Saturday, April 3, 2010

SLEEP: How to Get a Good NightzZzZz Sleep!

Sleep seems to have become a “complicated” human behavior. There are many variables and opinions as to what a good night’s sleep is, what constitutes a good night’s sleep, and the factors involved in sleep deprivation and restoration. This article is written for the person who is experiencing sleep deprivation due to poor sleep hygiene, improper food intake with possible nutritional deficits, and /or ineffective individual coping strategies.

As an RN who practices the therapeutic art of hypnosis, my emphasis is on the valuable utilization of my highly skilled techniques in medical issues with hypnotherapy. It is my firm belief and experience that hypnosis is a safe, life sustaining, life enhancing modality, under the facilitation of a good hypnotherapist, that can bring permanent change in an individual’s life.

An estimated fifty to seventy million, or 25% of Americans are struggling from sleep deprivation that causes such disruption in their lives as to severely affect their relationships, their coping abilities, strategic thinking and compromise their ability to function at work resulting in loss of employment. Without restorative sleep it can cause immune systems to falter, opening up to physical disorders and disease.

Unconstructive behavior patterns increase the risk of sleep deprivation, such as staying up too late playing mindless computer games, bringing work home , or over indulgence in food and alcohol. In addition to life stressors, general anxieties, the inability to let go, or pushing oneself beyond healthy means, it is vital to your well being to learn to delegate, prioritize, make lists, cut back and eliminate. The goal here is to retrain your behaviors and your body to return to balance the mind, body and spirit.

Thinking and recycling negative ideas about sleep can fuel anxiety to perpetuate lack of sleep. For example, change a thought such as, “I dread going to bed because I can’t sleep”, to “I enjoy going to bed because I always get a great night’s sleep”. You are starting over with healthy behavior patterns, so be gentle on yourself but firm and consistent.

Sleep hygiene management

1. Time management is crucial in maintaining balance within your life. Start to slow down your activities a couple of hours before bed. Delegate chores with other family members, let go of the idea you have to do everything, or simply put off some things until the next day.

2. Go to bed each time every night when possible, no matter what. If you are married or with a live in partner that you sleep with, and if you need to talk about something, do it two hours before bedtime, not in the bed. Make time to talk! Do not go to bed angry at partner or anyone else. The energy of displeasure, anger or irritation is not only in YOUR body, but it is also picked up by the one you are sleeping with, so neither of you can fully relax. Write down your grievances if you can’t seem to let it go, leave it on the paper for tomorrow.

3. Turn off the TV, computer, telephone, or other stimuli before bed, although some soft music can be helpful for some, some music is too uplifting and stimulating. No caffeinated products such as chocolate, tea, coffee. Too much food before bed i.e. sugar or heavy carbohydrates will keep digestive system up, however, light snacks can help combat hypoglycemic tendencies, better choices such as turkey, milk, bananas, yogurt and nuts has l-tryptophan, an essential amino acid that calms you down to make you sleepy.

4. Diminished lighting…follow the sun’s movement…light decreases the natural melatonin in the body that is released to induce sleepiness. Too much light tricks your body into believing it is still day time.

5. Drink less water in the night to decrease sleep interruption by getting up to go to the bathroom. If you do get up, do not turn on the lights or walk around, go directly back to bed. If you are urinating a lot during the night, ask yourself, are you are drinking too much or is this a symptom of an underlying a medical condition? Don’t fret about it, just get it checked out with your heath care provider.

6. Warm baths with Epsom salts or essential oils. The warm water will help to relax your mind and sooth your body. Lavender is a good choice to help promote sleep and relaxation. Try placing lavender flowers by your bed, in pillows, sachets, etc. Do not read something heavy in bed…while light reading may help some, it could be distracting and just cause you to think more.

7. Let go of belief systems around sleep that can produce anxiety. Often times, people are afraid they are not going to get to sleep or have enough. Do not watch the clock. Turn the clock away from your vision to refrain from looking at the clock. You can teach yourself not to look at the clock, that way you will not be counting how many hours you have left before you have to get up. If it is a lighted digital clock, cover it with a cloth to hide the light.

7. Remember that the bed is for sleep and sex. And when you get enough sleep, you will want to have more sex, won’t you? Statistics show that couples who had sex one hour before sleeping, slept better during the night. Yet, according to a recent 2010 study released from the National Sleep Foundation, about one in every four Americans married or living with a significant other, say they are so sleep deprived that they are often too tired to have sex!

Other factors to consider for better sleep:

Comfort: Making an investment in a good mattress is investing in your quality of sleep and overall health. Do not think that you can just get any mattress, do your research on which might be the best bed for you. A good mattress will last you a long time. Examples are the sleep number bed, foam egg crate, and pillow top. Do not skimp on getting the best linens possible, it really makes a difference. Consider the hypoallergenic materials that are readily available. Make sure you buy the best pillows for the support of your neck, knees, legs, back and feet. While pain can be a huge factor in the quality and comfort of sleep, owning a good bed is paramount in assisting with comfort and decreasing the pain threshold.

Countless studies show that people who often pray, meditate or engage in a mindful practice sleep better and have overall better health and longevity. Healthy, helpful hypnosis can bring back homeostasis in the mind, body and spirit of an individual.

While now sleep is considered a disorder in of itself, often times many sleep issues can be resolved through proper and focused nutrition, vitamin supplementation for certain deficiencies. For example, low vitamin D can cause the disruption of your body’s natural circadian rhythm sleep cycles. Such methodologies as acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments, massage, or my personal all time favorite, healthy, helpful HYPNOSIS, is extremely beneficial for creating and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Pamela "JADE" Scott, RN

Copyright © April 3, 2010

JADE is a nationally published Independent Writer, a Registered Nurse and Hypnotherapist.
You may contact her at


  1. Thanks for the informative commentary regarding sleep.

    Jack Austin

  2. Thanks for sending this to me Jade when i get some serious time i am most definately going to read this slowly and try and take it all in your really are great and becoming a great facebook fried for helping me.

    Thank you
    Marc Burley