Many of my patients come to see me with tales of difficulty sleeping at night and insomnia. Here I’d like to pass on 2 simple tips / pieces of advice that may well help you fall asleep more easily.
Tip 1 – brush your teeth in a dimly lit room
When you brush your teeth last thing at night don’t do it in a brightly lit bathroom or infront of a brightly illuminated mirror. The reason for this is that the bright light will block the action of the pineal gland which releases the sleep inducing and regulating hormone melatonin. If you expose yourself ot a bright light just before going to bed this can drive down secretion of melatonin and this will make it harder for you to get to sleep.
Tip 2 – if you have a hot bath or shower before bed, allow yourself to cool down before going to bed.
Althought it might seem like a nice hot bath before bed is relaxing and calming, it isn’t actually this which helps you sleep. Recent research has shown that it is actually the cooling down of the body after you get out of the bath / shower that is sleep inducing. Taking a hot bath artificially increases your body temperature. When you get out your body cools and this induces sleep. So, take your bath 1-2 hours before going to bed and after your shower, allow yourself to get a little cold before going to bed.
It follow on from this tip not to allow your bed or your bedroom to get too hot before you get into it (electric blankets etc).
More tips to follow………
Philip Waldman D.O. FSCCO, is an Osteopath and Cranial Osteopath in Chelsea. He is also a co-founder and owner of Chelsea Natural Health Clinic, Fulham Road, SW10.