Sleeping Tips and Steps to a Better Sleep

Sleeping

Sleeping has always been a struggle for the longest time, because I either get too excited or stressed, and either one is good for a restful sleep. Over time, I’ve developed a whole bunch of strategies to help me sleep better. I know that if I don’t sleep very well, I can barely function the next day, and I get dizzy, nauseous and forgetful. I really hope these tips can help you have a better night sleep as well!

Sleeping Tips for a Better Night Sleep

1. Eat chocolate before 11am and have caffeine as early in the morning as possible, preferably when you first wake up.

2. Be sure to massage the sleep and calming acupressure points very often. The two points behind your head are particularly good with promoting deeper sleep.

Sleep_Calming_Acupressure_Points

3. Hide all the clocks at night. Clocks can make you extra anxious, especially when you are focusing on how long it’s taken to fall asleep. I even put sticky tape over the clock on my phone so I can’t see it.

4. Exercise at least an hour each day.

5. Be sure to take a shower about 2-3 hours before you sleep, this will help you feel squeaky clean and your skin will be nice and smooth. I personally can’t sleep if I’m sticky from all the sweat during the day.

6. Give yourself at least one hour each night before you need to sleep, to do some reading and/or quiet activities, such as meditation. Be sure you are not reading anything that makes you want to not put it down!

7. If you can help it, try and keep your phone, ipad or laptop away from your bed after you’re ready to go to sleep.

8. If you get waken up by light early in the morning, use a sleeping mask to keep your eyes in the dark.

Pink_Sleeping_Mask

(Image Source)

9. If possible, try and install curtains that are thick and dark, so that you can keep extra light out.

10. Use a white noise machine if you get disturbed by other sounds at night or in the morning. It’s brilliant for noisy neighbours, birds and even other people in your household who likes to get up early and talk loudly. If you don’t have one, feel free to use the fan or other device that makes a constant noise. I like to turn the fan of the highest.

11. Keep cool while you’re in bed. If you are too hot, it can be harder to fall asleep.

12. Right before you go to bed, do some meditating for 15 minutes or so. You may wish to do 10 minutes sitting up and 5 minutes lying down, simply close your eyes, sit still and focus only on breathing in and out, or visualise clouds or other calm image in your mind, and try not to think about anything at that time. Meditation is brilliant in helping you clear your mind from worries and too much extra thoughts that could cause problems with sleeping.

meditation

13. Try to avoid drinking liquids 4-5 hours before bed, and limit soups, fruits and other foods with lots of water because it will probably make you wake up a million times to go to the toilet. Try and eat these foods and drink lots of water from when you first wake up.

14. Do some tapping exercises before bed time. This works similar to meditation that you are focusing on getting the taps, so you may feel that you’re slowly dozing off.

Tapping_Exercises_for_Sleep

(Tap once between the thumb and index finger, twice between the thumb and pinky, three times between the thumb and

15. Take magnesium and calcium supplements if you are not eating enough foods with them, as they both have calming abilities.

16. If you wake up in the middle of the night, try not to turn on any lights or do too much, as that would wake you up even more.

17. If your windows are open, you may wish to close them before dawn as that’s usually the time that birds are very loud and may wake you up.

18. When you wake up in the morning, get at least 10 minutes of sunlight directly in your eyes as early as you can. This will help reset your body clock (circadian rhythm).

Getting Braces as an Adult: Part 4 – Putting the Braces On

So last few times, I talked about the steps leading up to actually putting it on. Now, I’m going to be writing about my experience with the braces being put on.

So, you walk into the orthodontist, they give you a purple looking pill (that tastes like candy) and you’re suppose to bite and chew it, squish it around but NOT swallow it. From what I heard, that is suppose to stain your mouth with purple colours if you have plaque buildup. Needless to say, I have plenty, so the dentist did a thorough clean of my teeth and mouth. They use all these sharp objects (not the drill or that hook thing, thank God) on you, like this pump and they spray something that I swear is VERY salty in your mouth. I think it must have been salt water or something.

Hmmm, maybe I should start rinsing my mouth with salt water.

Anyway, they clean for about 10-15 minutes, top and bottom, and it can be a little scary – but try and imagine something pretty and peaceful!

Then, it’s time to put on the braces. Normally, they put these plastic things in your mouth to keep it open but she was kind enough not to do that because I had bad anxiety and gag reflex. Also, I had problems with three cotton wools at first, because it just felt like I was going to be sick. I had a 5-10 minute break just to relax and get rid of my shakiness (yes, I was that nervous) while everyone went outside to take photos. I love the environment of this place, everyone just looks so relaxed and enjoying life.

So after that break, I was better. At first, it was hard because it felt like my mouth was too dry and they had to get me to hold this hair dryer (I think) to dry it up even more, but I swear as time went, it felt as if my whole mouth was numb and I just couldn’t feel anything anymore.

She spent about 30 minutes or so (maybe more) putting them on. They work in sections and she did the top middle, bottom middle, top left and right, bottom left and right. Once the stuff is glued on, she got me to rinse my mouth and then it’s time for the wires, which is MUCH more simple, but OMG it felt so weird afterwards.

There’s definitely a feeling of pressure on your teeth and you may feel that your  whole mouth feels like METAL sandpaper.

So you are given a kit and told to brush your teeth after every meal, and floss using a special needle . You’re also given some other cool stuff like a sand timer and little dentist mirror (which I always wanted).

