Promoting Sound Sleep for Good Health

If you are like the average person, you find yourself inundated with endless amounts of information that stress the importance of maintaining your health and well-being by eating nutritional foods and following a healthy lifestyle. Certainly, none of us could argue with that. But, did you know that staying in good health also means developing and maintaining healthy sleep habits? With today’s hectic lifestyle getting a good night’s rest can be an enormous challenge, but also a real necessity. Without the proper rest, the body is going to suffer. Millions of people are experiencing mild to severe health consequences — from chronic headaches to morbid obesity — simply, because they are not receiving adequate sleep. Here are a few things you can do with little effort to help promote sound sleep and keep your body functioning at an optimum level.

Engage in some form of moderate exercise every day.

Exercise does more than keep our hearts healthy and our bodies looking fit. It also helps us to relax and unwind after a long, stressful day. Our bodies were made to move, so it’s important to exercise moderately for at least 30 minutes every day. If you don’t have the time to perform an entire exercise routine, you can incorporate the activities you already do each day, like walking. Whenever time or weather permits, choose an activity you love doing, such as bicycle riding, rollerblading, or kayaking or hiking.

Add some nutmeg to a cup of tea or warm milk.

Nutmeg is a spice used essentially in baking, but it can also provide soothing benefits for the mind and body at the end of a busy day. When used in moderation, nutmeg can help you relax and drift off into a deep, sound sleep. Add about ½ a teaspoon to a cup of hot tea (preferably, decaffeinated) or some warm milk. If desired, sweeten with a little sugar or honey.

Close all window shades, blinds and curtains to block out as much light as possible.

Bright lights from the street, buildings, other apartments, and even your own living space can be a huge hindrance to getting a good night’s rest. To make sure you are not disturbed by lights from the outside, close all bedroom shades and those in adjacent rooms which have a direct impact on your sleeping area. Keep lights in your apartment or home off at night, except for an occasional night light, especially if children or older persons are present in the home.

Avoid reading, watching TV, or doing other activities which require mental concentration just before going to bed.

Nothing keeps you awake more than performing activities which require focus and concentration right before bedtime. Our minds are constantly bombarded with news, conversation, problems to solve and tasks to complete for 12-14 hours a day. It’s only natural to need time and the right atmosphere to unwind from all the stimulation we’ve been surrounded by throughout the day, and to prepare our bodies for sleep. Sleep comes more naturally and more readily when our minds have had a chance to de-clutter and let go of all the information we’ve absorbed during our waking hours. So, it’s best to turn off the television and put the book down at least 30 minutes before preparing for bed. Your body will thank you for it in the morning.

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