Insomnia Keeping You Up? 5 Tips for Better Sleep

August 31, 2013 by  

If your alarm clock triggers a Pavlovian response of teeth gnashing, weeping, and compulsive hitting of the snooze button, you need to change your sleep habits! Chronic sleep deprivation is a cultural phenomena that needs to end. Life is too short to spend all of your time feeling grouchy and exhausted. Never fear, a good night’s sleep is within reach. Follow these 5 General Tips for Better Sleep and you’ll feel better in no time.

    I Love Better Sleep - Limit Caffeine
  1. Limit Caffeine – A lot of people limit caffeine by cutting off their supply at lunch or dinner time. While this can be helpful, if you’re a caffeine junkie it might not be enough. Caffeine builds up in the system, and some of our systems are more sensitive than others. Just be sure to gradually reduce the amount, or you might have caffeine withdrawal symptoms like headaches and irritability that can be avoided if you take it slow.
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Lights Out! 3 Tips for Helping Your Kids Get Better Sleep

August 30, 2013 by  

When you’re kids aren’t sleeping well, you probably aren’t getting much sleep, either. That is reason enough to take measures to help them get a great night’s sleep. A sleep deprived parent is rarely a happy and functional parent. Selfish motivations aside, there are plenty of reasons kids need to be well rested that have nothing to do with mommy’s mood. Children who are sleep deprived tend to have more behavioral issues, it can negatively impact their immune system, and they have a harder time learning and retaining information. The good news is that sleep issues in children are usually habitual, not caused by medical conditions. Just like any other bad habit, with time, patience, and consistency, you can help your child get the sleep that both of you so desperately need.

  • Have a Set Bedtime – The human body rests best when we set our internal clocks by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. It is tempting to let bedtimes go out the window when it isn’t a school night, but if you’re child already has sleep issues, this will only exacerbate the problem. Pick a time and stick to it.
  • I Love Better Sleep - Bedtime Routine

  • Establish a Predictable Routine – Even adults do better with a bedtime routine, but it is ten times as important for kids. It can be hard to wind down after a long day, and routines send your body the signal that it is time to get sleepy. An hour or so before bedtime, get started. A warm bath, followed by putting on pajamas, having a snack, brushing teeth, and reading a bedtime story is a common one, but the actual events matter less than the routine.
  • Make sure they’re getting enough Physical Activity – Kids have a lot of energy. They need ample opportunities to burn it off. If your child never seems sleepy at bedtime, take a look at their typical days. Are they getting enough opportunity to run, jump, and climb? If they’re spending too much time in front of the TV and not enough time playing outside, it’s going to be much harder for them to fall asleep. Usually, the harder they play, the less of a struggle it is to get them to sleep.

I Love Better Sleep - Playing
If you aren’t seeing any improvement after a month, be sure to check with your pediatrician to make sure that an underlying issue isn’t at the root of the problem. If your child consistently has nightmares or has physical symptoms like snoring or sleep apnea, have them seen right away. It could be something as simple as having seen a scary advertisement on TV or allergies causing stuffiness causing the problems, but it’s better to err on the side of caution when it comes to your kids. Assuming that your child’s sleep problems are behavioral, using these tips should cause a turnaround in sleep habits without a lot of struggle. Developing healthy habits shouldn’t feel like a punishment, so remember to be patient and gentle as you all adjust to the new rules.


photo credit: fatherspoon via photopin cc  |  rpscott123 via photopin cc

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Eat Your Way to Better Rest: 6 Super Foods That Help You Get Better Sleep

August 30, 2013 by  

The old adage, “You are what you eat,” is true in more ways than you might imagine. You probably know that you should avoid foods high in caffeine or refined sugar if you’re having trouble sleeping, but you might not know that you can replace them with alternative snacks that will aid your body in getting ready for bed. If you’ve been battling insomnia, you can actually adjust your diet to help you get to sleep. Why take sleeping pills with potentially dangerous side effects when you can enjoy the benefits of nature’s sleep aids? For best results, bedtime snacks with sleepy properties should be consumed about an hour before you head to bed.

  • Chamomile Tea – This soothing herbal teal aids digestion, which can help you get more rest. In addition, it is scientifically proven that a warm beverage an hour before bed can help you snooze. There is also an emotional association with many people between hot tea and comfort, and the role that emotions play in sleep patterns cannot be overstated.
  • Warm Milk – Yes, it’s true! The old stand-by works wonders. It’s not just an old wive’s tale. Your grandma might not have known why it works, but she was right that it does. Not only does it have the warming factor mentioned above, it also contains tryptophan. This is the same component found in turkey that induces the post-Thanksgiving feast naps.
  • I Love Better Sleep - Cherries

  • Cherries – Go for fresh or dried, either way you win. Cherries contain melatonin, a sleep inducing chemical your body makes naturally.
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