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Sleep and the Senses

Getting a regular, restful eight hours of sleep each night is really one of the best things you can  do for yourself. Still, for many, sleep is elusive. There are few things more irritating than tossing and turning each night, struggling to fall asleep—yet there are plenty of ways that you can lull your body and mind into a state of rest.

One method we recommend is engaging each of your senses in different ways. Sleep can be induced through touch, through sound, through smell—through a variety of sensory means.

Here are a few strategies that you might consider:

  • Fill your bedroom with soothing scents. Start with lavender, an aroma well-known for its restful qualities. Essential oils, candles, or simply lavender-scented air fresheners might work.
  • Cool off your room. One of the most common culprits behind sleeplessness is a room that’s too hot. Turn the thermostat down to 65 degrees or so, crank up a fan, or change into some thinner, cooler pajamas.
  • Remember visual cues—especially light ones. Use the natural cadence of daylight and nightfall to tell your body when it is time to sleep and when it is time to awaken. At night, make sure your room is as dark as possible. Switch off all electronic devices-even flashing electronic devices can result in restlessness. During the day, let plenty of light in.
  • Eat an evening snack. Try a food that naturally induces the production of melatonin; pineapple, bananas, and oranges all work well.
  • Get some physical activity during the day—but not too close to bedtime. A daily workout routine, earlier in the day, can be great for preparing you for bed.

Not all methods may work for you, but they are definitely a great start toward getting to sleep easier.

Share these tips with anyone you know who struggles with insomnia.

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