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Other than Water and Exercise, Sleep is one of the things that we need the most, but get the least of percentage-wise. Not only do we not get enough of it, but the quality of the sleep we do get is not that great. Article after article on Human behavior tells us that we operate and function better under the influence of adequate sleep, 7-9 hours per night. However, they never really talk of the Quality of the sleep we get, which I feel is more important.

First of all let's start with the total time of sleep we should get and we can get to that number.  It starts by looking at the time we need to get up, let's say 5:30am. Now, many think they can fudge their way to 6 -6:15, but here's the fact. If you think by setting the clock a little early and then you can roll over and hit the snooze 4 times and that will make things easier, think again. You get no quality of rest during that time, and are most likely sending your body back into a sleep phase, when it should be in a waking up phase. Find the hour that you need to get up in order to get your morning routine done and be on time for work, etc. then go backwards 7-9 hours and locate the time you NEED to get to bed by, and make it happen.

Now for some thoughts about the little details. Be aware of what you and READ before you go to bed. Contrary to popular opinion, the News is not a good lead-in to a quality night’s sleep. Nor is the newspaper! Try and finish your day by taking 3-5 min of some calming thought or reading process that QUIETS everything down. Some people meditate, some pray, hey, whatever floats your boat, but JUST DO IT! The next thing is LIGHT! Yes, Light. We have too much of it surrounding the areas that we sleep in.  Our neighborhoods are flooded with outside lights, street, porch, walk-ways, etc.

  1. Turn off whatever you can near and around your bedroom windows.
  2. If you have a clock radio, put something over it to eliminate any light. Un-plug or eliminate anything that may shine into the bedroom from a bathroom:, a power indictor light on a shaver, hairdryer, curling iron, etc.
  3. Night lights.  Unless you can get the colored ones (and go with red), don't have them where you can see them from your bedroom.
  4. Shut your bedroom door in order to eliminate any hallway or appliance, etc. lighting from sneaking into the room.
  5. If you have a Master bath connecting to the bedroom, make sure that if there is any light coming from it (outside window, nightlight), that it is eliminated, even if you have to shut that door too.

I guarantee that if you try these things in combination with each other, that you will experience the best sleep you've had in years. Try and remember NO Caffeine after 2pm!!
Now if you are notorious for having trouble falling asleep, try 2 ea 1/2mg Melatonin pills about 20 min. before you hit the sheets. You may be a little groggy when you wake up, so you can adjust the mg's to fit what's going on.

Take care!

Coach Potts
March 30, 2009




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