By Judith Cobb
Is sleep your friend or your foe?
If it’s your friend, you sleep easily and well, and feel refreshed and rejuvenated after a good sleep. If it is your enemy you may have problems falling asleep, staying asleep, or you may not feel rested after an appropriate length of sleep. What can you do about it? Here are some easy things to try, including lifestyle adjustments, foods, and supplements.
1) Have an unwind time before going to bed. Avoid bright lights shining in your face (overhead lights, computer screens, TV screens) for 2 hour before turning in for the night. This allows your natural melatonin production to begin ramping up. Melatonin is required for a healthy, sound sleep.
2) Have a small protein snack at bed time. A small piece (2 – 4 oz) of chicken or turkey can be very helpful. Poultry contains the amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin, which is the relaxing neurotransmitter.
3) Avoid caffeine, alcohol, stimulants late in the day. Caffeine and stimulants can make it hard for the body to slow down for the night. Alcohol, a nervous system depressant, forces the body to wind down too quickly which often means sleep cycles are disrupted and may become irregular with frequent evening alcohol consumption.
4) Avoid strenuous exercise or activity late in the evening to prevent revving the metabolism and interfering with melatonin production.
5) Avoid heavy meals within 2 hours of going to bed. You may feel drowsy with a full stomach, but the resulting ‘pizza dreams’ often disrupt restful sleep.
6) Make sure your bed is comfortable. Many a recurring backache and sore neck has been cured with a new, well-chosen mattress.
7) Avoid drinking lots of fluids in the evening unless you want to be up for the toilet at least once during the night.
8) Extra Vitamin B6, when taken with Stress Formula during the day, enhances serotonin production and may enhance sleep quality.
9) CalMag Plus D taken in the evening on a relatively empty stomach can also enhance sleep. If the Calcium causes constipation, add extra Magnesium Complex. Magnesium is the relaxing mineral according to Dr. Bernard Jensen.
10) Herbal blends like HVP, STR-J, and STR-C can also enhance sleep. Try them one a time, throughout the day. They often help with preventing the build-up of stress throughout the day as well and promoting relaxation at night.