How Would You Rate Your “Sleep Hygiene”?

by on December 28th, 2011 at 7:00 am

Admit it: do you stay up late and then sleep in ‘til noon on the weekends? Do you watch over-stimulating, engaging TV shows right before bed or have a habit of napping? All of these activities can lead to poor sleep hygiene, which the National Sleep Foundation defines as practices that are necessary for quality nighttime sleep and daytime alertness.

Lack of sleep can dramatically decrease quality of life, from causing decreased performance in work and other important activities to straining relationships and interfering with enjoyment of recreational time.

Often, many people have difficulty establishing healthy sleep routines due to underlying conditions, such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, and restless leg syndrome.  Further, according to the National Center for Sleep Disorders Research at the National Institutes of Health, approximately 30-40% of adults say they experience symptoms of insomnia yearly, and about 10-15 percent are said to have chronic insomnia.

A Consumer Reports survey found that “too tired or need sleep” was voted the top reason couples gave for avoiding sex. Besides the negative side effects on day-to-day living, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics show that 100,000 vehicle accidents occur annually due to drowsy driving, leading to an estimated 1,500 deaths.

Help for healthy sleep

Whether due to the risk of addiction or unpleasant side effects of conventional sleep medication, many people are choosing natural remedies to help alleviate sleep problems.

Avena sativa, Scuttelaria laterifolia and Passiflora incarnata can safely be taken to address chronic sleep problems and maintain healthy sleep patterns. In addition, a combination of herbs and sleep-facilitating nutrients such as Hypericum perforatuma, Schizandra chinesis, Calcium lactate, Magnesium lactate and vitamin B6 get to the root causes of sleep problems, including helping balance serotonin levels to induce sleep.

For those looking to help promote sleep in children and babies, Matricaria recutita (Chamomilla), Passiflora incarnata, Coffea and Cina have been shown to encourage healthy sleeping patterns.

Homeopathic ingredients such as Calcium sulphate, Magnesium phosphate and Calcium phosphate can also help to maintain a deep, restful sleep.

For additional help, the University of Maryland Medical Center recommends incorporating the following into your routine:

  • Set a “sleep schedule”, which includes sticking to consistent bedtimes and wake times (even on weekends!) and avoiding naps. If you do nap, keep it to a 30-40 minute maximum.
  • Make bedtime relaxing.  Save the stimulating activities (exercise, intense problem-solving) for earlier on in the day, and reserve nighttime for winding down with relaxing activities, such as reading or a warm bath.
  • Create a bedroom “sleep sanctuary”. Keep it cool, use comfortable bedding, and make sure it’s dark (cover up clocks or other sources of light if needed).

Triple Complex Sleep TonicHomeopathic remedy reduces sleeplessness associated with insomnia, and increases drowsiness for better sleep

 

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