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September 4, 2012, 1:47 pm Yahoo!7
Everyone needs a good night's sleep so here are our secrets on how to fall asleep and get more sleep and the reasons why you might be struggling with getting to sleep.
Constantly wake up tired? Everyone needs a good night’s sleep. It’s essential for your health and wellbeing, it’s restorative for the brain and it boosts the immune system. Enough rest is the key to feeling energetic, positive and ready to face anything the day throws at you. Whatever is holding you back from sound sleep, these tips will help you get back on track.
As soon as your head hits the pillow, your internal voice starts ticking over, making mental to-do lists and anticipating everything that tomorrow may or may not bring. You’re not alone.TRY
The first thing to do is move the bedside clock that reminds you it’s six, five, four, three hours away from the alarm going off. If you watch the clock, panic will set in! Close your eyes and lie down. Inhale slowly through your nose and exhale through your mouth until you begin to relax. To control wayward thoughts, start by concentrating at the point on your forehead between your eyes and imagine a wave of calm washing over your whole body. It should flow through your chest, down both arms to your fingertips, to your abdomen, through your legs, all the way to your toes.
Do you find yourself soaking wet in the morning and so drenched you need to change your bedding and clothes, no matter what the weather? If so, you may be perimenopausal or menopausal. Many women also develop sleep apnoea around menopause.TRY
Sleep with a fan blowing to evaporate the moisture from your skin, and wear loose clothing in a breathable fabric. Also, ensure there’s adequate ventilation in your bedroom, even in winter. Night sweats can also be triggered by an infection, menstruation, diabetes and diseases, so discuss the problem with your doctor.
All new parents know what it means to be utterly sleep deprived. It’s not always possible to catch up on all the sleep you’ve lost the next day, but it’s also not possible to function well when you are physically and mentally exhausted from frequent trips to the baby throughout the night.TRY
Take a 10-minute power nap, when you simply lie down with your eyes closed and rest. It may not sound like much, but it is incredibly restorative and, most importantly, doable.
Nights of tolerating a partner snoring can not only lead to sleeplessness, but often a growing resentment if you wake up tired and exhausted every day. It’s hard not to lay blame on that noise machine next to you, when they appear to sleep through anything!TRY
The first step is to get the problem checked out by a GP, to make sure it’s not a symptom of something serious. If you hear the foghorn start up, nudge your partner to sleep on their side rather than on their back – you can even prop a pillow on their side to stop them rolling back. Soft foam or silicone earplugs can block the noise and are surprisingly comfortable. But, if the snores still break through, you could consider separate rooms. It may be the best thing for your relationship – and your peace of mind.
Microscopic dust mites can trigger allergies such as asthma, eczema and rhinitis, which may disrupt your night’s sleep.TRY
Keeping your bedroom vacuumed, and making sure curtains and bedding are clean, are the first steps to take. If your symptoms are still flaring and interrupting your sleep, you may want to look into getting allergen- resistant bedding, as you could be allergic to certain types of down. Pillows frequently contribute to allergies that impair breathing, so invest in a non-allergenic foam pillow and a dust mite-blocking protector. You should also pop your pillow into the clothes dryer every few months to kill dust mites. Running an air purifier as you sleep may reduce pollen and dust, lessening any sensitivity.
You’re a workaholic, juggling a job, kids, a household and what seems like a million other things. You’re still tidying up after 11pm, answering emails in bed or preparing lunches pre-dawn when you really should be getting that extra 30 minutes of shut-eye.TRY
The key is to put ‘more sleep’ high on your priority list. This will give you more energy to get everything done in a shorter amount of time. Then, practise letting go by delegating where you can. Be easy on yourself. Ask if that task really needs to be done then and there, or whether you could save it for the weekend.
If you find it difficult to mentally unwind after a busy day, there are a number of things you can do to help make your bedtime routine more relaxing.TRY
Firstly, don’t drink tea, coffee or other caffeinated drinks after noon. Before bed, dim the lights, listen to calming music and put lavender in an oil diffuser or use lavender linen spray on your pillow. A relaxing warm bath before bed also has a calming effect. Never work in bed or take your laptop to answer emails and surf the net – it will leave you too stimulated. Try to get to bed, and get up, at the same time every day. And don’t get attached to unrealistic expectations of sleeping soundly every night. The more you worry about slumber, the harder it will be to achieve.
If you’re in a job requiring crazy hours doing shift work, you might find it hard to establish a routine for getting quality shut-eye. But extreme fatigue can also put you at more risk of having a car or workplace accident, so it’s important to be as well rested as possible.TRY
Small naps may help you feel more normal, as will setting a pre-bed relaxing ritual. To prepare your body for rest, start by running a warm bath, and have a hot drink (non-caffeinated, of course). Avoid heavy meals and exercise before bedtime. To help you turn day into night, install blackout blinds or curtains and use a sleep mask. When you get the chance, spend as much time as possible in daylight to help keep your body in touch with normality.
Chronic stress creates biochemical changes in your body that cause the immune system to function less efficiently.TRY
To tame work tension, ask a coworker to go to lunch, or to join you for a short walk whenever
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