Counting Sheep to Sleep
Written by Diet Bites
How to Get Those Forty Winks Without Harmful Drugs
The Sandman has been given a bad wrap these days, many in the health community claiming that he's not been doing his job. Seems that people are tired throughout the day, then when it comes time for bed, they are suddenly wide awake.
The solution? Commercials and advertisements pitch many miracle drugs and products to substitute for the Sandman, but in life - natural is always best. Drugs come with risks - sometimes the risks overriding the benefits.
Although we recognize that there are those individuals who really do require assistance in getting a good night's sleep, many individuals experiencing occasional sleep issues might solve their problems with the following tips.
If not, please see your doctor as in some instances sleep deprivation may be connected to more serious health-issues. In addition, lack of adequate sleep has been proven to contribute to weight gain. Studies also indicate that a sleepy driver is as dangerous as a drunk driver.
Natural Causes of Sleep Deprivation & Tips to Get Those All-Important Forty Winks
The following addresses the natural causes contributing to deprivation of sleep. For medical causes associated with sleeping disorders, please speak with your physician.
Modern day advancements are highly responsible for crippling The Sandman. In the good old days of yesteryear before men invented artificial light, individuals spent the evening hours much differently than today. They might have spent the evening hours relaxing with family and friends discussing their day, or sharing stories, or even story telling.
And because most of our forefathers endured days filled with labor-intense hours, by the time their heads hit the pillows, the Sandman didn't have much work to do. The women didn't get off easily either, most sewing clothing for the family, making soap, hauling water and rearing children.
Light itself has a lot to do with our sleeping patterns. Too little, or too much and we're suddenly out of whack. Oddly enough, studies have indicated that females who work the nightshift in artificial lighting tend to have a higher risk for developing some types of cancer.
If you're experiencing sleep disturbances or have difficultly falling to sleep, trace the steps you took throughout the evening hours. Were you physically active? Mentally? What did you eat? Drink? Did you take a shower or bath? What about your stress level?
Physical Activity: Physical activity just a few hours before bedtime can contribute to the inability to sleep so you may meet up with the Sandman by simply performing exercise and heavier activity well before it's time for bed.
Mental Activity: One of the best methods for ensuring a horrible night's sleep is to watch the late evening news before going to bed. Let's face it - the news is rarely good news and most news torments us for hours after we've viewed. Because most of the time there is nothing we can do to change the reporting situation, we continue to act out a solution to the story in our minds.
Television, video games, telephone conversations, writing, computer surfing - all of these activities stimulate the mind and it's almost impossible to turn off our thoughts much like we would a water faucet. Our advice is to shut down about an hour before bedtime. Instead of turning on the tube, spend time with the family, open up a book, or enjoy sex with your partner which generally does the trick in beckoning sleep.
Eating Before Bedtime: Although a small chunk of cheese and a couple of crackers or a cup of skim milk might help an individual sleep better, late evening eating generally scares the Sandman to death as the individual wrestles with gas and heartburn. But the situation doesn't stop with food. That evening cup of java, cocoa or hot tea might also keep the Sandman running away, even though one would assume that a cup of something hot and cozy must promote sleep. It's that old Caffeine Monster again - also a contributor to heartburn and tummy upset.
Evening Bath or Shower: This can be a tricky issue as some individuals might find a warm bath a natural sedative while others discover it snaps them to life. If you're a 'snap to lifer' try taking your bath earlier in the day or evening.
Stress Effects Sleep: If you're bogged down at work with too many responsibilities, you may spend all day and all night at work - the daylight hours physically on the job, and the night hours mentally on the job. Lack of sleep equals lack of energy and the more stressed the individual is about work, the more overwhelmed they become. It's like an unlit keg of dynamite with the individual standing beside it holding the match. Eventually, something is going to explode.
With more women in the workforce than not, it's hard to continue to juggle issues day-in and day-out without a pin falling out of place. Stress settles in, consuming the individual's awake-time and sleep-time.
If you find that you're simply overstressed, sit down and take a good look at your schedule. If you've got too many irons in the fire, try to simplify. Enjoying a few things in life is much more rewarding than having to work all the time just to hang onto the things that we want. One can spend a lifetime working for the things that they want and end up having no time to enjoy any of those things - those precious things that become worth more than life itself. For those who can afford luxuries such as spacious houses, several cars, boats, swimming pools, etc., they might find getting those forty winks much easier by asking, "Are these things really worth the stress?"
In Summary: Above all the issues addressed above, one thing stands out. When an individual is content with their life, they may only have need of counting a couple of sheep to find sleep. So many times we get so busy with life that we forget to live. And sometimes in order to live, we must set our worries aside.