After suffering from bouts of insomnia over the years I researched a number of methods to assist and facilitate deep restful sleep. I’m going to describe some of the techniques that I found invaluable in my quest to enhance the good quality and quantity of sleep.
Warm Bath With Epsom Salts
The initial technique I stumbled across was to have a very warm bath about one hour before you wished to go to bed. I poured a significant cup of Epsom salts into the bath and soaked in it for up to 30 minutes. The reason this works so effectively is that first of all Epsom salts are made from magnesium which is a wonderful muscle relaxant. Magnesium also facilitates sleep by way of chemical pathways in the brain and its impact on neurotransmitters in the brain.
The other factor I discovered with a bit of investigation is that when you get out of a hot bath your core temperature rises and as it steadily cools over the first few minutes after the bath this causes the brain to release melatonin (the main chemical in the body that aids you sleep) from the pituitary gland which also facilitates sleepiness.
Tricks With Light And The Melatonin Cycle
Another trick I learnt along my quest a refreshing sleep period was to get plenty of bright light early in the day, particularly in winter, and then spend the last two waking hours in the evening getting progressively less light. To achieve this I used candles and dimmer switches or even just the light of the television. The reason this works effectively is that it works in perfectly with the melatonin cycle of your body. Light suppresses melatonin, darkness allows it to rise. So by using the techniques I described you reset your sleep wake cycle and train your body to build up melatonin levels in the evening when they’ll help you sleep.
A good recommendation is to eat meals that contain melatonin as this can clearly help build up your stores during the day so your brain can release more of it when needed. Melatonin is high in chicken, fish and cottage cheese as well as bananas so these are very good food choices if you are having trouble sleeping.
Remove The TV
The other tips that I have found to be beneficial for facilitating a good night’s sleep is to get the television out of the bedroom and only use your bed for sleeping or light reading. It’s not the place for laptops, mobile phones or video games which can be extremely stimulating and may make it more difficult for you to doze off.
I hope you benefited from the handful of tips I shared with you here to help you get a good night’s sleep. If you suffer from any kind of sleep interruption I would recommend you give one or all of these techniques a try.