Monday, November 8, 2010

Makers Diet: Sleep

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One of the principles by Jordan Rubin is to get enough sleep. Do you feel rested when you get up? I know I often do not. Not getting enough sleep or the right kind of sleep can weaken your immune system, cause weight gain, impair your memory, impair physical tasks, accelerate tumor growth, worsen medical conditions, increase depression, and possibly even lead to premature aging.

Dr. Mercola is another huge proponent of sleep. He wrote a great article with 33 tips to a good night sleep. Here are a few of my favorites:

1. Sleep in complete darkness, or as close to it as possible. This is so true. We noticed a dramatic difference in our baby’s sleep when we put up room darkening shades in his room for the first time. Our daughter has had them from the start and been an amazing napper. I have even gone in to my son’s room to lay down for a quick snooze.

2. Keep the temperature in your bedroom no higher than 70 degrees F. I am cold. I am always cold. I leave my seat heaters in my car on until July. However, I cannot sleep unless it is cold. I learned this the hard way when we tried to cut our power bill and made it warmer in our house. My insomnia returned with a roaring entrance.

3. Get to bed as early as possible. I remember my dad telling me as a kid that every hour of sleep before midnight is worth 2 hours of sleep after midnight. Scientists really think that is true, and the most important hours to be asleep are between 11 pm and 1 am.

4. Don’t change your bedtime. Go to bed and get up at the same times during the week and the weekend.

5. Avoid before-bed snacks, particularly grains and sugars. These will raise and then lower your blood sugar, often causing waking and the inability to go back to sleep.

6. No TV right before bed. TV disrupts your pineal gland function, according to Dr. Mercola. It is much too stimulating to the brain.

7. Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Caffeine has a very long half-life, and alcohol often keeps you from entering deep sleep.

8. Make certain you are exercising regularly. At least 30 min a day 2 hours or more before bedtime.

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