"Tossing and Turning, Turning and Tossing" (I tossed and I turned all night)
Remember that song? It was written in 1965 and here we are in 2011 with sleep difficulties reaching an epidemic proportion. Women, men and even children are affected by this stressful condition.
A good night's rest is the foundation of health and well being. More and more evidence points to lack of sleep as a contributor to declining physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. Along with good eating habits, happy and healthy relationships, work we enjoy and exercise goes a good night's rest as an imperative ingredient in our health regime.
When I started my practice as an aromatherapist, I did not know how prevalent an issue sleep difficulties were until one of my clients asked that I create a blend to help her sleep. As my private practice grew and I launched my line, Essence of Vali, the demand for the sleep blend also grew. That was 9 years ago and this blend continues to be the most popular. People are still tossing and turning all night.
Some people fall asleep easily and then wake up at 3 in the morning while others take many hours to fall asleep. These are the two common patterns. Anything less than 7 hours of sleep is considered not enough. Even those of us who are good sleepers may not be getting enough rest.
I believe that most of these difficulties are due to stress and the foods we eat. So, what can we do to cut down on stress and what foods should we avoid? Please continue reading for ways to get started.
Coffee, Soda and Alcohol: These substances affect our energy in some way - be it stimulating or sedative. Try drinking water and herbal teas, which create balance in your body, mind and spirit, rather than a roller coaster effect.
Sugar: Sugar causes a spike in energy, then a "fall down," making a vicious cycle of "up" and "down." There are many healthy treats that you can find in the health food store that can satisfy your sweet tooth without causing as much damage.
Nicotine: This one I think goes without saying.
Stress: I put this under "substance" because it has become a metaphorical substance in all of our lives. It is a common refrain - "I am so stressed out."
So try these stress busters:
Start seeing how wondrous you are and how deserving you are of putting the best substances into your being, so that you can maintain optimum health, which includes a great night's sleep. Once your body is in a healthier state, your sleep patterns will improve naturally.
In closing, you deserve not only to get a great night's sleep each night, but to maintain optimum health. The two go hand and hand. Start today on your (Sleep) Health Regime.
By Valerie Bennis, founder and president of Essence of Vali
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