This advice will help you get to sleep easier and stay asleep through the night. Your body and state of mind will be healthier for it, says Eva Scrivo, author of Eva Scrivo on Beauty: The Tools, the Techniques, and Insider Knowledge Every Woman Needs to Be Her Most Beautiful, Confident Self.
1. REDUCE MENTAL STIMULATION.
Too much mental activity and technological stimulation close to bedtime can make it difficult to fall asleep. Watching television (especially something scary or violent) or working on the computer can make you agitated and alert. Move the TV and the computer out of the bedroom, and turn them both off at least thirty minutes before going to bed. This will give your mind a chance to slow down and relax. Consider moving the telephone to another room as well, and if you have a digital alarm clock, put it on the floor (or cover it) so that its glow is not at eye level.
2. PREPARE TO RELAX.
Getting into a mode of relaxation before bed means switching from mentally stimulating activities to more relaxing ones so that your mind and body can unwind. For example, I like to take a hot bath and read a bit afterward. It also helps to create a relaxing atmosphere in your bedroom with dimmer lighting and comfortable, high-quality bed linens and pillows. Investing in a good mattress will be worth every dollar you spend.
3. WATCH WHAT YOU EAT AND DRINK.
Abstain from caffeine after about 4:00 p.m., including coffee, tea, and soda. Also, stay away from sugar, which can boost insulin in the body and temporarily increase your energy level. Try not to drink liquids an hour before bedtime to avoid having to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. And make a conscious effort not to overeat at dinner. When your body is actively digesting food, it is more difficult to sleep. Overindulgence in alcohol is another thing to avoid. Although it may initially put you to sleep, alcohol turns into sugar and ends up stimulating and possibly waking you up in the middle of the night.
4. IDENTIFY AND CONFRONT ISSUES THAT DISRUPT YOUR PEACE OF MIND.
There is a strong psychological aspect to sleep. Stress and anxiety can literally keep you up at night, as your troubles seep into your subconscious. Often, when racing thoughts disrupt our sleep, we are trying to produce a different outcome by obsessively going over particular situations with regrettable real-life results. It may be something that happened at work or in your relationship over which you are in denial and/or feel that you have little control. Keeping some paper and a pen by your bed can really help. When you are awakened by these disturbing thoughts, try to write them down to target the problem and get it out of your system, and then deal with it on a conscious level during the day, when you can actually do something about it.
5. LOOK TO NATURAL SLEEP REMEDIES.
Herbal supplements such as passionflower and valerian root are natural sedatives and make a good combination. Kava is another herbal remedy that has long been used for insomnia and anxiety. Melatonin is helpful for many people as well, and is often recommended by physicians as an antidote for jet lag. You have to experiment to see what works best for you.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Eva Scrivo is one of today’s most well known and respected names in beauty. She is a highly acclaimed hair and makeup artist, radio show host, television personality, and an entrepreneur who owns a successful salon in New York City.