Having Trouble Sleeping?
Here are some recommendations for a good night’s sleep:
- Follow a healthy diet with lots of fiber and high water content foods (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes) to aid in weight loss and make it easier for the body to relax.
- Eat your last meal at least 3 hours before bedtime and keep it low in protein (protein is stimulating, preparing us for work, not sleeping). (See You Need to Properly Digest before you Rest blog for more information).
- Avoid dairy and high fat foods to reduce restless leg syndrome.
- Skip the caffeine and alcohol.
- Stay hydrated. Divide your weight in half (in pounds) and drink that amount of ounces of water/day and more with exercise.
- Exercise dailyin direct sunshine preferably in the AM or at the latest a couple hours before bed or join an exercise group or go with a partner to a health club during daylight hours.
- Spend time in nature, this helps clear the mind and is relaxing.
- Associate yourself with others who want to achieve the same goal of good health as you do.
- Take the STOP-Apnea Test and get tested for sleep apnea, if needed.
- Avoid burning “the midnight oil” (our natural circadian rhythm for sleep is 9 PM-5AM).
- Create a mindset and environment that helps you get adequate rest.Think of the night as the beginning of the day. We start with sleep. (It is interesting to note that this is how GOD created our days, evening and then the morning. See Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31).
- During your designated sleep hours create a disruption-free environment: Maybe it is time for your dog or cat to have its own bed…
- Keep your home and especially your sleeping room clean and free from clutter.
- Minimize noise and light and Keep your room dark.
- Buy and hang blackout curtains over your windows [this better stimulates melatonin (a relaxing hormone) to help you get to sleep and stay asleep].
- Push the head of the bed all the way against the wall. (creates less movement and disturbance).
- Start a bedtime routine to prepare for bed.
- Turn offyour TV, tablet, phone, and other electronics at least 1-2 hours before bed (flashing lights, like a TV, stimulate the brain to stay away).
- Have a wind down time and go to bed; Engage in a calming activity such as reading spiritual material or listening to soothing music for 15-30 minutes before retiring. A season of prayer may also have a calming effect.
- Go to bed and get out of bed at the same time everyday.
- It’s ideal to wake naturally. If using an alarm clock, go to bed 15 minutes earlier than usual and continue to push the time back 15 minutes each night until you wake just before your alarm.
- For more information on see this article Sleep Is Just As Important As Exercise
Sweet Sleep Meditations
- Psalm 4:8 – I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for Thou, LORD, only makes me dwell in safety.
- Psalm 127:2 – It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he gives his beloved sleep.
- Proverbs 3:24-26 – When you lie down, thou shalt not be afraid; yea, You shall lie down, and your sleep shall be sweet. Be not afraid of sudden fear…for the LORD shall be your confidence.
- Ecclesiastes 5:12 – The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.
- Jeremiah 31:25-26 – For I have satiated [satisfied, filled to satiety] the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul. Upon this I awaked, and beheld; and my sleep was sweet unto me.