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<h3 class="entry-header">3 Important Tips to Achieving Good, Restful Sleep</h3>
1) Improve your sleep hygiene. This may sound trite, but it is so important. A quiet room where you can get uninterrupted sleep; clean sheets and pillow cases; no other person or animal waking you during sleep… these are all vitally important. If you have to resort to the couch or a guest bedroom to get good quality sleep, do it. Many times you can do something about the person or situation interrupting your sleep. If the problem doesn’t resolve, do it. Sleep is that important.
2) Be sure you and your doctor communicate about continuing sleep and health problems. a) Sleep medications should not be your first answer if you’re not sleeping well. They create abnormal sleep rhythms and force the body into an unnatural sleep quality. They artificially induce sleep. Many of the medicines are habit forming and potentially dangerous if not taken correctly. Some even have lethal consequences, such as drugging the individual making him incapable of functioning at his job the next day, driving capabilities or reasoning skills. Sleep medications are serious drugs. B) I once knew a man with horrible sleep problems. (He had sleep apnea that sometimes brought his nighttime oxygen saturation level down into the 60th percentile!) His doctor gave him a medicine for another condition. The medicine caused the man to get up six or seven times a night to go to the bathroom. All of those awakenings, added to his already altered sleep cycle, ruined any chance he had of getting decent rest. He felt worse than ever and, eventually, passed out on the floor hitting his head. The man was oxygen deprived and exhausted!
3) Find a non-drug, non-alcohol mechanism to relax before bedtime. (Note: Old advice encouraged people to exercise before bedtime, but that is not currently well regarded. If some people exercise before going to bed, they often have a hard time going to sleep. This can mess up natural body rhythms and you don’t need that.) If you practice something like yoga, tai chi, deep breathing, meditation or listening to relaxing music, you are more likely to slip into a deeper sleep much quicker. This is well-respected advice within the circles of sleep experts. Not so well considered is the habit of watching television, even though that is precisely what the majority of people do each night.
Suggestion: Find yourself some Native American flute music or sultry blues if you must be entertained. Dim the lights (as that helps to trigger your brain into relaxation) and zone out. Enjoy!