Sleeping Woman

The Sleep Blog

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Sleep is a critically important part of living and enjoying your life. Lately, I have had some extra time to analyze this action in my life.

I wanted to share information from my studies, research, clients, and personal experiences. Although we could head in many directions and segue many times, I will make a point to keep this narrowed, although I get a sneaky suspicion that I will revisit this topic and segue a bit.

As a doctor of Chinese medicine, I make a point of looking at the whole picture as much as I can. The more I understand an issue, the more I can target the core issue. In nearly all cases, other factors contribute to the “dis-ease” that a patient is going through. Sleep, or rather lack thereof, is a huge contributing factor. Sometimes I do not have to ask, it is visible under their eyes, or I can see it on the back of their hands. There are tells that I observe that compel me to dig deeper into their sleep habits.

Sleep is critical in life and must be treated as an essential function. Sleep not only allows your body to rest and recharge, but it also allows your nonstop brain to change its needed gears. Yes, your brain does not stop until death. Sleep allows your mind to simply change gears and process the waste out of the brain back into your body so that your body can finish the final steps of removing waste from your body. Sleep allows your brain the organize and process experiences, events, and so much more. Sleep allows you to dream! Where the sky is the limit. Your brain needs to get into your dream state while your body takes a break to heal and recharge for the next day’s events.

Lack of sleep can cause so many issues: inability to concentrate, it can make you physically weak and lose both dexterity and agility, it can prevent you from thinking clearly and making good safe decisions, it can greatly affect your memory, it can weaken your kidneys functions and other organs. It can tank your immune system. Simply stated, sleep is critical and you should take it very seriously.

So many things can get in the way of having a good sleep. Things like physical, mental, emotional, spiritual trauma, chemical use/abuse, pain, worry, anxiety, and the list go on and on.

Some of the proactive things you can do to start taking control of your sleep are:

Creating a comfortable sleeping environment (bed, sheets, pillow, room temperature, noise, smell)

Sorting your emotions and mind before you are ready to fall asleep

Doing an exercise that helps you sleep

Doing meditation to prep yourself for sleep

Doing an advanced meditation that takes you into your sleep mode

I am going to talk about a few in the list above. There are more, but this blog is not about long lists, it’s about actionable solutions that you can do within a couple of days and others tonight.

Adjust the temperature of your room so that you are comfortable going to sleep. If you are too hot or shivering because you are too cold, then it is harder to slip into a nice sleep.

Try journaling before you go to sleep. Get your thoughts and emotions out of you and into the pages of your journal. This helps most people emotionally and mentally wind down.

Working out a couple of hours before bed. This works for some and not for others. If working out “wakes you up” then workout in the mornings. If it makes you sleepy, then you know what to do.

Now my body tends to run hot, so if you have a similar situation, try using cotton sheets. Ditch the blanket but keep it close. Try wearing nothing to bed so that your body can self-regulate its temperature. Your body is very good at that.

Speaking of cooling, because some people have heating issues (like me), I purchased a bed that helps cool the body and offers very excellent support. Another thing I recently did again is I purchased Beckham Hotel Collection Bed Pillows. I have a couple of different pillows that I use, but these I very much enjoy. If you are not swapping out your pillows every 1-3 years, then you need to get on that.

Just an FYI, if you are using Memory Foam, Polyfoam, Down/Feather, Buckwheat, or Latex pillows, you should replace them every 2 to 3 years. You may be able to get a little more or less out of them.

If you are using Polyester or Down Alternatives then you may need to replace them every 6 months to 2 years.

Keep an eye on the shape of your pillow. It is important to have a pillow that offers you ample support for your head, neck, spine, and body needs.

You can wash most pillows one way or another, but please look at the washing instructions and follow those instructions. Also, clean your pillowcase each week and get new ones every 1 to 2 years.

Good maintenance keeps your pillows generally supporting you longer, it keeps you cleaner and keeps the allergens under control.

Remember that your pillow often captures some dirt off your hands, hair, and face. Sometimes make-up comes off on the pillows, dead skin, ear wax, your nose runs, your breath out, etc. Most people don’t bother thinking about these things but they are important and can lead to a much better night’s sleep when proper attention is given.

If you require a pillow that has a fixed shape and helps toward the aforementioned, I can attest to UTTU Sandwich Pillow. I have happily used this and my wife has stolen this pillow from me a few times. So I bought her one.

Eat light and easier-to-process foods in the early evening. Try not to eat within 3 to 4 hours of sleep. Keep your sugar intake low, and keep your caffeine as close to zero as well. Don’t have a TV in your bedroom. If you can not hold to this, then turn off the blue light (modern TVs) to help. Set your TV on a timer so that your TV is not flashing for hours on end while you are trying to have a restful night’s sleep. TV also includes a computer monitor, tablet, cell phone, etc.

Your bedroom needs to have a 100% association with a clear understanding of sleep when it is time.

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