Sunday, July 31, 2011


Dream Supreme Plus Gel Fiber-Filled Pillows, Standard (Set of 2)

Exercise is a good idea and a healthy diet is important but sleep, sound quality sleep is absolutely critical for good health. How do we sleep? How do you improve your sleep? How do you get to sleep? How do you fall asleep and stay asleep? How do you "sleep like a baby" in a perfectly relaxed slumber?

I have read many books about sleep and many of them have many remedies that I have tried on and off over the years to try to have better sleep. I will share with you those that worked for me during the times when I was having bad sleep. 

The Harvard Medical School Guide to a Good Night's Sleep (Harvard Medical School Guides)

At different points of my life, I have had varying quality of sleep. When I had bad sleep, most likely the cause was...

  • bodily discomfort
  • thinking - one thought will lead to another and sometimes I find that I have been awake half the night and almost till dawn!
  • poor routine
These are the 3 top reasons why I have bad sleep, so I have come to conclude that to have better sleep, one must...


Make yourself as comfortable as possible. 
  • Set your room to the best temperature that is most comfortable for you. Not too hot and not too cold. Changes in temperature will wake you up too so try to get the best temperature then make it constant throughout the night. Fans etc with a timer are not a good idea because when the fan turns off, you will feel hot and wake up.
  • Get comfortable pillows and bedding
  • No noise please. A quiet room is best for aiding sleep.
  • No lights. We're supposed to sleep in the night so a dark room is best. No night light is better. 
Go to sleep when you are tired.
  • I sleep better when I am tired because I don't get to think. When I start thinking about my day or the 101 things that I have to do the next day or the 101 things that I didn't manage to do, then my trail of thoughts will continue leading from one thing to another, quite often ending in something totally different from what I was originally thinking off. 
  • Leave thoughts and planning for the day. If there is something that you wish to remember, then write it down before sleep.
  • No afternoon naps. That makes me less tired and more likely to think about my day and the 101 things I didn't do.
Have a good routine

I am a night person, having been "trained" to sleep that way for most of my life. I am no early bird. Since my children started school, I have had to change my routine in order to get up early. I find that routine helps.
  • Go to bed at the same time
  • Establish a bedtime routine. Do the same things before sleeping
  • Don't go to sleep later and get up later during the weekends. It really disrupts your sleep routine.
A handbook of health

Take care of yourself
  • If you have some bodily discomfort like a rash, or itchy eyes or ears or a sensitive nose. Take care of those areas first, try to resolve those issues. It will improve your sleep.
Don't think too much about how hard it is to sleep and how little sleep you are getting
  • This is probably the hardest part but I think it helps not to worry about how bad your sleep is or how little sleep you are getting and how you will be able to catch up with sleep
  • Don't watch the clock when you are unable to sleep. That will make you think about how little sleep you are getting! Which will get your thoughts going into full gear and once your thoughts are moving along, very soon you will find that you are thinking of all sorts of things and sleep will then be evasive. 
 Thoughts are my biggest barrier to sleep.

Health (1-year auto-renewal)

Does reading help?
  • For me reading does not help. It makes me even more wide awake because a book quite often catches my attention to read more and more unless the book is boring but why would I want to read a boring book?
Norpro My Favorite Mugs, Set of Two

Does a hot drink or a hot bath help?
  • I guess a hot drink and a hot bath makes you more comfortable and creates a routine which helps overall. However, when you have bad insomnia, you may feel frustrated if a hot drink and a hot bath does not help you fall asleep. For me, these things help to make me more comfortable, relaxed and can be a good bedtime routine but I must go to sleep when I am sleepy so that my thoughts don't get in the way.
Lastly, if all else fails, consult a doctor. Don't take matters in your own hands. I wish everyone reading this a good night's sleep. 

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