Sleep Difficulties: ‘Tossin’ and ‘Turnin’

13 April, 2012 at 16:16 | Posted in Body & Mind | Leave a comment

‘I couldn’t sleep at all last night’

By Valerie Bennis

Remember that song? It was written in 1965, and here we are in 2012 with sleep difficulties reaching epidemic proportions. Women, men, and even children are affected by this stressful condition.

A good night’s rest is the foundation of health and well-being. Growing evidence points to lack of sleep as a contributor to declining physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Along with good eating habits, happy and healthy relationships, enjoyable work, and exercise, goes a good night’s rest as an imperative ingredient in our health regime.

Some people fall asleep easily and then wake up at 3 a.m., while others take many hours to fall asleep. These are the two common patterns. Anything less than seven hours of sleep is considered not enough. Even those of us who are good sleepers may not be getting enough rest.

I believe that most of these difficulties are due to stress and to some of the substances we consume. So what can we do to cut down on stress levels, and what are some substances we should avoid to safeguard our sleep?

Substances to Avoid

Coffee, soda, and alcohol: These substances affect our energy, be it in a stimulating or sedative way. Try drinking water or herbal teas, which contribute to well-being and create balance in the body, mind, and spirit, rather than a roller-coaster effect.

Sugar: The impact of sugar is a spike in energy followed by a letdown and a vicious cycle of ups and downs. There are many healthy treats that you can find in a health food store that can satisfy one’s sweet tooth without causing damage.


In addition, we need to avoid stress. We’ve all heard and said this common refrain: “I’m so stressed out.” Hearing and saying this comment can be stressful in and of itself .

How do we eliminate the toxin of stress? We can empower ourselves to significantly decrease its impact on our lives by doing things that ease stress levels. Here are some of my stress busters:

1. Restorative yoga (gentle yoga)
2. Exercise
3. Dancing
4. Music
5. Conversation with positive-minded people
6. Journal writing
7. Positive affirmations
8. Relaxing herbal teas, such as chamomile
9. Rescue Remedy or other Bach Flower Remedies
10. Aromatherapy
11. Massage
12. Altruism
13. Acupuncture

It’s important to start seeing how wondrous you are and how deserving you are of putting the best substances into your being so that you can maintain optimum health, which includes a great night’s sleep. Once your body is in a healthier state, your sleep patterns will improve naturally.

Tips for Enhancing Sleep

1. Keep a regular schedule for going to sleep and getting up.
2. Do not eat a heavy meal before bedtime.
3. Keep sound and light out of your bedroom as much as possible.
4. Take a relaxing bath prior to going to bed.
5. Use natural products instead of prescription medication or over-the-counter drugs.
6. Do some breathing exercises and listen to relaxation tapes.
7. Do not listen to the news before bedtime.

You deserve not only to sleep well each night, but also to maintain optimum health so that you can sleep well. The two go hand and hand. Start today on your regime of good sleep and good health, treating yourself as the most precious being on the planet.

Valerie Bennis is the creator of an award-winning collection of aromatherapy products under the brand name Essence of Vali. To learn more, see

via Sleep Difficulties: ‘Tossin’ and ‘Turnin’ | Environment & Health | Health | Epoch Times

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