Tuesday, July 01, 2008
7 Things You Can Do Right Now to Sleep Better Tonight
"While there are a lot of things that you can do to improve your sleep, here are seven that I have found to deliver the best results," says Jesse Cannone, back and neck pain specialist, certified fitness trainer and founder of The Healthy Back Institute in suburban Washington, D.C. 1) Avoid watching TV before bed
-- especially in bed! The bed should be reserved for two things: sleep and romance, not "Desperate Housewives" or football. Research shows that those who experienced the most sleep disturbances had televisions in their bedrooms and used the TV to fall asleep. 2) Try a different pillow or mattress.
It's scary to think how long some of us have been sleeping on the same pillows and mattresses for years and years. Does your mattress provide the support you like? Do you wake with your back aching?
Is there enough room for you and your sleep partner? Do you sleep better, or worse, when you sleep away from home? These are all things to ask yourself to determine if your mattress could be the thing preventing you from getting a good night's sleep. Or more simply, just replacing your pillow with a new, fresh, higher quality version could be all that you need. 3) Avoid caffeine late in the day (or altogether).
Did you know that even a small amount of caffeine even 10 to 12 hours before bedtime can cause problems falling asleep. Try eliminating the coffee, tea, soda and even chocolate and see if sleep improves. 4) Listen to relaxing music.
Establishing a relaxing bedtime routine, such as listening to music, could be just the thing you need to signal your body it is time to sleep. So, dim the lights and throw some slow jazz or purchase a "relaxing sounds" CD to help slow your mind and body down for an evening of peaceful sleep. 5) Try mind-body techniques.
After an action-packed day, your brain and body need to unwind and slow down before sleep can occur. Create a "ritual" for bedtime: Take a bath, meditate, do some easy stretches or yoga. Try to do your "ritual" in the same way, in the same place, at the same time each night. The repetition will trigger your mind and body that it is time to relax and sleep. 6) Try acupuncture.
Used for more than 3,500 years in China, acupuncture has shown to be effective in studies at improving sleep. While not everyone get great results with it, it is certainly something worth trying. 7) Try a natural sleep aid.
For many people, while the above tips and suggestions may help, it often isn't enough. If you are one of those people who really have a hard time getting to sleep and staying asleep, you may want to try a natural sleep aid.
While over the counter sleep medications may help you fall asleep, they cannot be taken long-term and have risky side effects. A sleep aid that uses natural ingredients is a better approach to getting a solid night's sleep.
Back pain specialist Jesse Cannone, co-founder of The Healthy Back Institute, is a certified fitness trainer, certified post rehabilitation specialist and certified specialist in performance nutrition. Cannone has authored a number of fitness books and is known most for his best-selling "Lose the Back Pain System", a self-assessment and self-treatment program for back pain and sciatica sufferers. Visit www.LosetheBackPain.com
for pain relief guides and articles revealing the latest in research and treatment breakthroughs for everything from herniated discs to sciatica flare ups to sleep depravity solutions.