When you get home, it will feel very strange at first, like as if there’s something stuck in your mouth. (Well erm, that is what’s happening)

There’s a little bit of strange pain, almost like baby tooth growing pains that you want to chew on something or bite. (Don’t do it though!)

With these braces on, my greatest recommendation is – the little you chew, the better, so be prepared to live your life like an old lady that has all her teeth fallen out, so don’t eat hard stuff, chewy stuff or anything that may break or displace the braces.

Secret to Good Tasting Vegetables

Some vegetables have secrets to making them taste great. Here are what I’ve discovered:

Broccoli

Broccoli

The secret to broccoli, I believe, is miso or salt or soy sauce, and they should be a little crunchy. I remember in the past, anytime broccoli tasted good was when it was stir fried with miso and not overdone until it’s mush. When you add in a little salty flavour, it will completely take away any bad taste that broccoli has.

Kale

This one shouldn’t be a surprise, massaging the kale is the key to making it taste better! So, try it.

Tofu

Try to dry out the tofu before you cook it, as even extra firm tofu is very wet and would become all gooey if you leave it as it is. You may want to stick it in the oven for a while to dry it, or leave it out.

Green Beans

Well, if you just steam green beans, I’m sure you will squirm your eyes if you try to eat them, unless you happen to LOVE the taste of it. Green beans in my experience, tastes absolutely amazing cooked with garlic, soy sauce, oil and mushrooms. Steaming them with no flavour or microwaving them is death to its kind!

Celery

If you really hate the taste of celery, perhaps nothing will work, but if you don’t mind it, try cooking it with some carrots, cilantro and give it lots of spices and soy sauce, because that even makes me love celery, when I usually don’t like it as much.

Sleep Better with a White Noise Machine

I love making new discoveries like this!

Have you ever heard of a White Noise Machine?

White_Noise_Machine

Marpac Dohm-DS Dual Speed Sound Conditioner

Say if you were relying on fans or a constant sound to keep you sleeping well because you have noisy neighbours, sound of cars or sirens wake you up, or even your own lover snoring. This can be a lifesaver!

You don’t have to get the machine, you can get audio files and play them, or use the fan, but this will be perfect if you just want a machine that does nothing but help you sleep!

How White Noise helps Sleep

It has been explained that our brains naturally crave sensory input, that include sounds. Our brains even try and create our own if we’re robbed of any stimulus, hence why sometimes we hallucinate. That also explains why when we’re asleep during a very quiet night, any random noise is likely to wake you up, including a passing truck or even creaking floorboard. It activates your restless brain, and will wake you up. However when you have a constant white noise, it actually gives your brain a tonic signal which dampens your own internal system.

So, if you really want to have a good nights sleep and you find yourself struggling because of noises, I recommend you to try white noise, whether you use a machine, fan, or anything else. It seriously works, and blocks out a lot of the sounds.

Why you need that Extra Hour or Three of Sleep

Sleep_Animation

(Image Source)

(For those who are getting 6 hours or less)

Yesterday, I really got an insight to just how much I needed SLEEP! And if I’m like this, I bet others are the same.

Firstly, have you ever felt really ANGRY when someone interrupts your sleep? Whether it’s your noisy neighbours doing you-know-what at 4am in the morning and waking you up (100% true, happened to me) or someone coming in your room in the morning. You just felt annoyed or angry… That’s because our body recognises sleep as something important and doesn’t want you to be near people/things that may cause you harm, and that is to be deprived of sleep!

But anyway, I am saying, that most times if we get 6 hours or less of sleep, we seriously need more. Why?

From my experience, you can literally perform 3x better with 2 times less the amount of time, with less stress, less moodiness and more creativity if you have more sleep!

Let’s just use yesterday as an example. I went to bed around 1am, woke up at around 9:20am. Usually, I would wake up at 7:30 and can’t get back to sleep, but yesterday I just was, for some reason. Perhaps there wasn’t enough on my mind to keep me awake, or I really needed more sleep. Whatever it was, I got a full 8 hours of sleep.

Firstly, I had absolutely no problems with coming up with ideas on what to cook (or even write about). Sometimes, I would wake up at 7am, with 3 hours extra time, but spend the entire day stressing because I couldn’t think of what to write, or cook. I was too tired to do anything, and the result usually is something that I would not be very happy with.

Not only that, I would constantly be agitated and find the smallest things as “huge stress”, as well as just being annoyed at small things that felt like huge things to me.

So remember this: If you sleep for an extra hour, you are likely to do better than if you had given yourself 3 extra hours in the morning (but not had enough sleep). So instead of thinking that you need to get up to do this and that, just think that sleeping is going to get you to do even better, so there will be no getting up until later!

(Or, you can always just go to bed a little early).

What if you are too excited or worried? That’s unfortunately the number one culprit to keeping me awake in the morning. I think you really need to give yourself time to let excitement cool off, as major excitement is usually anticipating something, or you’ve just created or got something spanking new and you’re way too excited. This happened to me after I created my website, I was just too excited to sleep, and wanted to update it 24/7.

If you are worried, it’s usually for a reason – and I would recommend you try to deal with the worry first, because once the worry is being dealt with, you will find that it will leave your mind.

Whatever it is, don’t underestimate that extra hour of sleep!

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