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Eight Secrets to a Good Night’s Sleep

1.No Milk nor Cookies (sorry!)

Certain ingredients in foods may have side-effects which consequently impede your sleep. For example, turmeric is known to stimulate the stomach to produce more gastric acid. Too much turmeric could cause heartburn, and the pain would definitely cause a disturbance to your sleep. 

Food needs to be digested. If your organs are busy digesting your food, they are plainly not ready to wind down for sleep. Though you may not be aware at the time you are slumbering, many brain functions occur while you are sleeping. 

Some studies have shown that during sleep, toxins that build up in your brain during your awakened cycle are removed!


Sleeping on your back can cause snoring. Sleeping on your stomach can cause tension in your neck. Sleeping on your side supposedly alleviates both of those issues; Apparently, it is the position which is easiest on your joints. There are benefits and detriments to any sleeping position. Whichever one works, is the right one for you. 

A well-fitted pillow can contribute to correcting sleep misalignments. It needs to be high enough to keep your head aligned with your spine. You want your spine to be neutral, so there will be no pressure on it. 

Does your mattress provide enough support? Do you find it firm enough or cushiony enough for your comfort? People experiment with weighted blankets and sleep masks.

If you have attempted unsuccessfully to fall asleep in several positions, perhaps try opening a window, to allow some fresh air in. The variation in temperature, or even a cool breeze, might be just the antidote you need, hopefully lulling you off to sleep.

3. When in doubt, have a drink!

Warm decaffeinated tea always helps to calm a person down. You can create a nighttime ritual, to ease yourself into your slumbers, just like parents do, with small children. Routines are good for everyone. They help your body adapt to change, and you get used to them, like good habits you try to incorporate. Then, you can rely on them, when you happen to be having an off night, when something or other is interfering with your ability to nod off. 

4. A novel notion

It is better to read an actual book before bedtime, than to read an e-reader, watch TV, or use your phone. They all produce blue light that disrupts sleep. 

Relaxation exercises, or mindful meditation can help, as well. Some people swear by noise machines, which produce soothing sounds like waves, to help calm you down. Even quiet music might help put you in relaxation mode.

5. Have you ever tried journalling?

If you find you’re anxious, and truly cannot fall asleep, it is better to not just lay there, staring at the ceiling. Choose a task to focus on, for a short while, until you feel more tired. Perhaps you can journal about what is causing your anxiety, and think about potential solutions, to help alleviate your worries. Try writing a poem about something you’re unhappy about. Taylor Swift did that, and we all know how that turned out! Even writing your daily tasks or grocery list can get thoughts out of your head, onto a page, and help to relieve some stress.

6. Counting steps instead of sheep

It is not necessary to count your steps all day long, but regular exercise does contribute to a better night’s sleep. If you move around and expend energy during the day, your muscles will get tired. Gage yourself though, regarding what time of day you exercise. Some people can work out, and then go straight to sleep. Others find that exercise winds them up and interferes with their shuteye. 

7. Even if Starbucks is open 24-7

Some people can drink a quad-shot latte before bed, and fall immediately asleep, while others find that caffeine interferes with their ability to wind down. Every person is different. You need to experiment, to figure out how caffeine affects you.

8. Wash away your troubles

Soaking in a warm bath can ease your body into relaxation mode. You can reflect on your day, noting what you liked, and wishing away what you prefer to leave behind. Contemplate how you can make your tomorrow a fulfilling one. Some people swear by lavender Epsom salts. 

You can try a mixture of solutions, to figure out the right recipe for you.

In 2024 there will be more sleep tech around, to potentially enhance your plight, with immersive virtual reality goggles! So don’t lose hope about finding the rest you need.

Cheryl Struzer | Contributor

Summer 2024

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