Sleep and Rest: Second of the Five Factors of Health
Getting Good Zzzs
As one of the five (exercise, diet, sleep, attitude, and sound physical structure) factors of health, sleep is vitally important for your body’s regeneration and healing. We need just enough sleep to feel rested. There’s no need to get hung up on how many hours you sleep and whether it’s more or less than 8. In general, a short nap in the afternoon (the siesta zone between 1:00 and 3:00) will leave you more rested than the same amount of time tacked onto your morning sleep.
If you have difficulty getting to sleep, here are some tips that can help:
Eat a high carbohydrate evening meal; a bowl of cereal with warm milk is a good late night snack.
Review the side effects of your prescription or over-the-counter medication.
Exercise regularly to stimulate deeper sleep.
If your mind is racing in circular worry patterns, keep a pad of paper and a pen next to your bed to write the worries down so you can deal with them the next day.
Reserve the bedroom for sleeping and lovemaking; keep stressful discussions, work, eating, and TV out of the bedroom, especially at night.
Use mental and muscular relaxation techniques; take a few minutes to visualize yourself in a warm, relaxing, safe place; then move from head to toe releasing tension in all your muscles.
Try the following herbs for sleep: chamomile tea, hops, passionflower, catnip, basil, violet leaves, and lemon verbena.
Dr. Rick Schlussel is a Chiropractor and Applied Kinesiologist providing preventive health care, treatment for pain and injuries, holistic health assessments and a variety of natural therapies. He can be reached at Presence Wellness Center and Spa at 530-889-0388 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org