DR. TONI GALARDI
MASTERING CHANGE…ITALIAN STYLE

To sleep or not to sleep: The economy’s effect on American sleep habits

People are not sleeping well these days. My clients complain about it, my friends complain about it, and even my parents complain about it. As a former insomniac, I thought I should give some tips in today’s blog about how to resolve this important issue. Lack of sleep ages the body like no other lifestyle factor.  It lowers the immune system and interferes with the REM sleep phase which is so important to dreaming (even if you don’t remember dreaming, dreaming is essential to health). Lack of sleep is also the number one cause of auto accidents, and it retards one’s ability to adapt to daily stress.

Here are some tips that work for me:
1) Force yourself to turn off the TV and computer at least one hour before bed.
2) Go to sleep at the same time every night and wake up at relatively the same time every morning, even on weekends.
3) Listen to soothing music and read books or magazines that are not disturbing but are uplifting.
4)  Do some kind of cardio work-out at least five days a week earlier in the day.
5) Eat complex carbohydrates like rice, pasta, or potatoes at dinner. It increases serotonin, the chemical that calms the brain.
6) I have found for me, one milligram of melatonin one half hour before bed really helps. Some people find taking tryptophan, an amino acid promotes sleep naturally.
7) Scan the day you just completed. Take note of what your emotional state was at every point in the day.  Now using your awareness, scan your body from head to toe. Wherever there is pain, breathe into it until you start to feel it release a little.
8) Count your blessings instead of sheep as you drift off to dream land…

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