Getting a good night’s sleep does not only make a difference in how your day will be; it also affects your physical and mental health. Studies have shown that lack of sleep on a regular basis can cause problems like cardiovascular diseases and even depression. It also makes you more likely to get sick, as sleep deprivation weakens your immune system. And if that isn’t bad enough, those who are chronically sleep-deprived can gain unwanted weight and become diabetic.
Unfortunately, sleeping does not come easily for everyone. If you have trouble sleeping, remember that popping a sleeping pill is really not the best way to go, as it does not let you experience true sleep. Good-quality sleep lets you experience more REM sleep.
It is during your REM sleep and while you are dreaming that the brain gets to regulate your emotions and consolidate your memories. When you are on sleeping pills, you are cutting down on your REM sleep.
Thus, it is better to avoid sleeping aids. Improve your sleep through natural means instead. Here are some tips that could help you sleep better.
Change your attitude toward sleep
Make sleeping a priority. Some people tend to view sleep as a chore. They’d rather socialize, spend more time in front of the screen, and work. We are all guilty of sometimes pushing off our bedtime to do other activities.
Have a sleep routine
It is important that you sleep at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning. Do not be tempted to sleep late just because you do not have to work tomorrow and you know you could sleep until noon.
Changing your regular sleeping time will only disrupt your biological clock, and you’ll end up with more sleeping problems. When you go to bed at the same time regularly, you will develop an internal sleep/wake clock and this in turn will help you fall asleep faster.
On top of that, your body will get so used to this schedule that you won’t even need an alarm clock to wake you up, decreasing anxiety.
Stay away from the screen an hour before your bedtime
Light from the cellphone, computer, or television is found to stimulate the brain and make it harder for it to wind down. Artificial lighting and electronics emit light with a blue wavelength, which makes the brain think it is daytime. You will fall asleep a lot quicker and get a sounder sleep when you put your gadgets away an hour before your bedtime.
Turn off the lights
There is a reason most people naturally like to have the lights off when going to sleep.
As mentioned before, even the meager amount of ambient light coming from your computer or cellphone tells the brain to wake up. It inhibits the production of melatonin.
This is the hormone that helps regulate the sleep cycle. Keep your room as dark as possible when you go to sleep.
My personal rule at home is that the lights get turned down at least two hours before bed.
Exercise your way to a better sleep
Research shows that adults who previously had a sedentary lifestyle improved their sleep quality when they started to get aerobic exercise four times a week.
But remember to do your workout session several hours before you go to sleep, so you’re not too pumped up to have a good night’s sleep. I find that I sleep a LOT better and a lot earlier than usual after a thriving Zumba class.
Evaluate your diet and make the necessary changes
Avoid eating foods and drinks containing caffeine by mid-afternoon (my cut-off time is 4pm if I have any caffeine at all). These include (but are not limited to) coffee, soft drinks, and tea (especially green tea). Have a light meal during dinner.
Do not eat spicy or oily foods for dinner, as it can keep you awake at night because of heartburn and/or indigestion. Make it a habit to finish your dinner four hours before you go to sleep.
Use Energy Healing or Reiki to cure sleeping problems or improve sleep patterns
Reiki and Energy Healing help us heal on a holistic level—mentally, physically, emotionally, energetically, and spiritually—unlike popping other remedies that solely target one aspect. For example, taking melatonin will only increase your levels of melatonin in the body, but it doesn’t address the lingering stress that could be keeping you up with thoughts and emotions at night.
Let’s say you’re worried about health issues, especially during this time when the pandemic has made things for everyone around the globe quite unpredictable. Even tho it’s so hard to manage, not sleeping and stressing out will not help the situation.
If anything, it’s going to hurt your body even more because, by not sleeping, you’re taking away your body’s time for self-healing. Emotions such as fear add even more stress to your body, increasing the duration and energy required for your body to heal. FOMO is an even more specific one (yes, it’s true, it keeps us up at night more often than we’d like to admit).
What are the emotions that are trapped in our heads and hearts, preventing us from being able to fully unwind?
As a Reiki master in Hong Kong, when I’m working with Reiki or Intuitive Energy Healing with Reiki practitioners in Hong Kong or in distant sessions with clients around the world, what we do is target each issue at the same time.
The energy healing from both sources simultaneously calms down stress factors in your body and big organs such as your adrenals that may be overworking, addresses the fear and other repressed emotions and helps you relax, increases melatonin levels if needed, boosts your immune system so you don’t develop a weak body during stressful times, heals the gut to relieve digestive issues caused by stress, heals your mental health while supporting health anxiety and so much more!
You can even learn Reiki for self-healing, Reiki for sleep and share it with loved ones who also have trouble sleeping.
All in all, a Reiki session with me creates balance in your body holistically so that you can achieve natural, better sleep quality, and the Intuitive Energy Healing sessions I particularly offer are an advanced form of energy healing, which works at least five times more powerfully than Reiki techniques itself.
On top of that, Intuitive Energy Healing also addresses external energies that may have influenced you, such as emotions from other people, such as friends, family, or colleagues, and their emotions, needs, and wants tend to stick to you if you’re a rather empathic person.
Sleep is essential. You can look everywhere else to find solutions to heal pre-existing issues, but you’ll often find that you’ll circle back to the most basic, foundational necessity: deep quality, restorative sleep. Start doing these natural ways and apply some Reiki techniques from regular Reiki sessions to improve your sleep patterns, and you’ll see the difference between what a good sleep is and what a bad one is. It’ll be even more noticeable after a few months!
Sleep well and enjoy some Zzz’s!
Reader’s Digest February 2020 issue