I’m Rodger Douglas and I use homeopathy and healthy living to treat fibromyalgia.
6 steps to better sleep
There are several benefits to getting a good night’s rest. Sleep enhances alertness, memory and problem-solving skills while reducing fibro fog and feelings of depression and anxiety. During deep sleep your body repairs damaged cells and tissues, and strengthens the immune system. On this page we’ll look at natural ways to sleep better. To start with I suggest you do the Sleep Quality Quiz to evaluate how well you sleep.
one. sleep hygiene
Noise: If you can’t avoid or eliminate noise from neighbors, traffic, or the people in your household, try masking it with earplugs, noise eliminating headphones, white noise, or some music.
Cool: Most people sleep best in a slightly cool room (around 65° F or 18° C) with adequate ventilation. A bedroom that is too hot or too cold can interfere with quality sleep.
Bed: Make sure your bed, mattress, bed covers, and pillows are comfortable. If you wake up with a sore back or stiff neck it might be time to experiment with different levels of mattress firmness. As far as possible reserve your bed for sleeping. By not working, watching TV, or using your computer in bed your brain will associate the bedroom with just sleep.
Dark. The tiniest amount of light can disrupt the production of melatonin so keep your room as dark as possible. Turn off or cover any electronic lights before bed. If your windows let in light or you tend to sleep past sunrise it may also be worthwhile to invest in blackout window shades. If blocking out all light isn’t feasible then opt for a sleep mask that covers your eyes.
Expose yourself to bright sunlight in the morning. The closer to the time you get up, the better. Have your coffee outside, for example, by a sunny window. The light on your face will help you wake up.
Just as the way you feel during the day often depends on how well you sleep at night, so the quality of your sleep often depends on your daily routine.
Spend more time outside during daylight. Take your work breaks outside in sunlight, exercise outside, or walk your dog during the day instead of at night.
Let as much natural light into your home or workspace as possible. Keep curtains and blinds open during the day, and try to move your desk closer to the window.
If necessary, use a light therapy box. This simulates sunshine and can be especially useful during short winter days.
Exercise. Regular exercise also improves restorative sleep at night and alertness during the day. It may take several months of regular activity before you experience the benefits so be patient.
Screens: Avoid bright screens 1-2 hours before bedtime as the blue light emitted is especially disruptive. You can minimize the impact by using devices with smaller screens, turning the brightness down, or using light-altering software such as f.lux. Try listening to music or audio books instead.
Food: Avoid heavy, rich, spicy, or stimulating foods 3 or 4 hours before bed. These include sugary foods, refined carbs, caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol. Avoid big meals at night as they are hard to digest. Avoid drinking too many liquids in the evening since this may result in frequent bathroom trips throughout the night.
Residual stress and worry from your day can make falling asleep difficult. Developing a relaxing bedtime ritual will help you unwind. You might try a relaxation technique, a warm bath, dimming the lights, or listening to soft music.
Cronotype is the natural inclination of your body to sleep at a certain time, or what most people understand as being an early bird versus a night owl. In addition to regulating sleep and wake times, chronotype has an influence on appetite, exercise, and core body temperature. It is responsible for the fact that you feel more alert at certain periods of the day and sleepier at others.
Scientists consider it impossible to purposely change your chronotype. A night owl may be able to wake up at 6 am every day for work, but they may not be productive until later in the day. Conversely, an early bird may wake up bright and chipper for their 7 am shift, but then start to feel sleepy already in the late afternoon. When a person’s natural chronotype comes into conflict with the demands of their schedule, this is termed social jet lag.
Multiple studies have found associations between chronotype and personality, health, and quality of life. Morning types tend to be conscientious and agreeable with an aptitude towards hard work, and a tendency to perform well in school. Evening types tend to be more open to new experiences and have an aptitude for creativity but are more likely to be depressed or anxious.
Scientists usually describe two chronotypes: morning types and evening types, otherwise known as larks and owls. Actually, chronotypes fall on a spectrum with most people lying somewhere in the middle. Researchers refer to these in-between people as “hummingbirds.”
To figure out your chronotype, think about what time you would prefer to wake up on a day that you are completely free to plan, with no work or other requirements. If you’d like to be more certain of your type you can do the Morning Evening Questionnaire (MEQ) or the Munich ChronoType Questionnaire (MCTQ). Both are available online. Or you could do my test below, it’s a shortened combination of the two tests above.
The chronotypes can give you a general idea of your ideal schedule but there will always be variations from person to person so ultimately you want to wake up and go to sleep at the times you resonate best with.
Yoga Nidra is the practice of entering the conscious state of mind that falls somewhere between sleeping and being awake. You are awake during the entire time you practice, but you’re not exactly alert. The goal is to enter a conscious sleep state and totally relax your brain, thus releasing any unwanted tension in your body.
A Ukrainian doctor, Konstantin Buteyko, created the Buteyko breathing technique in the 1950s. This therapeutic breathing method uses breathing exercises to control the speed and volume of your breath. This helps you to learn to breathe more slowly, calmly, and effectively. The benefits of Buteyko breathing include better sleep, less anxiety, and less pain.
Sleep is strongly connected to the emotions. Negative emotions such as excessive worry or anger may produce sleep problems, and conversely poor sleep can cause fatigue, anxiety, and poor concentration.
Flower remedies are liquid, plant preparations made from the fresh flower blossoms that imprint water with their energetic patterning. These vibrational remedies specifically address the emotional issues. This makes them ideal for treating sleep problems.
There is a sequence to treating sleep disorders. Begin with sleep hygiene, then lifestyle activities such as yoga nidra and breathing exercises, then flower remedies, and finally homeopathic medicines. Now there is a good reason why you should leave medicines till last. You see, there are many causes to poor sleep, such as an uncomfortable mattress, incorrect breathing, or negative emotions. After you've eliminated all these possibilities you might find that you don't need to take a medice. If however, you still can't sleep then the next step is homeopathy to treat the root cause of the problem.