12 Steps To Sleep Like a Baby

Author: Shannon Miller

guest post from Dr. Susan’s “12 Commandments for Sleeping Like a Baby, by Susan Smith Jones, PhD ©

There is nothing more restorative for your body than getting ample sleep night after night after night.

Sleep is when we reset our appetite control and pain control. Sleep is when our energy regroups for the day to come. Without getting 7-8 hours of good sleep nightly, you will have a hard time losing weight of keeping it off. Too little sleep makes you hungry, especially for calorie-dense, unhealthy foods, and primes your body to hold on to all the calories you eat.

Studies reveal that lack of sleep also makes you:

  • irritable,
  • increases hypertension (blood pressure),
  • makes you feel more stressful,
  • increases depression,
  • undermines your ability to deal with stress,
  • shortens lifespan.

As well, when sleep-starved, your body craves more energy, driving you to eat more than you would otherwise.

Here are my 12 Commandments for Sleeping Like a Baby:

1. Wind down and relax before sleep.

2. Soak on a hot bath or use a sauna or jacuzzi 60-90 minutes before bedtime. As your body cools down from being internally heated up, this will increase the release of melatonin, which, in turn, helps provide deep sleep.

3. If you use the bathroom at night, don’t turn on a bright light as this shuts down your melatonin level for the rest of the right. Instead, use a night-light.

4. Avoid nighttime calls and turn off your cell phone before going to bed. A study at the University of Zurich found that exposing people to electromagnetic fields from cell phones altered their brain waves during sleep, resulting in sleep disturbances. If you need to use the phone, use a landline.

5. Keep a regular sleep schedule. Nap consistently or not at all, but don’t nap too close to bedtime.

6. Don’t have a big meal within 3 hours of bedtime.  If hungry, choose a light snack only, 1 hour before bed.

7. Use the bedroom primarily for sex and sleep.

8. If not sleepy, relax in another room until you are.

9. Keep your bedroom cool, dark, quiet and comfortable.

10. Exercise sometime during the day as that helps you sleep better at night.

11. Avoid alcohol and sedatives and don’t have caffeine-laden beverages after 2:00pm.

12. At home and when you travel, put 3-4 drops of the essential oil of lavender on your pillowcase before sleeptime and/or drink a cup of chamomile tea (or add one half dropper full of chamomile liquid extract into some water or juice) 20 minutes before bedtime. Both the lavender and chamomile help your body relax and promote deep sleep.

Sweet Dreams!

Excerpts from Susan’s books — The Joy Factor and Walking on Air

For more on Susan Smith Jones, PhD, or her books, The Joy Factor and Walking on Air, please visit:  www.SusanSmithJones.com

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