Sleeping Problems: Dealing With an Over-Active Mind
As a mother, wife, and soon to be grandmother to a new addition to the family, I often find my thoughts raging out of control just when it is time for me to call it a day and get to bed. There are so many things that can invade our peace these days. We are constantly exposed to multimedia advertising, demands from work and family,and trying to fit 30 hours into every 24. It is no wonder that sleep problems are steadily climbing and sleep aids are selling faster than ever. There are some steps you can take, however, that may help you turn off your mind and get a good night’s sleep.
ADVISORY: I am not a medical professional. Articles are based on personal research. It is strongly advised that you talk to your health practitioner if you are having chronic sleep problems.
One of the first things I learned that helped me get to bed and go to sleep was to eliminate any caffeinated drinks, or foods, after 4pm. This includes coffee, colas,chocolate, and some teas.If you simply must have dessert and coffee after dinner, choose a decaffeinated coffee and a fruity dessert over chocolate.Caffeine is a stimulant that works on the nervous system, your heart and your respiratory system. Over use can raise blood pressure and cause your stomach to produce excess stomach acids that can lead to heartburn. By eliminating caffeinated foods and drinks after 4 pm, you allow your body time to recover from the effects. This means that not only does your heart and breathing return to a normal state, the signals to your brain from your nervous system slow down and allow you to think more clearly, or at least to refocus your thinking.
Take a nice walk before bedtime. If you can’t take a walk try other forms of exercise. Many of us spend all day working with our minds and neglecting our muscles. Exercise is a necessary addition to any lifestyle. Not only does exercise help you lose weight.by burning more calories, it can tire you out in a good way. Exercise causes your body to experience a kind of satisfaction for a job well done, much like you feel mentally after accomplishing some arduous task. Research has shown that a brisk walk before bedtime can improve the body’s ability to shut down and the mind to settle down.
Turn off the television. While you may think you can’t sleep without the noise of the television, the truth is that it is engaging your mind just when you really need to turn off your thoughts. Opt for soft music on the radio instead. Music is soothing and the rhythmic sounds help lull your mind into a kind of peaceful rhythm. You are not forcing your mind to process the stimulating information broadcast in most television shows and you may discover that you are less apt to feel the need to go shopping if you eliminate those overnight infomercials that influence your half sleeping mind.
Write it down. Use writing to get rid of those pesky problems, As someone who writes, a lot, I can attest to the power of writing it down. I am a list maker and mind mapper. I keep lists of all those little things I have to do and check them off as they get done,but I always keep in mind that tomorrow is another day in which I can tackle anything I didn’t get to today. When I have a problem I sit down with pen and paper and write out all the possible solutions and outcomes. Then I can choose the solution that best fits and still have the peace of mind to know that I always have a backup plan. Writing is a way to toss all those troubling thoughts. Don’t like writing? Not a problem. Think of it as doodling. No one ever has to see what you write and the best part is you can symbolically throw away the thoughts when you are done.
These things are tips I have used with good success. Sometimes it is difficult to turn off thoughts about the next article I want to write, or what improvements I need to do to a website, or the excitement over the announcement that I am going to have another grandchild.
Last night I got the call around 9pm from my grandson. He is going to have a new brother or sister. Almost immediately I began thinking about how I could be there and on and on. But I have learned that nothing gets done when I am too tired to focus, so I took the dog for a walk, and wrote down a list of things I want to do before the baby comes and even how I can go to the Dakotas to be there for the birth.
When I put the list on my bulletin board it was symbolic of putting it away until later. I went to bed without the television and in spite of the exciting news I found I was soon asleep. When I awakened this morning I knew I wanted to share these tips with my readers. It works for me. I hope it will work for you. After all, what have you got to lose but another night’s sleep.
I am Barbara Cagle and for over 20 years I have been working and playing online. I am a certified teacher and as such I find that people are constantly asking me how to do.
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