Hey Freshie Face — Are you getting your beauty rest? They call it “beauty” sleep for a reason….
Sleep is a time when our cells renew and our bodies re-energize. “Gettin’ your Eight” will help you feel and look great! There are new studies out there that chronic inadequate and poor quality sleep accelerates intrinsic aging! *
Ok, but what if Mister Sandman is avoiding you like the plague? Studies show that when we age, we have a harder time falling asleep.
Seem to be in a sleep slump? Here are some practical sleep tips for you…
1* Ditch the Dummy Tube
Make the bedroom a TV-Free zone, or don’t watch it before bedtime. It will distract and stimulate you. Especially when you are trying to solve puzzles on Wheel of Fortune (mom)!
2* White it Out
Fans? Not the adoring kind, the noisy kind. Fans create a “white noise” to help you block out unwanted noise like traffic. (Okay, now you can put the TV back into your bedroom, if you don’t watch a channel, block out the visual and just listen to the static.)
Or, you can buy a white noise generating machine to help you drift off into a static-free bliss. You can even get a white-noise app on your iPhone. You are soooo high tech!
3* Center Square For the Block, Please
Use blinds or an eye mask to block out light. Keeping it dark will “invite” sleep and that means YOU WIN!
4* “Goldie Locks” Your Mattress
Make sure you’re in love with your mattress! Take some time to find one that’s “just right” for you. Invest. You’ll be in bed for a good portion of your life and hopefully ONE of the things you’ll be doing is SLEEPING.
No budget for a new bed, but it’s still too lumpy or hard? You can always keep your mattress (as long as it’s not over 10 years old) and cheat it with a super-comfy “topper.”
5* No Snoopy Snuggles
You love your doggie or kittie – but you don’t want them interrupting your precious sleep. You don’t have to a pull a whole “Dino” (from the Flintstones) on them and throw them out of the house! Just give them their own little sleeping space, and an extra hug in the A.M. You may just breathe better too.
6* Too Cool For School
Temperatures above 75 and below 55 will wreak havoc on your sleep, so when you are chill-axin’, try to keep it relatively cool, dig ?
7* Fight Footie Frustration
Sometimes, it’s the little things …. like cold little piggies! Wear a comfy pair of fuzzy socks for warm and toasty toes. Something that won’t pinch your ankles, leaving that ugly red mark and making your piggies want to run away from home!
8* Get Down
Feather bedding may be LESS likely to cause asthma than synthetic pillows (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0011436/) and that means easier on the nose and the last thing you need is your nose keeping you up at night.
Still having probs sleeping?
9* Get MORE Down
Try natural herbs such as Valerian root, or a Chamomile tea to relax before bedtime. Some recommend Melatonin. Unless you want to be a sleep-zombie that doesn’t remember things the next day, I’d say PASS on the Ambien.
10* Schedule it UP
Go to bed at the same time every night. Your body will get used to it….before you know it, you’ll be getting up at the same time too. You can even have a nice relaxation ritual every evening at the same time, to tell your body to “wind down.”
11* I Said “Wheel Watcher,” not “Clock Watcher”
It’s 2 am. Oh, no, now, it’s 2:01….Best to just not SEE the clock and obsess over it. It causes stress and stimulates the brain. Probably just as much as buying a vowel from Vanna. Oh, and did you know your plug-in digital alarm clock may also emit harmful electro-magnetic fields? You don’t want those near your noggin. So keep clear of the clock.
12* RIY – Relax It Yourself
Try a lovely relaxation CD with guided meditations, or you can opt for a CD of soothing ocean waves, whale calls, or even give self-hypnosis a try. Or listen to my free Youtube hypnosis video:
VISUALIZE all of your muscles relaxing, your mind slooowing down and you are getting sleeeeeepy…..you are completely relaxed….DOH! Not now, of course…there’s more blog reading to do!
13* Coffee and Booze, Anyone?
Ain’t gonna help, so definitely cut these out if you can’t sleep. Oh, this also applies to caffeine in general….and Snickers Bars, M&M’s, ho-ho’s, Twix, Kit-Kats, etc.
14* B’s Equal Zzz’s
“B” sure to get your vitamin B. The B vitamins help your body deal with stress and can help prevent insomnia. Magnesium is also a go-to vitamin that can help induce sleep.
If you are super stressed, go hardcore with a turbocharged B-Complex.
15* My Girl Likes to Potty All The Time
All those bathroom trips preventing you from getting a good night’s rest? Try cutting off your water intake around dinnertime. Then, you’ll BE number 1, as opposed to having to GO number 1.
16* Sudz it Up (No, Not Beer)
Ahhh, to sit in the bubble tub. Warm baths (as opposed to showers) are muy relaxing! Where’s my rubber duckie?
Try your bath with this relaxing bath bomb or bath salt.
17* Jumping Jax…
Exercise is great, just not right before bed — THAT is just going to keep you up. The National Sleep Foundation sleep experts recommend exercising at least three hours before bedtime, and the best time is usually late afternoon.
18* Spring for The Sheets
It COULD be your low-thread count sheets making you scratchy wacky tossy-turny. Go for a higher thread count. You can sometimes find 1,000 thread count sheets with tiny irregularities at Ross or TJ Maxx, or check online event websites like Zulily for sales.
19* Keep Score:
Track your sleep problems with a handy app. Remember though, that these apps are usually based on movement…you could be motionless staring at the ceiling and it thinks you’re sleeping. Be sure to use one that gives personalized recommendations to improve your sleep, like Sleep Score. Apps may help (or bore you enough that you drift off to slumber land.)
20* Call in the Pro’s
Who Ya Gonna Call? Insomnia Busters! That’d be cool, but not really… If you’re sleep-slump is severe, you can get poked and prodded at sleep clinic or sleep lab. Many insurance programs will cover it – just bring your jammies, as you’ll be spending the night ! (I hear lots of times there’s a waiting list, so don’t expect an immediate appointment.)
The National Sleep Foundation is a great resource to find a sleep professional or get more info on more serious sleep disorders.
Hopefully these tips will help you sleep and keep you from prematurely aging!
One Sheep, Two Sheep, Three Sheep….
~The Anti-Aging Analyst