In the equation for healthy living the recommendations usually include eating a healthy balanced diet, drinking plenty of water, exercise and getting a good night’s sleep. These are general guidelines and what they mean can vary though from person to person. For example, every person needs a different amount of sleep, so what is a sufficient amount of sleep for one person may not be enough for another. You might even need different amounts of sleep on different nights depending on what’s going on in your life. The quality of your sleep is also an important factor. Your quality of sleep determines how refreshed you feel when you wake up in the morning, and how much energy you have during the day.
The best way to determine how much sleep you need is to listen to your body. Pick a time when you don’t have to be up at a certain time and experiment with waking up naturally instead of setting an alarm clock. See what time you wake up and how many hours you slept. Check in with how you feel with that amount of sleep, then adjust accordingly.
Sleep Deprivation and Insomnia
But what about for those who have trouble going to sleep or staying asleep. According to a study published in “USA Today” only 26% of Americans claim to get a good nights sleep only a few days a month and 24% of those surveyed claim to get a good nights sleep only a few days a week. Many sources report that Americans are sleep-deprived and lacking in daily energy. Most of those Americans reach for coffee in the morning and energy drinks in the afternoon. That of course leads to the energy crash that happens in the late afternoon or evening.
Natural Solutions To Help With Sleep
Here are some natural solutions that can help if you have insomnia or other sleep problems:
1. Train for Bedtime
Start training your body as to when it is time to sleep and when it is time to get up. Pick the same time each day to awaken and avoid naps during the day. Establish a nighttime routine that cues your body to get ready for sleep. Begin dimming the lights at least an hour before bedtime, put away all work and conflict situations. If you have things you are worried about, make a list and put it away in your calendar or day planner to deal with the next day. Instead engage in something calming such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, imagery, listening to soothing music, or taking a relaxing bath.
There are herbs that can help some people with sleep problems. Valerian root and chamomile are two of these. Try incorporating slowly sipping a cup of Chamomile tea into your routine of relaxing before bedtime.
Regular exercise can help with sleep problems. Do not include this in your bedtime routine however as it can also act as a stimulant. Exercise should be done at least 3 hours prior to your bedtime routine. Yoga and Tai Chi are good practices that have been found to be helpful with sleep problems.
4. Watch What You Eat
Eating a late meal or heavy snack before going to bed can activate your digestive system and keep you from being able to go to sleep. On the other hand, going to bed hungry can also prevent sleep. A light bedtime snack of complex carbohydrate or dairy foods like cereal and milk can be OK for some people.
5. Algae and Probiotics
Adding some probiotics and bluegreen algae to your nightly regimen can really help you recharge while you sleep. 1-2 capsules before bed of algae with the cell wall removed, which is the heart of the algae, relaxes the brain and allows you to get a peaceful night’s rest. Adding 2-4 capsules of bifidus to your evening regimen can help ensure a restful sleep so you wake rested and confident. While digestive enzymes certainly help us digest our food, on a metaphysical level, they can also help us digest and “work through” the knotty problems of the day. If you’re facing a difficult situation or problem and need some solutions, take 2-4 enzymes before bed. Chances are that you will awaken with the needed solution!