Insomnia Begone! How to Sleep Better: 15 Commandments
An Article on Sleep Motivation
Includes excerpts from Walking on Air, Recipes for Health Bliss, Renew Your Life and The Joy Factor
A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book.
And if tonight my soul may find her peace in sleep, and sink in good oblivion, and in the morning wake like a new-opened flower, then I have been dipped again in God, and new-created.
~ D. H. Lawrence
Sleep Like a Baby... Night After Night After Night
Tip # 15 below is my Sleep Like A Baby Smoothie Elixir Recipe guaranteed to help you drift off to sleep easily, stay asleep, and wake up refreshed.
Are you getting enough sleep? Are you an insomniac? Do you need some motivation to get more shut-eye? There are more than 1.2 million online searches monthly for insomnia. Defined in the dictionary as "habitual sleeplessness and an inability to sleep," insomnia is an issue for millions and millions of people and the reason why many people seek my holistic health and vibrant living guidance. When I do media interviews, some of the questions that I get asked the most go something like this: "Why is sleep so important for the body; what happens when we don't get enough sleep; and what are your best tips to sleep more like a baby?" I hope this brief essay/tip page inspires and motivates you to make sleep a top priority in your life and for everyone in your family.
There is nothing more restorative for your body than getting ample sleep night after night after night. Sleep is when we reset our appetite control and pain control. Sleep is when our energy regroups for the day to come. Without getting 7-8 hours of good sleep nightly, you will have a hard time losing weight and keeping it off. Too little sleep makes you hungry, especially for calorie-dense, unhealthy foods, and primes your body to hold on to all the calories you eat.
Studies reveal that lack of sleep also makes you irritable, increases hypertension (blood pressure), makes you feel more stressful, increases depression, undermines your ability to deal with stress and shortens lifespan. As well, when sleep-starved, your body craves more energy, driving you to eat more than you would otherwise.
15 Commandments on Catching the Best ZZZs:
1. Wind down and relax before sleep. If insomnia is an issue for you, it is important to honor this recommendation before bedtime.
2. Soak in a hot bath or use a sauna or jacuzzi 60-90 minutes before bedtime. As your body cools down from being internally heated up, this will increase the release of melatonin, which, in turn, helps provide deep sleep. I always get my best and deepest sleep when I've taken an infrared sauna 90-120 minutes before bedtime. It's like the ultimate, surefire sleep remedy and it works like magic. For more information, please refer to my article on the healing power of sweating and taking saunas — Heal • Detoxify • Rejuvenate • Thrive. To get more information on, or to purchase the sauna that I use and the only one I highly recommend for everyone, Thermal Life Infrared Sauna, please call: 800-794-5355 (U.S. & Canada) or 303-413-8500 (International).
3. If you use the bathroom at night, don’t turn on a bright light as this shuts down your melatonin level for the rest of the night. Instead, use a night-light.
4. Avoid nighttime calls and turn off your cell phone before going to bed. A study at the University of Zurich found that exposing people to electromagnetic fields from cell phones altered their brain waves during sleep, resulting in sleep disturbances. If you need to use the telephone, use a landline.
5. Keep a regular sleep schedule. Nap consistently or not at all, but don’t nap too close to bedtime.
6. Don’t have a big meal within three hours of bedtime. If hungry, choose a light snack only, one hour before bed.
7. Use the bedroom primarily for sex and sleep.
8. If not sleepy, relax in another room until you are.
9. Keep your bedroom cool, dark, quiet, and comfortable.
10. Exercise sometime during the day as that helps you sleep better at night.
11. Avoid alcohol and sedatives and don’t have caffeine-laden beverages after 2:00pm.
12. At home and when you travel, put 3-4 drops of the essential oil of lavender on your pillowcase before sleeptime and/or drink a cup of chamomile tea (or add one-half dropper full of chamomile liquid extract into some water or juice) 20-30 minutes before bedtime. Both the lavender and chamomile help your body relax and promote deep sleep.
13. I have never taken any prescriptions. I look to nature for the answers and these following Nature's Wonderland products from the revered Penn Herb Company (established in 1924) should be a staple in the Nature's Medicine Chest in your home. I would not be without these excellent, efficacious products: Liquid Herbal Extracts of Anxiet Ease, Chamomile, and ZZZZZ. I also highly recommend their capsules of Herbal Tranquil-A-Tea. I also get the loose-leaf Herbal Tranquil-A-Tea and make this delicious tea. You can make a simple "sleepytime" cocktail using a few drops of the liquids combined with a capsule of Herbal Tranquil-A-Tea. This is an outstanding combination of natural herbs that I usually stir into one-half cup of water. I also use and recommend their Nature's Wonderland Chewable Melatonin (3 mg).
If you suffer with occasional sleeplessness or insomnia, jet lag after traveling, or just want more restful sleep, these Nature's Wonderland fast-dissolving Melatonin lozenges will help you get a peaceful night's sleep; you'll wake up refreshed with no morning grogginess. If you have a stuffy nose or need some sinus and nasal passage relief, I highly recommend Olbas Oil and Olbas Inhaler. Check out this 3-minute movie, OlbasMovie.com to learn about the entire line of 8 Olbas products that I have used and recommended for decades. For more information, or to order any of these products above, including the essential oil of lavender, chamomile tea and Olbas products, please visit PennHerb.com. This is where I've acquired my natural herbal products and other remedies for decades because of their high quality and low prices. Sign up for their free weekly newsletter that features my natural remedy tips and request one of their free, full-color catalogs.
