Want a good night's sleep? Never do these things before going to bed.
By Dr. Mercola
Sleep is one of the great mysteries of life. Like gravity or the quantum field, we still don’t understand exactly why we sleep—although we are learning more about it every day.
We do know, however, that good sleep is one of the cornerstones of health.
Six to eight hours per night seems to be the optimal amount of sleep for most adults, and too much or too little can have adverse effects on your health.
Sleep deprivation is such a chronic condition
these days that you might not even realize you suffer from it. Science has now
established that a sleep deficit can have serious, far reaching effects on
Sleeping pills give you a 4x better chance of dying and a 35% increased risk of cancer.
Don't use them.
Numerous factors can influence your sleep, and the good news is that many are under your control. Remember that sleeping pills are not the answer and will probably create more problems than they solve. Below are four strategies for optimizing your sleep, and you will find many more in my comprehensive sleep guide.
- Cover your windows with blackout shades or drapes to ensure complete darkness. Even the tiniest bit of light in your room, such as the glow of a bedside clock, can disrupt your sleep and therefore your melatonin production. Close your bedroom door, get rid of night-lights, and refrain from turning on any light during the night, even when getting up to go to the bathroom. If you need a light, install so-called "low blue" light bulbs in your bedroom and bathroom, which emit an amber or red light that will not suppress your natural melatonin production.
- Keep the temperature in your bedroom at or below 70 degrees F (21 degrees Celsius). Many people keep their bedrooms too warm, which can result in restless sleep. Studies show the optimal room temperature for sleeping is fairly cool, between 60 to 68 degrees F (15.5 to 20 C).
- Check your bedroom for electro-magnetic fields (EMFs). These can disrupt your pineal gland’s melatonin production. In order to do this, you will need a gauss meter, which can be purchased online for between $50 and $200. Some experts even recommend pulling your circuit breaker before bed to kill all power in your house. Move alarm clocks and other electrical devices away from your head. If these devices must be used, keep them as far away from your bed as possible, preferably at least 3 feet. Put away your computer, TV, iPad, and all other similar gadgets at least and hour before bedtime, as they also emit blue light.
- Try Earthing. When walking barefoot on the earth, free electrons transfer from the ground into your body through the soles of your feet. These free electrons are some of the most potent antioxidants known to man. Experiments have shown that these electrons decrease pain and inflammation, and promote sound sleep. Spend more time with your bare feet in contact with the earth. You may want to invest in an earthing sheet for your bed.
- Exercise to sleep better, but do it early! Exercising for at least 30 minutes per day can improve your sleep, but exercising too close to bedtime (generally within the three hours) may keep you awake.
- Avoid foods that interfere with sleep. The worst foods for sleep include alcohol, coffee, dark chocolate, spicy foods, and certain fatty foods.
- If you're feeling anxious or restless, try using the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), which can clear emotional issues and alleviate stress and worries that keep you tossing and turning at night.
For example, interrupted or impaired sleep can:
|Dramatically weaken your immune
||Accelerate tumor growth—tumors grow two to
three times faster in laboratory animals with severe sleep dysfunctions
||Cause a pre-diabetic state, making you feel
hungry even if you’ve already eaten, which can wreak
havoc on your weight
impair your memory; even a single night of poor sleep—meaning
sleeping only 4 to 6 hours—can impact your ability to think clearly the
||Impair your performance on physical or
mental tasks, and decrease your problem solving ability|
When your circadian rhythms are disrupted, your body produces less melatonin (a hormone AND an antioxidant) and has less ability to fight cancer, since melatonin helps suppress free radicals that can lead to cancer. This is why tumors grow faster when you sleep poorly.
Impaired sleep can also increase stress-related disorders, including:
||Mood disorders like depression|
Sleep deprivation prematurely ages you by interfering with your growth hormone production, normally released by your pituitary gland during deep sleep (and during certain types of exercise, such as Peak Fitness Technique). Growth hormone helps you look and feel younger.
One study has even shown that people with chronic insomnia have a three times greater risk of dying from any cause.
