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HEALTH CONCERN? BioHealth Health Concerns

15 Tips for Better Sleep

Contributing Author: Grisanti, Ronald D.C.

Dr. GrisantiRonald Grisanti, DC, DABCO, MS, is a board-certified chiropractic orthopedist with a master's degree in nutritional science. He and his partner, Dr. Dicken Weatherby presently teach an innovative seven month online Functional Medicine program. The program is co-sponsored by Southern California University of Health Sciences (formerly LACC) and has been approved for up to 21 CEU hours for most states 

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Try one or two of the following tips or a combination until you have enough quality sleep to feel alert and well rested. If these tips don't work, consult a health professional. You could have problems with hormone balance, or a sleep disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnea, that requires medical attention.

  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol in the afternoon and evening. Some people report that small amounts of caffeine can keep them awake, even 8-10 hours after consumption
  • Consider a sleep aid in the form of a natural supplement.
  • Maintain a consistent bedtime routine. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends
  • Avoid trying to sleep. The harder you try, the more awake you'll become. Read in bed until you become very drowsy and fall asleep naturally. In the morning, get up at the same time as usual even if you read for a large part of your time in bed.
  • Exercise during the day can improve sleep at night.
  • Increase your body temperature slightly before bed in a warm bath or shower. The subsequent decline can help induce and maintain sleep.
  • A slightly cool room is ideal for sleeping
  • Try to stop work or doing tasks that keep the mind active in the evening.
  • Avoid watching television before bed. The lights and sounds can over-stimulate the nervous system.
  • Hide the bedroom clocks. Set your alarm so that you know when to get up, but then hide all clocks in your bedroom. The less you know what time it is at night, the better you'll sleep.
  • A naturopathic therapy for insomnia is take a 15- to 20-minute hot Epsom salt bath before bedtime. One or two cups of Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) in a hot bath are thought to act as a muscle relaxant.
  • Avoid or limit naps. Naps can make it harder to fall asleep at night. If you can't get by without one, try to limit a nap to 45 minutes in bed and to 30 minutes asleep.
  • Check your medications. If you take medications regularly, check with your doctor to see if they may be contributing to your insomnia. Also check the labels of OTC products to see if they contain caffeine or other stimulants, such as pseudoephedrine.
  • Learn stress reduction techniques. This is different for many, but exercise, yoga, tai chi, or any activity that will bring joy and calmness is a big step in the right direction.
  • People who wake up during the middle of the night do so because of hypoglycemia. Consuming a small snack just before bedtime helps to stabilize blood sugar levels throughout the night. Ideally, snacks should consist of complex carbohydrates, along with a little fat and protein. This allows for more of a timed-release breakdown and release of energy into the body.