Acupuncture.Com - Gateway to Chinese Medicine, Health and Wellness        Store                    Google
 
PATIENTS

bulletConditions A-Z
bulletAcupuncture Clinic
bulletFind an Acupuncturist
bulletHerbal Remedies
bulletDiet & Nutrition
bulletChi Gong &Tai Chi
bulletChinese Medicine Basics
bulletPatient Testimonials
bulletAnimal Acupuncture
bulletStore

PRACTITIONERS/STUDENTS

bulletSyndromes A-Z
bulletAcuPoint Locator
bulletHerbology
bulletPractice Building
bulletCEUs/Events
bulletEmployment
bulletStudy Acupuncture
bulletAcupuncture Schools
bulletResearch
bulletTCM Library
bulletLaws & Regulations
bulletPractitioner Links
bulletPractitioner Store

MORE

bulletPoints Newsletter
bulletCatalog Requests
bulletContact Us
bulletAbout Acupuncture.Com
bulletPrivacy Policy

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Acupuncture.Com accepts article contributions. Email submissions to contact@acupuncture.com

Subscribe

Keep informed on current news in the world of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Home > Newsletters > May 2009 > 6 Tips for Deep Sleep

6 Tips for Deep Sleep

By Maoshing Ni, L.Ac., D.O.M., ABAAHP, Ph.D.

Would you like to sleep like a baby without taking drugs? Americans spend upwards of 3 billion dollars a year on sleep medications, but to avoid the side effects, there are a number of natural remedies you can try first. Read on to learn some of the ways to get a good quality night's sleep.

1. Relaxing Rituals to Rest Easy

In Chinese Medicine, nighttime is yin time—or, simply, when the body takes care of itself instead of your desires. Proper sleep is required for your body to repair itself and regenerate. To reach deep restful sleep, your spirit and heart must be calm. Excessive worry, Anxiety, and depression can all disturb the spirit and activate the mind—making it near impossible to fall asleep and stay asleep. Rituals to soothe your spirit and induce a sleep response before bed include soaking your feet in Epsom salts for 15 minutes, writing all of your thoughts in a journal to get them out of your head, and practicing relaxation before bed, like the Stress Release meditation below.

2. When Food Disturbs Sleep

When you eat late, you wake up tired. Your body will be busy digesting your dinner while you are trying to sleep, so you won't feel rested in the morning. Do not eat anything for at least three hours before bedtime. Also, cut back on eating bacon, cheese, chocolate, ham, potatoes, tomatoes, and sausage, especially before bed. These foods contain tyramine, which inhibits neurochemicals like norepinephrine and can cause insomnia. And, of course if you have sleep problems, caffeine should be cut out.

Eat for sleep! Try eating more grains at dinner; carbohydrates tend to make people sleepy. Another snooze snack is a warm cup of milk; because milk is rich in the amino acid tryptophan, it can sometimes aid in deep sleep. Mix in natural vanilla flavoring for a soothing snack. Or if you prefer, eat 1 cup of natural yogurt an hour before bedtime.

3. A Peaceful Place for Sleep

Your sleeping environment makes a huge difference to the quality of your sleep. Do everything you can to create a quiet and cozy atmosphere. Ideally, your bedroom should be located in the quietest area of your home. Keep the décor minimal. Lighting should be dim and any music that is played should be soothing. Research has found that lavender, vanilla, and green apple are among the best scents to help lower Anxiety and induce sleep, making these smells a good choice for a scented candle or heated essential oil. Try to limit your pets to outside of the bedroom because their movements can keep your body from fully relaxing into deep R.E.M. sleep. As much as possible, your bedroom should be only for sleep.

4. Exercise Enables Sleep

People with regular exercise routines often sleep better and have fewer incidents of insomnia than those don't get regular physical activity. Exercise promotes sleep and improves sleep quality by altering brain chemistry. Exercising moderately for 20 to 30 minutes three times a day, combined with meditation or tai chi in the evening, will not only help you fall and stay asleep, but will also increase the amount of time you spend in R.E.M. sleep. In fact, for some people, exercise alone is enough to overcome sleep problems. Exercise in the morning or afternoon, but do not exercise for at least two hours before bed.

