TROUBLE SLEEPING?

By Shai

Restful sleep is a cardinal ingredient of wellness.  It rejuvenates, repairs, regenerates, maintains body and mind, and boosts the immune system.

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In this chaotic age, sleeplessness has become almost normal.  It could be a long and complex topic, so here we pare it down to fundamentals.

Too many researches affirm that lack of sleep is undoubtedly linked to several psycho-physiological problems, to wit:

·      Moodiness that makes one less able to cope with daily stresses, which may lead to troubled relationships

·      Weakened immune system, symptomized by frequent allergies, colds, chronic and acute illnesses

·      Poor academic and general performance, concentration, mental and emotional stability

·      Obesity (for children and adults), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), depression, binge eating and other eating disorders

·      Poor growth

·      Shortened lifespan.

Insomnia could mean: being unable to sleep upon going to bed; frequent waking during the night or waking in the middle of the night and being unable to get back to sleep; light fretful sleep; disturbing dreams.

Some tips to induce restful sleep:

1.      Align your bed with the earth’s magnetic lines running North and South.  The best is to face your head east and your feet west.  If that’s not possible, the next best would be head facing south and feet north.  If neither is possible, face head west and feet east (least).  DO NOT face your head north.

2.     Ever stayed out in nature?  Absolute blackness of night is nature’s original plan for her children to sleep deeply and restfully.  We’ve come so far from that.  Now all cities are over-lit, agitating circadian rhythms of the body, disrupting female cycles, and causing serious insomnia.  Turn off as many indoor and outdoor lights as you can, installing curtains or window shades to block artificial light (btw, moonlight is natural and healing), sleep masks, eye pillows or any light, natural fiber material to cover the eyes.

3.     Notice how synthetic fibers (polyester, acrylic, rayon) stir electric static?  This disturbs the body’s natural energy flows; it disallows the skin to breathe.  So it’s best to use natural fibers for bedding, sleep clothes, pillows that are always clean, frequently washed with natural laundry agents without artificial strong scents (these aggravate the central nervous system, are usually petroleum- or coal tar-based).

4.     Keep the bedroom an abode of relaxation: out with the TV, computers, work desks, and food (food aromas can disturb sleep); use restful colors for the room, décor, furniture, sheets, blankets, and curtains (Ayurvedically, blue is most relaxing; green next).  Bright, garish, harsh or very dark colors and designs can agitate.  Open windows and cross ventilation are better than air-conditioning.  Houseplants, aromatherapeutic oils, and soft meditative music help calm and soothe.

5.     Before going to bed, take a warm bath/shower to relax the body.

6.     Do foot massage before bedtime—rub some light oil (sesame, coconut, almond or sunflower) all over the top, toes, and especially the soles.  This is very calming, helps promote sound and peaceful sleep.  Great for restless adults and children.

7.     Try also a scalp massage with a small amount of any of the above-mentioned oils, or Ayurvedic oils specifically for calming the mind, like Brahmi oil.

8.     Eat a meal not less than three hours before going to bed.  If you can, eat at sunset or just after, and make it light so the digestive process doesn’t impede your sleep efforts.  Should you be hungry close to bedtime, drink a cup of hot milk with a sprinkle of nutmeg–very calming.

9.     Set the mood for sleep.  Don’t watch (movies, TV) or read (books, articles, mags, newspapers) or listen to (loud, harsh music) anything that will rouse your mind, as it can go on overdrive when lying in bed.  So calm it before bedtime.  Meditation or prayer, letting go of worries, reading inspirational books before bedtime promote restful sleep and peaceful rising in the morning.

10. Caffeinated drinks, food and drinks with harmful ingredients (artificial coloring, flavoring, and preservatives) or those that are heavily spiced, super sweet or flavored are not sleep-conducive, especially when eaten in the evening.

11. Just as with eating, sleep is benefitted by routine.  Routine trains the body and mind learn to get ready to retire. Bed by 10pm or earlier, 11:00 at the latest.

12. Regular exercise relieves tightness, stiffness and stagnation in the body, promoting overall relaxation.  There are specific yoga asanas and chikung exercises that are ideal for this.

13. Left nostril breathing cools the mind and promotes lunar energy for sound sleep. Lie on your right side, the left side up, promoting breathing through the left nostril.

14. EMF’s or electro-magnetic fields have shown to cause a lot of very subtle mind agitation.  So turn cellpones off, unplug as many outlets as possible before going to bed.

15. Try some relaxing herbal teas: chamomile; lemon balm; catnip; valerian /  (locals) lemongrass; botolan (common bushweed); kusia (slender golden shower); tawa-tawa (asthma weed), and more.  Ask mr. Google—you’ll find millions of sedative herbs and homeopathic remedies.  Always check for contraindications.

Bottom line: a healthy body—well-functioning digestion, good elimination, well-exercised, nutritiously fed, regularly de-stressed, adequately hydrated—will sleep well.  So, let’s work on that!

2 Responses

  1. Nice post…

    I am often to blogging and i really appreciate your content. The article has really peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your site and keep checking for new information….

    warp_net_site - January 4th, 2013 at 6:09 am
  2. thank you. pardon my delinquency in writing. not a very in-tune-with-techno kinda guy. best of health to you.

    Shai Sangco Tamayo - October 23rd, 2013 at 1:51 am

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