• Need more sleep?

    I saw a flyers for back to school so I figured it was time to put this up.

    If you want a lovely child, get them more sleep! If you want a super lovely child, get them a bit more sleep!

    This of course goes for you also. So many health challenges I see every day can be helped by an hour or two of extra sleep. Well it is NOT extra, it is the correct amount. Have a look at the chart and make a note of how much sleep you and your family get versus what the research indicates is required.

    When I say “get more sleep”, I normally hear. “But I can not get to sleep”, or “I wake up”, or “I don’t feel rested when I get up”, and my favorite “I don’t have time”. All of that can be and is often true.

    The answer is get more sleep. Develop a sleep plan, (see below) and work the plan for a month or two. Good “sleep hygiene” is the catchy word for go to bed and fall asleep easily.

    If you have raised a child, what is the not so catchy word for sleep hygiene? “Bed time routine”. Yup, remember whey you start with bath time, air time, tummy rub time, story time…. and finally a hour or so later the little one is fast asleep. Well it works for you also, you may not need the air time but who knows.

    Depending on what is the challenge of your sleep, I can help, or Chinese Medicine can help. There is a long list of reasons why people have bad sleep and various remedies to deal with it.

    As you get inadequate sleep, your body does not produce certain things as well. As you have less of those things, you get worse sleep and that starts a downward spiral. To fix that you will likely need some specific nutrition, herbs, vitamins or something to get you back on track.

    A couple of years ago there was a lot of talk on how not enough sleep is the “new smoking”. Meaning lack of sleep will kill you, likely before your time. However with most of our leaders bragging how they only need 3-4 hours of sleep, the sleep topic is not as popular.

    An interesting personal story. My Grandpa Saum, was crushed by a tractor and lost a kidney at age 35, had 4 different cancers and a few other bad farm accidents and lived to 92. He also had 3-4 hours of sleep at night and when he retired from farming, he had a one hour afternoon nap. He totaled 4-5 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period. It can be done, I have seen it in my own family. For me personally I am a 8+ hour guy. When I get under 7 hours for a week or two, well lets just say my Grandpa’s ability skipped over my generation.

    Here is a  sleep hygine routine, give it a go for a couple of months. If you are still not sleeping, get some help. Make sleeping pills your very last resort. See, sleeping pill side affects.

    If you are a parent, you are an expert at “sleep time”. Consult your Medical Doctor before embarking on any health program.

    1. Slow down as you get within 2 hours of your bed time. Some people can exercise before bed, some can drink, some can so all kinds of things. But most can not.
    2. Stop all caffeinated beverages, minimize sugars and alcohols 4-8 hours before bed. If you wake to urinate 5 nights a week. Stop drinking water 1/2 hour earlier for a week and continue that until you normally do NOT wake to urinate.
    3. Watch your exposure to “blue light” . Turn down lights within two hours of your sleep time, you can put yellow light bulbs in your bedroom. Never have a TV or other electronics in your bedroom. Good luck with that, but when you ban your kids from having their cell phone in their bedroom you can say it’s for their health.
    4. Try supplementing with 400mg of Magnesium, take with your last meal of the day and it is best not to eat 2-4 hours before bed.
    5. Sit in your favorite spot for 5-10 minutes before going to bed and relax. If your mind is going wild, you can have a 4 minute meeting. The first two minutes is to review what happened today and the next two is to plan tomorrow. You can write it all down if that helps. Spend the rest of the time just sitting.
    6. Keep your bedroom cool, dark and lots of fresh air. The room should be dark enough that you can not see your hand in front of your face, that’s dark.
    7. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. You can have some flex time, but generally keep it within the hour

    You can go to your health provider at anytime for help, but if you do not do some of the 1-7 list, your sleep will likely suffer.

    When you tell me you are SO SO SO busy and sleep will just have to wait. I’ll smile and say something like, “you may think you are being productive but just like a tired toddler you are nothing but cranky, now go to bed.”

    Be Well,
    Ward Willison
    Kelowna Acupuncture & Other Natural Therapies