Larry A. Law
In addition, we should minimize or eliminate exposure to electric light (especially blue LED light) at night at least 2 hours before bed. Blue light is especially damaging to our melatonin levels and interrupts our desire to sleep. Make sure you don’t use cell phones, computers, IPADs, TVs, and other devices that emit blue light as you prepare for bed. They reduce melatonin by 23%.
Wind down and relax before bed by reading a printed book or by listening on audio. In addition, avoid alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, large meals, and medicines that disrupt sleep. Don’t lie in bed awake. After 20 minutes of trying to sleep, get up and do something until you feel tired. Cool your bedroom down. The author suggests 65 degrees F (18 C). If that is too cold, then find a temperature below the standard 70-72 degrees which most people have set for sleeping. A hot bath seems counter-intuitive but it works very well because the heat dilates blood vessels near your skin, allowing heat from your core to radiate out quickly. This cooling effect lowers core body temperature, which in turn promotes sleep.
Don’t take sleeping pills. Fake sleep hurts you in the long run. Avoid noisy alarm clocks and snooze buttons. Don’t exercise before bed--relax before bed! Don’t take naps after 3 PM. However, a short siesta can be very restorative in the early afternoon. Snoring and sleep apnea can be related to overly large adenoids and tonsils which block the airway passage when breathing muscles relax during sleep. Snoring is the sound of turbulent air trying to be sucked down into lungs through a semi-collapsed, fluttering airway. The oxygen debt will reflexively force the brain to awaken throughout the night so that several full breaths can be obtained to restore full blood oxygen saturation. But this, of course, disrupts valuable deep Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) sleep.
Good nutrition is critical for sleep. When your immune system is functioning well, your body can rest and restore. Stress and disease impair the healing aspects of sleep. For important information on how our food has been altered, impairing the body's ability to repair itself, see my book.