Lost sleep is lost forever, and persistent lack of sleep has a cumulative effect when it comes to disrupting your health. Poor sleep can make your life miserable, as most of you probably know.
The good news is, there are many natural techniques you can learn to restore your “sleep health.”
Whether you have difficulty falling asleep, waking up too often, or feeling inadequately rested when you wake up in the morning—or maybe you simply want to improve the quality of your sleep—you are bound to find some relief from my tips and tricks below.
**If you are interested in more information about sleep or any of the 33 items listed, I invite you to delve into the links that follow, which are grouped by subject.
When you sleep, your body’s internal temperature drops to its lowest level, generally about four hours after you fall asleep. Scientists believe a cooler bedroom may therefore be most conducive to sleep, since it mimics your body’s natural temperature drop.
To do this, you need a gauss meter. You can find various models online, starting around $50 to $200. Some experts even recommend pulling your circuit breaker before bed to kill all power in your house.
I gave up my alarm clock years ago and now use a sun alarm clock. The Sun Alarm™ SA-2002 provides an ideal way to wake up each morning if you can't wake up with the REAL sun. Combining the features of a traditional alarm clock (digital display, AM/FM radio, beeper, snooze button, etc) with a special built-in light that gradually increases in intensity, this amazing clock simulates a natural sunrise. It also includes a sunset feature where the light fades to darkness over time, which is ideal for anyone who has trouble falling asleep.
Prior to the widespread use of electricity, people would go to bed shortly after sundown, as most animals do, and which nature intended for humans as well.
If that isn’t possible, you may want to consider a melatonin supplement. In scientific studies, melatonin has been shown to increase sleepiness, help you fall asleep more quickly and stay asleep, decrease restlessness, and reverse daytime fatigue.
Melatonin is a completely natural substance, made by your body, and has many health benefits in addition to sleep.
I prefer to use a sublingual melatonin product because it is absorbed much faster and therefore works more quickly. I offer a melatonin spray on my website that I believe is one of the very best on the market.
Daily Mistake Can Make You Obese and Forgetful
Sleep Can Never Be Made Up
Much Sleep Do You Really Need?
than Seven Hours of Sleep Per Night Increases Your Risk of Brain Disease
Dangers of Oversleeping
You Sleep Less Than Six Hours You Are Creating a 'Sleep Debt'
Much or Too Little Sleep May Lead to Heart Attacks
Than 8 Hours of Sleep May Not Hurt Health|
Cold Temperatures Improve Sleep?
Warm Up Prior to Sleep|
Light Pollution is Ruining Your Health
Patterns Are Governed by Light
Incandescent Light Affects Your Sleep
of Daylight May Cause Insomnia|
Your Clock: New Research Explores How Your Body Keeps Time
High-Fat Foods Disrupt Your Body Clock?
on a Rotating Shift? Then You Probably Have Lower Levels of Serotonin
You a Night Owl or an Early Lark?
Time Ruins Scientists' Health
Clock Determines How Much Sleep You Need
of the Night Wakening Throws Off Your Body Clock
Your Body Clock is Disrupted it Can Speed Cancer Growth
Work Dangerous to Your Health|
Trick Eliminates Jet Lag
Meal Time May be Linked to Jet-lag|
Sleep Meds are Not Effective
Worst Products In The World?
Drugs Are Wildly Popular Despite Barely Working
Scary Parody of Sleep Drugs
Rid of Your Sleeping Pills NOW!
Are You Using a Sleep Drug?
Sleep Eating: A Newly Described Ambien Side Effect
Side Effects Ignite Drug Ad Deluge
Taking More Sleeping Pills Than Ever
of Taking Sleeping Pills
Meds Consumed in Record Numbers
Assured -- Marketers Will Try to Spin New Sleep Drug to Insomniacs
Insanity--Sleep Medications to Kids
Can Cause Hallucinations in Elderly|
Cancer Risks Rise With Shift Work
Light Increases Breast Cancer Risks
More Night Light Comes A Greater Risk of Leukemia
Depression Linked With Melatonin Cycle
Shift Increases Cancer Risk and Beware of Daylight Savings Time
In TOTAL Darkness to Decrease Cancer Risk
Helps the Blind Sleep|
Much Do You Need to Sleep Every Night to Prevent Weight Gain?
