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Can't Sleep? Try This!

Getting a good, restful sleep is one aspect of health that is often overlooked. Our bodies need sleep in order to heal and grow. Here are a few tips to help you catch some ZZZs.

1. Get enough exercise during the day.
Our bodies are made to move, and if we don’t expend enough energy during the day it might be hard to fall asleep at night. Our lifestyle is quite sedentary compared to what it used to be, many of us spend the day at a desk or behind a computer.

Try moving your body a little more. If you can’t incorporate regular exercise into your day: Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park further away than usual. Go outside for a brisk walk on your lunch break. Practice ten minutes of stretching or yoga before going to bed.

2. Turn off your screens before bed.
Technology like cellphones, TVs, and iPads emit blue wavelengths of light. This blue light suppresses the production of melatonin, which is needed to regulate our sleep cycle. Simply put, screen time at night tricks our brains into thinking it is daytime.

Try limiting screen time (or better yet, turn off your devices) a few hours before going to bed.

3. Breathe deeply.                                                                                                               We carry a lot of stress around with us. Taking a few minutes to let go and relax at the end of the day can help to fall asleep easier and sleep more soundly.

Try a breathing exercise while lying in bed. Inhale deeply for 4 counts, and exhale for 5 counts. As you inhale, bring into your mind something that caused you stress, worry, or anger throughout the day. As you exhale, allow that feeling to leave your body with your breath and feel your muscles release any tension they might be holding. Start with 3 breaths, and see if you can work your way up to 10.

4. Eat light at night.                                                                                                     Eating a heavy dinner or eating late at night can make it harder to fall asleep. Your body needs energy to digest food, which can keep you awake for a few hours after you eat.

Try not to eat a few hours before hitting the hay.

5. Enjoy a cup of tea before bed.                                                                                     The ritual of making and drinking a cup of tea will help you to unwind after a long day. Aromatic herbs like chamomile, lemon balm or lavender will calm your mind and body, making it easier to relax and ultimately, fall asleep.

Try a cup of herbal tea before going to bed. Sit quietly and let the warmth and aroma of the tea soothe your senses while you sip.

 

These tips work best for mild or occasional insomnia. If you consistently have trouble with your sleep, give us a call and come in for an acupuncture treatment.                   Sweet dreams!

Can't Sleep? Try This!, Photo Credit: Erica Robinson Photography