5 Ways to Achieve Better Sleep

Get on a regular schedule

Going to sleep and waking at the same time each day creates a rhythm for your body. Only use your bed for sleep . No television in your bedroom! Studies show the artificial, bright light can disrupt brain activity and alter sleep hormones like melatonin. This goes for all other electronic screens from tablets laptops or smart phones. Transform your bedroom into a quiet peaceful haven. Science has proven sleeping 7-9 hours consistently helps us recover, heal, and lose weight!

Get natural sunlight.

Aim for at least 20 minutes of sunshine every day, preferably in the morning or late afternoon. Sunshine will trigger your brain to release chemicals that assist in the regulation of sleep cycles. Give your body a chance to settle by avoiding computers, smart phones, tablets and television one or two hours before bed.

Clear your mind.

One of the best tools I have found for this is journaling. Pour thoughts, ideas and feelings into your journal. Just put pen to paper and begin to feel yourself relaxing. Countless studies have proven this to be a beneficial tool in helping you turn off your thoughts so you can fall asleep feeling happy and relaxed. We all know what not being able to turn off your brain can do to your mind when trying to sleep. I like to keep a gratitude journal. It forces me to reflect on all the positive experiences of the day and all the blessings in my life. The act of not only thinking about these things, but actually writing them down has a profound beneficial physiologic effect on easing your mind and allowing you to fall asleep optimally.

Light Stretching and Yoga

Stretching not only relaxes your body, but it does wonders for your mind.. Research shows daily yoga can improve sleep significantly as it eases anxiety and muscle tension through by incorporating your breath with the yoga poses.
Even Light stretching for five minutes can help you fall asleep more easily. So stretch while in bed before bed! Just 5 min can make all the difference.

Herbal Therapies

I recommend herbal therapies as a natural aid. See my dream team below. Chamomile both as tea before bedtime or drops (5 to 6 drops in bath water).
Lavender is a gentle strengthening tonic for the nervous system. A few drops of lavender oil added to a bath before bedtime will help treat sleep disorders. Additionally, the oil may be used as a compress or massage oil or simply inhaled to alleviate insomnia.
Passion Flower is an important herb for insomnia caused by mental worry, overwork, or nervous exhaustion. I recommend it as tea.
Valerian I recommend it for people who have a hard time falling asleep, because it shortens sleep latency. It also reduces nighttime waking. Valerian is an excellent herbal sedative that has none of the negative side effects of prescription sedatives.
Magnesium this is my favorite. I usually recommend this first. It helps to promote GABA which is a calming neurotransmitter that the brain requires to turn “off”. I recommend 400-500 mg in a chelated form such as citrate or ascorbate.

Melatonin is a natural sleep hormone that is increasingly popular as a supplement to promote sound sleep, especially in people who travel between time zones or who work odd hours. i recommend sloe release starting at 4-5 mg.

My OHealth Tip

Make sure you keep a regular and consistent sleep schedule. Science has proven getting 7-9 hours of good sound quality sleep helps you recover, recuperate, heal, and lose weight. That is why they call it getting your “beauty sleep”. I recommend setting a go-to-bed-alarm as well as a wake- up alarm. This will help you stay on track. Eventually you won’t even need the alarms, you will have reached a state of sleep harmony!
Remember if you are not recuperating you are breaking down. Breaking down speeds up the aging process. This means sleep is anti-aging and rejuvenating! You can sleep your way to optimal health!

To your Ohealth,

Dr. T