Your Body Clock Regulates Your Metabolism
Factors That Contribute to Obesity
Much or Too Little Sleep Raises Your Diabetes Risks
Obesity by Sleeping
Obesity and Sleep Debt Are Linked
of Sleep Strongly Linked to Obesity
Back On Sleep Can Make You Gain Weight
Enough Sleep to Avoid Diabetes
Your Sleep and Increase Your Risk for Diabetes|
Circadian Clock is Critical to Your Memory
You are More Creative After You Sleep
Simple Way to Get Smarter
Your Memory, Get More Sleep
Solution to Improve Your Memory
Sleep Solidifies Your Memory
Soldiers Need Sleep, You Sure Do
Improved Performance? Sleep On It
Deprivation Ups Risk of Surgical Mistakes
to Bed - Early to Rise" Improves Brain Function
Disorder Increases Car Accident Risk
- Driving While Tired|
Study Links Chronic Insomnia to Increased Risk of Death
Being Sleep Deprived Actually Kill You Early?
it True The More You Sleep, The Longer You Live?
Sleepers Live Longer|
Being Sleep Deprived Actually Kill You Early?
Your Dream World|
Your Bed May be Bad for Your Health
You Should NEVER EVER Sleep Where Your Cat Sleeps
You Sleeping in a Dangerous, Electrically Polluted Bedroom?
Cell Phones Give You Insomnia?
Dreams Come With the Proper Mattress
"Sleep Room" Promises a Full Night's Sleep
to Buy the Best Mattress for a Good Night's Sleep|
Ways to Help You Stop Snoring
Sleep Apnea Injures Your Brain
Treatment for Sleep Apnea
We Finally Know Why Some People Can't Lose Weight
Up Heartbeat May Improve Sleep Apnea
Snoring May Be Cause of Poor School Performance|
Where You Sleep Matters If You Want a Healthy Baby
Debt Affects Female Fertility Too|
Lower Risk of Sudden Baby Death
Babies Take Their Naps
That TV Away From Your Baby!
Deprived Baby? Try Sunlight
Sleep Position Really Important in SIDS?
Infants Dying from SIDS at Alarming Rate
A Solution to Have Your Babies Sleep All Night Long
Relationship Between Crib Mattresses and Crib Death
Infants Sleep With Their Parents?
with T.J. Sprott About SIDS Prevention
Risk Greater in Daycare Centers|
sleep" Damaging Teenagers' Health
Suffer When Kids Lose Valuable Sleep Time
Kids Need More Sleep
Children More Prone to Injury
School Start Benefits Teens
In Early Life May Play Crucial Role In Brain Development|
Natural Remedies That May Help You Sleep
to Achieve Deep, Uninterrupted Sleep
Sheep Does Not Help You Drop Off After All
Relief Now Available For Sleeping Disorders EFT
Alzheimer's Patients Sleep Better Naturally
Solution for Those Who Experience Insomnia After September 11th EFT
of the BEST Cures for Insomnia|
REPORT FOR DOWNLOAD
The Mystery Of Sleep, Huffington Post
During Sleep Can Boost Your Memory
Information on the Science of Sleep
Worsened by Increased Nighttime Toilet Visits
Skipping Sleep Harms Your Brain
Makes Waking Up From a Sound Sleep Easier
Without an Alarm Clock
Most Common Sleep Disorder: Insufficient Sleep
New Way to Sleep?
During the Day? It Could be More Than a Sleepless Night
Doesn't Cause Sleep Problems
Problems Can Ruin Your Health and Shorten Your Life
on Sleep Harms Your Health
and Wake up Feeling Refreshed
Brain Protein The Key to Anxiety, Sleep Disorders?
Insomnia Wreaking Havoc Upon Your Health?
Problems May be Causing Your Insomnia
Night's Sleep Essential for Immune System
Secrets Revealed by Undercover Professor
Naps May Improve Your Memory
Problems May Complicate Many Illnesses
Sleep Affects Hormone Levels|
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