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   COUNTING SHEEP: GETTING A BETTER NIGHT'S SLEEP
 
 
 
2012 - Spring Issue
Vida Buena
Health & Wellness
 
Article: Jasmine Evaristo
 
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With our worlds perpetually spinning – and occasionally toppling – on their axes, getting sufficient sleep can be hard to achieve. There are several factors that so rudely interrupt our ability to fall into an undisturbed slumber, whether it'd be stresses from work and relationships, unforeseen challenges, family responsibilities, illnesses and experienced sleep disorders. It often feels like it takes a lot of energy to restore our energy. And while we don't always have the power to control all of the factors that interfere with getting good shut-eye, there are practices we can adopt to coax a satisfactory siesta.

    Being conscious of your life means being present; truly living. To be present in the here and now requires complete engagement of the mind and body. And the best way to fully engage oneself is to rejuvenate the mind and body through an unabridged, full night's rest.
   
  Resources

El Paso Sleep Center
Radisson Hotel
1770 Airway Blvd.
El Paso TX 79925
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Westside Sleep Center
4305 N Mesa St.
El Paso, TX 79902
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Joe Battle Center
3030 Joe Battle Blvd
El Paso, TX 79938
915-779-7378
elpasosleepcenter.com

Mattress Firm
915-590-2290
mattressfirm.com

Sonno Sleep Center
2311 N Mesa St.
El Paso, TX 79902
915-533-8499
------------------------------
1400 George Dieter Dr.
El Paso, TX 79936
915-533-8499
------------------------------
1240 S Telshor Blvd.
Las Cruces, NM 88011
575-522-3885
sonnosleep.com
Consistency is central. Resting well and easy is as simple as going to bed and getting up at the same time every day, including the weekends, your days off and holidays. Having a set sleep schedule reinforces your body's sleep-wake cycle, and can give way to enhanced sleep at night. However, there is a caveat. If you fail to nod off within a 15-minute time frame, do something that will relax you. Then slip back under the covers when you're good and tired.

Akin to adopting an even sleeping schedule, create a bedtime ritual. Develop a nightly routine that signals to your body it's time to temper and wind down. This might include indulging in a warm bath; reading or writing; listening to soothing music or even playing a game of Solitaire. Relaxing activities can promote better sleep by facilitating the transition between being alert and becoming lethargic.

Maintain a healthy diet. Don't go to bed feeling deprived or overly satiated. The discomfort provoked can impede on your physical repose, and will keep you tossing and turning in an attempt for comfort. Give yourself a cut-off time for food consumption, and don't indulge in any heavy foods late at night. Additionally, limit how much you drink before bed to alleviate those disruptive, middle-of-the-night trips to the bathroom; and this includes a stern limitation on nicotine, caffeine and alcohol.

Set the mood. Design a bedroom and atmosphere quintessential for sleeping. This often implies cool in composure whilst feeling warm, dark and quiet. Consider shades to engulf the light, earplugs, and fans or heaters to help control your desired room temperature. Your mattress and pillows are top priority, and definitive to how well you rest. Since good bedding features are subjective, select accordingly.

Moderate those catnaps. Extended catnaps during the day can unfavorably affect nighttime sleep, especially if you're struggling with insomnia and poor sleeping habits. Power naps can help you catch that second wind as you hit the 5 o'clock hour, but consider limiting those naps to 10 to 20 minutes. Too much sleep, especially midday, can inadvertently decrease your energy, making you more lackadaisical as opposed to boosting stamina.

Channel stress into physical activity. When you're sitting in a pressure cooker; your mind shifting gears all at once, healthy stress management is key to restoring the peace in your life – and catching Z's. Start with the basics, such as optimizing organization, establishing priorities and delegating tasks. Give yourself a window to catch your breath; and before bed, jot down the thoughts plaguing your mind and set it aside for the next day. Channel any additional stresses into daily physical activity. Regular exercise encourages beauty sleep, easing you asleep faster and allowing for a deeper slumber. Time is a crucial factor to give thought. If you exercise closer to your bedtime hours, you might have too much energy to relax, so be locomotive earlier in the day.

The science of sleep. While we are all prone to occasional sleepless nights, there is a point that can be reached when medical attention needs to be paid. Being vulnerable to severe insomnia, night terrors, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome, parasomnias and other sleep disorders requires a doctor's cradle song.

Identifying and treating these underlying causes can help you achieve the supreme sleep quality necessary. Analyze your sleeping habits and quality, and if you deem imperative, contact the appropriate doctor and research your local accredited sleep centers to seek assistance. According to the Sonno Sleep Centers website, "There is a variety of sleep disorders. Some are very common and some are very rare. Some difficulties may be related to medical or psychological illnesses, medications stress or pain."

Healthy and deeply pleasant sleep revitalizes our being. It makes our actions and our thoughts deliberate; giving us purpose. It is crucial to your quality of life that your rest and relaxation take precedence. A good night's sleep helps us to wake up at the dawn of each new day feeling cooler than the flipside of the pillow. ///
 
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