5. Herbs to Sleep Tight

A calming tea before bedtime can ensure a good night's sleep. Drink valerian or passionflower (or passiflora) tea before bedtime every night for one month. Simply steep 1 to 2 tablespoons of the dried herbs in one cup of hot water and drink just before bed. Or look for one with the traditional Chinese herbs zizyphus or jujube seed, bamboo shavings, and oyster shell, which soothe the mind and spirit.

You might also try Calm-Fort/Sleep formula with useful herbs like lily bulbs, polygala and turmeric that help manage stress and calm the spirit while relieving restlessness and insomnia.

6. A Sleep-Friendly Meditation

I had one patient with insomnia who also felt anxious and even a little depressed. In addition to acupuncture and herbal therapies, I decided to teach her a stress release meditation that she could do before bedtime to help with her Anxiety. I am happy to report that she is now sleeping like a baby.

Try this Stress Release meditation, which works for the majority of my patients who have sleeping problems:

Sit comfortably or lie down on your back. Slow your respiration to deep, abdominal breathing. Utter the word "calm" in your mind with every exhalation. Focus on relaxing each area of your body in sequence, from the top of your head to your toes. Starting with the top of your head, inhale and then exhale while visualizing your scalp muscles relaxing. Say "calm" in your mind. Repeat this with each body part as you move down through all body parts, front, back, and sides, in succession: your face, throat, chest, arms, stomach, abdomen, thighs, knees, legs, ankles, until finally you reach your feet. When you've relaxed your feet, visualize all the tension in your body leaving through your toes as dark smoke. Practice this for at least 15 minutes before bedtime.

It will have you sleeping in no time. If you do better with meditative visualizations that are narrated, try my Stress Release CD.

I hope you find the ways to resting easy and waking up refreshed!

May you stay healthy, live long, and live happy!


Dr. Maoshing Ni, L.AC., D.O.M., PH.D., DIPL. C.H., DIPL. ABAAP

Dr. Maoshing Ni is a doctor of Chinese medicine, bestselling author and an authority in anti-aging medicine. He runs an acupuncture and Chinese medicine practice in Santa Monica, California, called Tao of Wellness, where his patients have included physicians, Fortune 500 CEOs and celebrities. He is co-founder and Chancellor of Yo San University in Los Angeles, where he teaches the art and science of Wellness Medicine. Dr. Mao, as he is known to his patients and readers has lectured internationally and has been featured on radio and television as well as on the pages of The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and many other publications. He is currently featured as an expert on Yahoo Health, where he writes a blog about longevity. For more information on his bestselling book, Secrets of Longevity and his latest book, Secrets of Self Healing and his other books, go to www.askdrmao.com.
 

This Month's Articles

May 2009
Volume 7, Number 5

6 Tips for Deep Sleep

Mississippi’s First Acupuncture Practice Act Signed by Governor Haley Barbour

Pediatric Acupuncture Program Helps Children with Chronic Pain

Recent Research

Ask The Doctor

Featured Products

Anxiety / Sleepless Formula

Calms Anxiety & Promotes Sleep


Mood Elevation Formula

Supports a Healthy Emotional Outlook


Indigestion Formula

Relieves Symptoms of Indigestion


Women's Wellness

Supports Women's Unique Health Needs


Yang Exhaustion

Supports Women's Unique Health Needs


Enduring Youth  Tablets

A Special Formula that Nourishes and Balances the Body


Self-Healing Chi Gong

Strengthen & Balance the Mind and Body

More Featured Products






   
All Contents Copyright © 1996-2012 Cyber Legend Ltd. All rights reserved.
Acupuncturist directory and Acupuncture school referral services provided by Acufinder.com.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms and Conditions. All logos, service marks and trademarks belong to their respective owners.