A great bedtime routine starts first thing in the morning, according to sleep specialist, Dr W Chris Winter, who recently highlighted natural suggestions for a better sleep.
As Medical Director of the Martha Jefferson Hospital Sleep Medicine Centre in Charlottesville, Virginia and author of The Sleep Solution, Dr Jefferson was interviewed by popular magazine ‘First for Women’ in the 4/17/17 issue about his ‘Drug-free keys to restful Zzzs’.
In the article he cites that sleeping pill use has increased by 75% in recent years – with the National Sleep Foundation recently reporting that 67% of women tend to toss and turn most nights. Not surprisingly, poor sleep is one of the most common health issues that people see their doctor about.
Dr Winter provides six tips that are natural and easy to achieve.
- Exercise! Start your bedtime routine off with a morning walk. Then some relaxation exercises, such as yoga, before bed helps gear you for a restful sleep.
- Take a hot bath, shower or use a heat pack before bed to help raise the body temperature. As your body cools, you tend to feel drowsy.
- Snack on a carb-laden snack like whole-grain cereal and banana can help promote the sleep chemical serotonin prior to bed.
- Darken your room. The darker it is, the more likely you will obtain benefits from the sleep hormone melatonin.
- Don’t be too tough on your sleep timetable. Dr Winter suggests that resting without sleep is good for you too, so try not to stress out if you can’t sleep straight away.
Our favourite tip shared by Dr Winter and ‘First for Women’ is number 6 – to ‘Pick the right sleeping position’. As Dr Winter outlines, sleeping on your side is ideal because it opens up your airway so you can breathe better, which can also help prevent snoring. We couldn’t agree more, Dr Winter!
In fact, to further support and maintain an open airway throughout the night, you can also try Mute. A small, discrete device, Mute sits just inside the nose and gently opens up the nasal passages, enabling a greater inflow of air. Mute comes in a pack of three (30 nights supply) and is available in three individually adjustable sizes to fit most nose types. It’s available over-the-counter at selected Walgreens, Duane Reade, Bartell Drugs and CVS stores. Click on the store locator to find one closest to you.