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Five steps towards better sleep | Hardin Acupuncture

Five steps towards better sleep

“Finish each day before you begin the next, and interpose a solid wall of sleep between the two.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

The way most of us live our lives, a good night’s rest doesn’t stand a chance. We rush through our days all the way up to the 11th hour and then declare, Now, I will sleep! Sleep wants to be wooed, not bossed around, and will often turn elusive if we don’t give ourselves a chance to wind-down and approach bedtime slowly. Studies are connecting lack of sleep with heart disease, obesity, and more, so getting a decent night’s rest goes beyond a wouldn’t it be nice mentality.

Here are some simple tips that might make for an easier transition. The trick with simple tips is that you actually have to do them for them to work.

1. Eat your dinner at least three hours before you plan to hit the sack. A full belly leads to difficulties falling asleep and often, a groggy, heavy morning as well.

2. Develop a bedtime ritual that doesn’t include TV or the computer. Take a bath with lavender oil, read a book, take a stroll (see step 3). Aim to be in bed no later than 11pm each night.

3. Exercise! You knew I was going to say it. Daily movement is one of the most significant ways to make changes to our health, including our ability to have high-quality sleep. Find a time and make it non-negotiable. Some people find exercising in the evening to be helpful, while others feel too energized – you’ll just have to try it and see for yourself. Watch this fun, inspiring video by Dr. Mike Evans for more about the importance of exercise. (9 minutes)

4. Meditation. If you’ve been reading here awhile, I bet you knew I was going to say that too. Improved sleep is just one of the many many benefits of this simple practice. A 1/2 hour of meditation just before you fall asleep and just after you wake up is, quite simply, magical.

5. Acupuncture treatment. Better sleep is one of the most common “side effects” reported by my patients. And people find that they can more easily stick to new routines (like an earlier dinnertime, an evening stroll, turning off the TV). Treatment helps break up patterns that are stuck in the body, which makes change easier.

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Hardin Acupuncture
1804 Chislett St
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
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Wed 12-7
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Phone: 412.927.4768