14. Read something inspiring before going to sleep so you can infuse your mind, body, and soul with uplifting thoughts as you drift off to dreamland. Here are a handful of my books and booklets that are ideal to keep on your bedside table to inspire and embolden you and to also gently lull you to sleep: The Joy Factor, Natural Stress Solutions, Herbs: Nature's Medicine Chest, and Walking on Air.
15. Sleep Like a Baby Smoothie Elixir Recipe
Prep Time: 4 minutes
- 1 cup lemon balm or chamomile tea or a combination of both
- 1/2 ripe large banana, or if it's a small one - use an entire banana
- 8 - 12 fresh or frozen, pitted, cherries
- 1 - 2 teaspoons of chia seeds (sometimes I substitute flaxseeds)
- 1/2 stalk celery
In a blender, put all of the ingredients and blend until smooth. If you would prefer it thinner, add some more tea. Sip this delicious and relax-enhancing smooth about 60-90 minutes before bedtime. This is an stupendous, surefire sleep remedy that I recommend often in my private practice and everyone wonders how they ever slept or lived without this recipe.
I always keep a pitcher of freshly-made chamomile-lemon balm tea in my refrigerator to enjoy as a chilled tea any time I feel stressed or want to relax, or to use as a base in smoothie recipes. For nutritional tips, continue reading.
You will marvel at how it helps you to drift into sleep effortlessly, stay in a deep sleep, and awaken in the morning feeling refreshed and ready to start the day with gusto. Additionally, this health-reviving smoothie will also help you in having a very easy and satisfying bowel movement upon awakening. In other words, you'll experience sound sleep and elimination.
- Cherries: Fresh and dried cherries are one of the only natural food sources of melatonin, the chemical that controls the body's internal clock to regulate sleep. Researchers who tested tart cherries and found high levels of melatonin recommend eating them an hour before bedtime or before a trip when you want to sleep on the plane.
- Bananas: Potassium and magnesium are natural muscle relaxants, and bananas are a good source of both. they also contain the amino acid L-tryptophan, which gets converted to 5-HTP in the brain. The 5-HTP, in turn, is converted to serotonin (a relaxing neurotransmitter) and melatonin.
- Lemon Balm: This tasty herb (aka: Balm or Melissa) makes a wonderful tea, which helps to comfort the mind, sooth the nerves, and ease tension in the body.
- Chamomile: This fragrant tea soothes stress and irritaility, relieves upset stomach, and is very calming to the skin. Alone or combined with lemon balm tea, this is the perfect elixir tea to enjoy before bedtime or used as the liquid base in an evening smoothie.
- Celery: Celery can be traced back to the Greeks and Romans. In fact, they thought so highly of celery that they used it to crown the heads of distinguished guests. Low in calories and a good source of fiber and natural sodium, celery is also one of the world's greatest and most natural tranquilizers. It is an excellent tonic to soothe one's jangled nerves. (Maybe we should supply the leaders of all countries with a few stalks of celery every day!) Because of its calming effect on the central nervous system, celery makes a great nightime tonic for insomniacs. Keep in mind that the celery leaves are the most nutritious part of the plant, containing more calcium, iron, potassium beta-carotene, and vitamin C than the stalks.
- Chia Seeds: Chia seeds have a very mild, nutty, pumpkin seed-like taste. And here's a bonus if you want to lose weight. Chia seeds expand in the stomach and can give you a feeling of fullness, which helps you feel less hungry. Eating one tablespoon of Chia seeds about 15-20 minutes before a meal with a large glass of water does wonders for preventing overeating. I also like the color of these black seeds on different foods and even sprinkle some of the seeds on a white plate surrounding other foods for some elegance, dazzling eye-appeal in your meal. To read more about the health benefits of Chia seeds, please click HERE.
* Herbal Tranquil-A-Tea is front and center in my Nature's Medicine Chest in my home — in both capsule and tea form. Through nature's pharmacy comes a stellar formula that's guaranteed to quiet your nerves — and without narcotic side-effects. In fact, many of my clients in the United States and worldwide now use this natural product (in tea and/or capsule form) instead of anxiety or depression medication. It incorporates the following herbs: Valerian -- a soothing herb that's been used for centuries to promote restful sleep and calm frazzled nerves; Scullcap and Lady's Slipper -- favorites among herbalist for relieving stress and occasional nervous tension; Black Cohosh and Passion Flower -- to provide gentle herbal support for relaxation and sleepless nights.
More Herbal Suggestions on How to Sleep Better
You can order this product Herbal Tranquil-A-Tea in capsule or tea form, as well as the Nature's Wonderland Herbal Liquid Extracts of Chamomile, Anxiet Ease, ZZZZZ, a bottle of Chewable Melatonin lozenges — and the chamomile tea, lavender oil, and Olbas products mentioned above — along with my collection of healthy living books and natural remedy booklets through the contact info below. Don't forget to sign up for their weekly newsletter on natural remedies and request one of their beautiful catalogs. You will have at your disposal a treasure trove of natural remedy and vibrant health tips that will benefit you and your family for years to come. Contact: PennHerb.com or call: 800-523-9971 (U. S. & Canada) or 215-632-6100 (International) — both M-F • 8:30-5pm ET.
If we listened to our intellect, we'd never have a love affair. We'd never have a friendship. We'd never go into business, because we'd be too cynical. Well, that's nonsense. You've got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.
~ Annie Dillard
The true measure of an individual is how he treats a person who can do him absolutely no good.
~ Ann Landers