by ChicagoHealers.com Practitioner Sharon M. Weinstein
Sleep experts say most adults’ need between seven and nine hours of sleep
each night for optimum performance, health and safety. When we don’t get
adequate sleep, we accumulate a sleep debt that can be difficult to “pay
back” if it becomes too big. The resulting sleep deprivation has been linked
to health problems such as obesity and high blood pressure, negative mood
and behavior, decreased productivity, and safety issues in the home, on the
job, and on the road.
ChicagoHealers.com practitioner Sharon M. Weinstein, RN and wellness
consultant offers the following tips for a good nights sleep.
* Darkness-Your bedroom should be as dark and as quiet as possible
* Noise Levels- If noise from the outside (or a snoring sleep partner)
often wakes you, consider getting a “sound generator” that makes a quiet
nature sound — a burbling brook, waves on a beach — or just static “white
noise.” Either will mask other sounds so they don’t disturb your sleep.
* Clean Air-Use an air cleaner if needed to keep the air fresh and clean.
Bedding, drapes, and carpet are all home to dust that can aggravate
allergies, which are sure to keep you awake
* Eliminate clutter- Get rid of clutter, distractions and noise, including
exercise equipment, computers, phones, and televisions.
* Body Clock-Cooperate with your body clock; circadian rhythm is a key to
deep, sound sleep. The body clock function of your brain determines your
times for sleep and waking by affecting your body temperature and by the
daily release of certain hormones that affect alertness.
* Light-Take advantage of your brains own sleep-inducing chemical,
melatonin, and get some bright light exposure each day soon after awakening.
This will decrease your brain’s melatonin levels early in the day. With less
melatonin you’ll be more awake and alert. Try for 30 to 45 minutes of light
exposure as early in the day as possible. In the evening, as you approach
bedtime, keep room lights low so your melatonin levels will increase and
help ready you for sleep.
* Prepare-You need prep time so avoid stimulating drugs, caffeine, and
nicotine. Limit your fluid intake as you get close to bedtime so you won’t
be awakened by a need to go to the bathroom.