Koala sleeping on a tree top

Koala sleeping on a tree top (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rest is important.  There are many ways that resting can be accomplished but one of the most natural, important and regular is sleep.

For your enlightenment, then, I present the following tips for good sleep.

THINGS NOT TO DO.

Napping.  In order for your body to rest at night, it needs to get tired during the day.  Napping can throw off that rhythm.  Obviously there are exceptional situations, but as a practice, unless you can nap at the same time every day, it might not be the best practice.

Watching television before/in bed.  It over stimulates the brain!  The lights, the sounds, the smash cuts, the emotional angst, the rays and energies bursting from the screen…  Sleeping on cue is not something everyone can do.  Most people need wind-down time and television can sabotage that process.

Caffeinated beverages.  I know some people’s bodies react differently, but most people get stimulated/agitated by caffeine.  Logically, one should refrain from caffeine right before bed.  Developing this thought, one should not become over stimulated from caffeine throughout the day.  If you find that sleeping is difficult, perhaps pay attention to how much coffee or tea or soda you drink.  One cup?  A pot and a half?  Two liters?  What would it be like to drink a little less and stop a little earlier?

Alcoholic beverages.  It’s true that alcohol can sometimes make you sleepy, but it’s an artificial sort of sleep.  Your body is not able to rest as thoroughly after drinking, perhaps because it is devoting energy to detoxification.  This is not me saying not to drink, but simply to be aware that what you drink will affect your body and sleep.

Eating before bed.  Experts recommend eating nothing heavy within 3 hours before sleeping.  Your body takes energy to digest food and once your insides are active in that process, it’s hard to achieve good rest.

 

THINGS TO DO

Exercise.  Again, sleeping is for resting, but if your body is not tired, it won’t want to rest.  A little physical movement can not only improve health in other areas, but also ensure that your body is appropriately tired when it is time to sleep.  That said, the most ideal scenario is to allow a few hours between exercise and sleep.

Routine.  Ideally, go to sleep around the same time every night and wake up around the same time every day.  Having been in college for ten years, I do realize that at times this is a near impossibility, but I’m still going to say it’s important.  A routine is at least something to which we can aspire.

Relaxation routine.  Some people call this ‘setting aside worry time.’  Others call it prayer or meditation.  Perhaps a daily debrief.  This is the time where you let go of the stresses and burdens of the day.  This way, your mind can be less active and agitated when you try to sleep.

Environment.  Take ownership of your sleep setting!  Do you need dark or a bit of light?  Silence or a bit of noise?  More hot or more cold?  More blankets and pajamas or less?  Make yourself comfortable.

I encourage you to see this as an investment into your all around health.  If you sleep well you can rest well.  If you rest well you can be well.  If you can be well and not be anxious or grouchy, people will like you more.  You will feel better and enjoy life more.  You will probably also be more productive as well.

So then, these are my tips for peaceful sleep.  I hope at least one is helpful.

Sweet dreams and may God give you peace and rest for your soul…and body.  J

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