank you, quite nice article.

    December 27, 2011
  13. A very helpful post Thank you very much I hope you don’t mind me writing about this post on my blog I will also link back to this post Thank you

    December 31, 2011
  14. Valuable info and exceptional style you got here! I would like to thank you for sharing your thoughts and time into the stuff you post!! Thumbs up

    January 4, 2012
  15. Realinterestingreading. Any chance that youwrite a follow up? Would be very interesting.

    January 9, 2012

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Melatonin
  2. How to increase energy | Grippd

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: