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Sleeping Tips

We spend approximately one-third of our lives asleep, but sometimes sleep can be elusive. Almost everyone has experienced transient insomnia, the occasional inability to fall asleep, or waking up feeling unrefreshed. Thankfully, it's usually short-lived, lasting only a few days. Most adults need about 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. You know you're getting enough sleep if you don't feel sleepy during the day. The amount of sleep you need stays about the same throughout adulthood. However, sleep patterns may change with age. For example, older people may sleep less at night and take naps during the day. Here are some things you can do to help you sleep better:

1. Start with a good bed and quality bed linen. Make sure your mattress is supportive and right for you. Some people like a hard surface such as a futon. Others prefer a mattress with some give in it. If you mattress is too hard you will sleep restlessly and wake unrefreshed, if it is too soft you will get backache and wake unrefreshed!

2.Make sure your bedroom is quiet and dark. If noise is a problem, use a fan to mask the noise or use earplugs. If you must sleep during the day, hang dark blinds over the windows or wear an eye mask. Do not sleep in a stuffy room, make sure the room is regularly aired.

3.Take the time in the evening to wind down before going to bed and develop a bedtime routine. Do the same thing every night before going to sleep. For example, take a warm bath and then read for 10 minutes every night before going to bed. Soon you'll connect these activities with sleeping, and doing them will help make you sleepy.

4. Go to bed only when sleepy and get out of bed if you're not sleeping. By spending long periods awake in bed, your body learns that it's OK to be awake in bed.

5. Don't eat a heavy meal before going to bed. If you are hungry try eating a light snack before going to bed. A glass of warm milk or some cheese and crackers may be all you need.

6. Avoid drinking coffee, tea or cola late at night.

7. Exercise more often, but don't exercise within a few hours before going to bed.

8. Take a short nap in the afternoon. This will make you refreshed.

9. Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of essential oils made from plants and flowers. It is a healing art that aims to rejuvenate body, mind and spirit. The different smells (aromas), and the chemical constituents of the oils, are said to produce different emotional and physiological reactions. Aromatherapy and Essential oils are a good way of unwinding and relaxing to get a good nights sleep. Try using them in the bath, by placing a few drops on the surface of the water before entering. The drops quickly form a thin layer over the surface of the water and the warmth of the water helps the oil be absorbed by the skin. You can also put 2-3 drops on a paper tissue under your pillow at night. Before beginning any Aromatherapy treatment, it is important to understand how each essential oil works. Do not use any oil that you are not familiar with. Certain oils should not be used during pregnancy or when breast feeding. Consult your local professional for advice on which Aromatherapy treatment best suits your needs. Choose from the following oils or a blend:

1. Lavender: not only very soothing, but also analgesic, so if any aches or pains contribute to insomnia this oil is probably the best remedy.

2. Marjoram: relaxing and warming and in large amounts it is quite sedating, but can leave you feeling a bit heavy headed the next morning, so don't over do it.

3. Clary Sage: this has a sedating and almost euphoric action.

4. Herbal teas such as Chamomile, Lime blossom, Walarian and Sweetened milky malted drinks can also help you to relax before going to bed.

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