Better Sleep: New Tips and Tricks
Restfulness is next to godliness. Or at least let’s understand that it’s very hard to live mindfully when you’re exhausted all the time. Neuropsychologist Rick Hanson has some good sleep tips
– Make a deal with yourself to worry or plan during the next day, after you get up. An hour or so ahead of sleep, “dump” your worries on a piece of paper and put it away in a drawer, preferably in a room that isn’t the bedroom.
– Shift your attention to things that make you feel happy and relaxed, or simply to the sensations of breathing itself. Bring to mind the warm feeling of being with people who care about you. Have compassion for yourself.
– Really relax. For example, take five to ten long exhalations; imagine your hands are warm (and tuck them under the pillow); rest a finger or knuckle against your lip; relax your tongue and jaw; imagine you are in a very peaceful setting; progressively relax each part of your body, starting with your feet and moving up to your head.
– Certain nutrients are important for sleep. Unless you’re sure you’re getting these in your daily diet, consider supplementing magnesium (500 milligrams/day) and calcium (1200 milligrams/day). If you can, take half in the morning and half before bed.
– The neurotransmitter serotonin aids sleep; it is made from an amino acid, tryptophan, so consider taking 500-1000 milligrams of tryptophan just before bed.
– If you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t easily fall back to sleep, consider 1 milligram of melatonin taken sublingually (under the tongue). You could also eat a banana or something else that’s quick and easy; rising blood sugar will lift insulin levels, which will help transport more tryptophan into your brain.
Better sleep, tips & tricks; mindful holistic health