Lack of sleep stresses your brain and body and interferes with cell and tissue repair. While sleep deprived, you are more prone to depression, irritability, accidents, wrong decisions, and regrettable behavior. Long-term sleep deprivation increases your susceptibility to infection and all degenerative health disorders. (See How Stress Causes Disease.)
The following guidelines promote the sleep required for you to perform well physically, mentally, and emotionally.
- Schedule eight hours for sleep. Try to retire no later than 10:00 pm and arise around 6:00 am since this routine supports the natural rhythms of your brain and body chemistry. If your routine is remarkably different, gradually adjust your sleep times toward the 10:00 pm to 6:00 am sleep pattern. Allow more time when not sleeping soundly, but do not sleep longer than required.
- Do not consume a large meal within three hours of bedtime. Also, minimize meats and eliminate added sugar and white flour from your diet, all of which interfere with restful sleep. Eat a plant-based diet high in fruits and vegetables. Oatmeal, cherries, bananas, walnuts, and turkey are noted to promote sleep.
- Reduce or eliminate coffee, black tea, colas, and other sources of caffeine in your diet. Avoid consuming caffeine and other stimulants late in the day. Instead, use B-Lite early in the day for energy, feeling good, and your health.
- Try to avoid electronics for at least two hours before bedtime. The blue light emitted from television, computer, and cell phone screens suppress your pineal gland's secretion of melatonin, which is essential to the sleep-wake cycle.
- Minimize your exposure to contention and intense excitement, whether real or through electronics. Your subconscious mind cannot differentiate your reality from the violence you perceive through media broadcasts, movies, or virtual reality games.
- Get some form of physical exercise during the day but not within three hours of sleep.
- Reserve your bedroom for sleep, not for study, watching television, or other unrelated purposes. If necessary, set up a partition to separate your sleep area from those for other uses.
- If you have a night light or other light source in your bedroom, wear an eye mask to block it. Even dim light can interfere with sound sleep. However, seeing sunlight during the day can promote sleep by supporting pineal gland function.
Health disorders and medications can also disrupt sleep. If you take any drug consult drugs.com to see if you are affected by the drug's toxic effects. Adverse reactions from sleeping pills can also disrupt your sleep.
It's important to be aware of possible sleeping pill side effects so you can stop the drug and call your doctor immediately to avoid a more serious health problem. Reference retrieved July 20, 2015
Why not try natural sleep aids before risking a drug reaction? The following dietary supplements are safe for long-term use while most sleeping pills are not.
For a mild to moderate difficulty sleeping, Calms Forté® or Min-Tran® may be all that you require. For greater support, Best-Rest Formula works well. Or, for a severe sleep difficulty, use one or both of the following supplements before bedtime:
For additional recommendations, see Sleep Duration and Quality.
See complete product descriptions on all of the supplements you take. Also see our Disclaimer for information about allergies and nutrient-drug interactions.
About Horton Tatarian
I’m a biochemist who examines scientific findings on health and disease. My degree in biochemistry is from U.C. Berkeley. UCLA School of Medicine granted an M.D. degree in 1974. Since then, independent research prepared me to advise clients on natural ways of self-care.