Sleeping is one of the most important aspects of healthy living and aging gracefully. In theory, we spend 1/3 of our life doing it. Yet, nearly half of all Americans come up short. People who sleep well enjoy a host of benefits that are denied to those who are sleep deprived.
Benefits of Sleep
- Living longer & aging better
- Improving memory, thinking, concentration, results, etc.
- Reducing inflammation that may lead to a host of other diseases
- Burning significantly more fat and keeping a healthier weight
- Building muscle when paired with exercise
- Diminishing accidents when awake, such as cars, walking, etc.
Techniques to Sleep Better
A person who would like to sleep well could string a number of techniques together to bring his/her body solid rest. This author does all of these steps regularly and enjoys consistent, healthy sleep. He also applies it to his guest room, and his guests generally enjoy good sleep in the room. The techniques include:
Hot & Cold – To Detox & Induce Sleep
- Take a hot bath, shower or sauna to heat up fast, open pores and sweat
- Follow with a short, cold shower to rinse off sweat and close pores
- This will induce sleep quickly, and is a good technique before bed, even if only using it to detox
Avoid Caffeine 12 hours or More Before Bed
25% of caffeine consumed remains in our body after 12 hours, so stop drinking it 12 hours or more before you want to go to sleep
- Dark, cool room – you will want to sleep if you are warm in a cool, dark room
- Lavender scent – smell of lavender promotes sleep. Put some oil on your pillow, some scent on your hair, burn some, etc. Do it in a way that makes you comfortable
- Turn off TV’s and music or set timers on them to avoid having them wake you up in an hour or two
15 to 30 Minutes of Sun Per Day Without Sunscreen
Naturally encourage the production of Melatonin in the brain, which is a powerful antioxidant essential for sleep. This also produces a huge amount of Vitamin D, which has a host of other benefits.
Avoid Drinking Too Many Liquids An Hour or So Before Going To Bed
When people talk to this author about sleep deprivation, two overwhelming things are mentioned from people who do not sleep well:
- They suffer a lot of ANXIETY about sleeping. It is stressful for them and they do not feel that they have the time or energy to waste on trying to sleep better. Yet, they can lie in bed for hours. So use that time to do things that will induce sleep. After a few solid nights of sleep, the body will know that it is going to rest.
CAFFEINE never affects almost all of the people this author knows who have trouble sleeping. It is always something else. The bottom line is that it may be something else and caffeine is participating in the creation of the problem. Learn the science and change the belief. Caffeine interferes with good sleep.
Finally, as stated, the author uses these techniques to sleep regularly. It is not that he never suffers from a sleepless period during the night, but it can usually be tied back to caffeine that was in something, a warm or noisy room, having to visit the bathroom, or facing some big event that is creating some type of excitement. The good thing, though, about sleeping regularly is that one night of not sleeping well is not harmful.
It is one of the key elements in a healthy lifestyle that permits us to age gracefully. Give it the importance that it deserves and enjoy the benefits that result.