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Acquiring High-Quality Sleep

40 million people in the U.S. suffer from sleep problems every year, as stated by the FDA. Stress is one of the chief reasons for sleep problems. Deep Relaxation may possibly be very beneficial for sleep problems, reducing your stress, allowing your body and mind become quiet and calm.

40 million people in the United States suffer from sleep problems every year, as stated by the FDA. The 2007 Sleep in America Poll confirmed that two-thirds of women surveyed experienced a problem sleeping at least a few nights per week over the course of the last month.Stress is one of the major reasons for problems with sleep. Busy days with too much to think about, monetary pressure, family problems, worries . . . itís too easy to be wide awake at night Ė- and consequently be worn out the following day. Note: if you are experiencing relentless problems with sleeping, by all means consult your physician.Deep Relaxation may possibly be very beneficial for sleep problems, reducing your stress, allowing your body and mind to stop being on "red alert".Parents of young children are aware that bedtime rituals help their children get to sleep, and sleep well throughout the night. Did you know itís beneficial for adults as well? Having a regular habit around bedtime where you prepare for restful sleep can greatly improve the probability that you will sleep well.Relaxation is an enormously important ingredient in getting ready for high-quality sleep. Deep Relaxation allows your body and mind to quiet down from the dayís activities. Itís then a good deal easier to go to sleep, stay asleep, and sleep soundly.Many people find that listening to a relaxation CD at bedtime helps them achieve a pleasing nightís sleep. Soothing words and calming music can effect for adults what a lullaby does for an infant! Itís a wonderful way to let go of the dayís concerns and float away into restful sleep.Avoid exercise or eating a heavy meal within four hours of bedtime. Do research on any medications you are consuming to make sure they are not getting in the way of your sleep.Restorative yoga or meditation before going to bed can help your body relax, and your mind to become calm. If you have tense muscles, listening to a relaxation CD or doing progressive muscle relaxation can help you release tension.Do not consume caffeine (coffee, caffeinated soft drinks, chocolate) or other stimulants late in the day; alcohol and nicotine can also interfere with sleep.If you experience involuntary leg movements in the night you may be experiencing Restless Leg Syndrome. This may sometimes be the result of a folic acid deficiency, so try taking a dietary supplement containing folic acid. Gentle stretching of the legs (quadriceps, hamstrings, calves) may help as well.If your sleep problems persist, confer with a sleep specialist. Often they will arrange for a sleep study, where you sleep for a night at their office while connected to monitors to help with evaluation. Sleep apnea (irregular lapses in breathing) is a frequent finding, and there are excellent treatments available for this.Approach your sleep regime with a plan. Devote time for experimentation and try numerous things. It may be helpful to maintain a sleep journal, where you note in brief the day's events. Useful things to include in the journal are: your state of mind upon going to bed; when you ate or exercised; caffeine, nicotine and alcohol consumed; relaxation or meditation or other practices done before bed; and, finallyPsychology Articles, the quality of your sleep that night.Sweet Dreams!

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Sandi Anders, M.Div., R.Y.T. offers her relaxation CD Alchemy of Peace and Love at, and recommends Stress Management and Relaxation resources at

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