Is insomnia keeping you awake night after night? You can sleep like a baby again with a few simple lifestyle and diet changes! Check out Dr. Jill’s natural and healthy tips to fight insomnia…
Dr. Jill’s Twelve Tips to Banish Insomnia
- Restrict caffeine
- Its half-life is 7-8 hours, meaning half the espresso you have a noon will still by in your system at 7pm!
- Coffee is a natural stimulant, and high intake can bring on headaches, increase heart rate, or cause insomnia or sleep issues.
- Don’t go to bed within 2 hours of an alcoholic drink
- 1 drink = 2 hours, 2 drinks = 4 hours, etc
- Each drink has 1 hour sedation followed by 1 hour arousal
- Don’t nap or sleep during the day no matter how tired you feel
- Train your body to wake up at the same time every day – even weekends!
- The habit of sleeping late on weekends will wreak havok on your circadian rhythm the following week when you need to get up early for work on Monday
- Assess your sleep environment carefully
- It should be quiet, cool and dark
- No pets in bed
- No noise-maker or fan if spouse snores
- Try to eliminate mental stressors before bed
- No arguments, computer work, television, finances, etc. at least 1 hour prior to bed
- Don’t try to solve problems just before bed
- Try a cup of hot chamomile tea or lavender aromatherapy before bed
- Take a hot bath for thirty minutes about an hour and a half before you would like to sleep – better yet, add 2-3 cups of Epsom salts which will relax your mind and body.
- Don’t eat or exercise within 2 hours of bedtime
- Try not to associate bed with being awake
- Avoid tossing & turning for hours
- Don’t read, watch TV or listen to music in bed (bed is for sleeping and sex only!)
- Eliminate negative stimuli (staring at clock for hours)
- Address sleep myths, wrong thoughts i.e. “I’m going to die if I don’t get enough sleep”
- Develop pre-sleep rituals like prayer, meditation, etc.
- A few relaxation techniques: counting, breath watching, muscle relaxation, visualization
- One method: count breaths to 10 and start over again. When mind wanders, “rope it” back to corral. Start counting again at one. This discipline keeps you from following racing brain thoughts.
Top Supplements For Sleep
- Magnesium Glycinate – 300-600mg at bedtime
- 5HTP – 100-200mg at bedtime (caution as in small percentage of people may worsen insomnia)
- Melatonin 1-3mg
- GABA 100-200mg at bedtime
- L-Theanine 100-200mg
- Herbals: Valerian, hops, passion flower, chamomile
Healthy Travel Tips: Sleep
It’s essential to make sure you get 7-8 hours the night before you travel. I specifically avoid scheduling my flights prior to 10am so that I can get adequate sleep the night before and have my morning routine before a big trip. While you are gone make every effort to maintain good sleep hygiene and get 7-8 hours per night. If you must have a sleepless night, take a quick nap to catch up. If you are traveling overseas or crossing time zones, try melatonin 3-6mg one an hour before planned bedtime beginning one day prior to leaving and continue for one to two weeks after you return home. Melatonin is excellent remedy to help you adjust your circadian rhythms for the new time zone. (Read more of Dr. Jill’s Top Ten Healthy Travel Tips here!)