Not sleeping is a huge problem for some. If you are in this camp, do not fret. There are some amazing tricks and tips that can create sound sleep once again. Doubtful you may be but do give them a try. I have outlined a few different suggestions here and my hope that one of them works for you.
- Deep Breathing: Lay down in your bed and get in your comfortable sleeping position. Then begin to breathe from your toes up to the top of your head - long slow inhalations. Then breathe out slowly from the top of your head down to your toes. Yogis state that exhaling is most important to control. Do this 10 times - that is if you can make it that far without falling asleep. Breathe in and out to your comfort level. It takes time to perfect very deep breathing.
- Dash of salt: I learned this from reading 'Your Bodies Many Cries For Water' by Dr B. Simply take a small pinch of salt and place it on your tongue. Let it dissolve and then swallow. It may burn a bit the first time you do it but after that, it will be fine. Do not ask me the mechanism behind this - I have no idea how it works but it definitely does for me. Do it right before bed - basically when you are getting in bed. Leave a salt shaker in your room. Will a pinch of salt affect your blood pressure? According to Dr. B, no. I recommend reading his book.
- Magnesium: Taking a magnesium supplement may help one sleep. According to numerous studies, magnesium helps balance the brain's neurotransmitters and also balances hormones. It is recommended to take a calcium magnesium supplement in a 2:1 ratio. More calcium is needed as magnesium increases the elimination of calcium. A good magnesium to take is magnesium citrate or magnesium aspartate. I have linked a useful study from PubMed for you.
- Cell Salts: Cell salts are similar to homeopathy for some. For me, they are completely different. They are safer, cheaper and very fast acting. For sleep disturbances, Kali Phos is the most commonly recommended cell salt. Yet, some people need Calc Phos, Mag Phos or some others. A great book to learn about Cell Salts is by Dr Skye Weintraub, "Natural Healing with Cell Salts" I recommend Kali Phos or a mixture of all the BioPhosphates if you are unsure of which to take. Best way to take cell salts: take a tablespoon of hot water and drop 4 tablets of the cell salt in it. Let it dissolve completely - it's rapid. Then place under your tongue for about 20 seconds. Done. Do this on the hour every hour. I'd recommend doing a dose or two before sleep - so start an hour before bed so you can get two doses in. It works like a charm for my kids.
- Stay mellow before sleep: What are you doing before sleep? Are you watching horrible and stressful news? Doing something at the last minute for work? Listening to rock? Drinking soda? Eating ice cream? Avoid these things and aim to relax at least 20 minutes before sleep. Lay down with a good book. Meditate. Drink herbal teas. Get your partner to massage your feet - or lay down opposite each other and do both at once!
- Listen to quiet music to help relax brain frequencies: There is a program out there that is designed to relax the alpha waves of the brain - which are the active frequencies. Awakened Minds has designed the Insight CD program to relax the alpha waves. I use the Focus CD by them to study my countless hours of lecture material.
Try the free methods first. I know they are powerful and effective. I have provided the other options as you may have already known about those and they didn't work for you - or it wasn't suited for you.
Sleep well tonight! Let me know how it works out for you - I'd love to know which tools you used. As a future physician, I will be suggesting things for my patients. Each person is different but it is still good to know which seem to work the best.
If you know of some useful tricks for falling asleep that I didn't mention - let me know! Love to learn!
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PS - of course, exercise 3 times a week for 20-30 minutes is very effective for balancing stress and improving sleep. yet, i know many of you do not have the energy or capacity to do it. so these tips are alternatives to getting out and busting a sweat.