(NaturalNews) In the 1930s, people slept on average nine hours per night. Today, many of us struggle to sleep seven hours without any interruption. The constant over-stimulation, the long working hours and the information overload have left us often cranky and permanently exhausted. To bring ourselves back into sync with the Earth`s natural rhythms we need to realise that good quality sleep comes with a slower-paced and more natural lifestyle. By integrating the Good Sleep Principles into your lifestyle typical symptoms such as the ones below will disappear:
- Forgetfulness, - Itching, - Headaches, - Neck and Back tension, - Lack of focus
We almost consider these to be the norm. And one could argue that it is indicative of our times that if we don`t see the immediate "cause and effect" we tend to dismiss the risk, or at least not worry about it. Unfortunately, it`s only when the minor symptoms persist and seriously start to affect the quality of our lives that we sit up and take notice.
We literally need to wake up to the fact that a consistent lack of sleep, as a result of poor lifestyle choices, is considered a significant factor to increasing our chances of contracting a degenerative disease such as cancer or becoming obese.
To improve the quality and duration of your sleep these are the "Good Sleep Principles" to follow:
Eat according to your metabolic type
This will help to keep your blood-sugar level constant throughout the night. If you`ve eaten a large number of carbohydrates for dinner then you may want to eat a fatty snack, such as an avocado, just before going to bed.
Exercise on a daily basis
Some type of exercise or physical activity during the day will generally help you to sleep better at night. It`s best to avoid doing intense levels of exercise, particularly cardio, late in the evening, as that can raise cortisol levels making it hard to get to sleep.
Minimise your exposure to bright lights
Brightness from overhead lights, computer and TV screens will over stimulate your brain, convincing it that it is still day time. If you have dimmer switches try turning the lights down low in the two hours before bedtime. Otherwise, you may want to try some candles or low-wattage bulbs instead.
Sleep in a room that is completely dark
This is worth doing particularly if you live in a very built up urban area. A good rule of thumb when it comes to the level of darkness is to determine whether or not you can see your hand in the dark. If you can see your hand then the room is too light. Bearing this in mind, it might be worth it to invest in some black out curtains.
Avoid stimulants after 12pm
Ideally, you should avoid stimulants such as coffee, sugar and cigarettes in the afternoon and evening. Caffeine, in particular, has a half-life of about six hours so chances are you`ll still have some of it in your system when you`re trying to get to sleep.
Drink plenty of water
If you are dehydrated, which is fairly easy to do, then your body will produce stress hormones and this type of hormone will wake you up.
Get to sleep by 10:30pm
This doesn`t mean being in bed by 10:30pm. It actually means being asleep by this time. Your body will start to produce more growth and repair hormones from 6pm onwards. At 10pm physical repair will start and from 2am psychological repair will begin. For this to be really effective you need to be fast asleep.
Unplug any electrical appliances in the bedroom before going to sleep.
Electrical appliances generally stimulate the body and brain, be it through light, heat or radiation waves. So if possible, avoid keeping things like laptops, mobile phones, TVs and bright alarm clocks in the bedroom. If not, then at least unplug the devices.
These types of remedies have become very popular, as those suffering with insomnia want to avoid the toxicity that comes with the typical sleep medication. Remedies such as Valerian Root and Lavender Oil are worth trying for a short period. It`s worth pointing out that these types of remedies can become a psychological and emotional crutch, rather than an aid, if the doses are not monitored closely.
If the above measures don`t work then it`s wise to check for any hormonal imbalances, parasites or high toxicity levels you may have. These are all likely to disrupt your sleep patterns. To that end, consider contacting a qualified practitioner to find out more about detoxifying your colon, liver and gallbladder.
Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar And Survival by T.S Wiley & Bent Formby How To Eat, Move And Be Healthy by Paul Chek Your Guide To Healthy Hormones by Dan Kalish
About the author
Gregory Hollings is a health writer and interviewer of Complementary and Alternative medicine practitioners. He is based in the UK. For further information please see www.greghollings.com