The 1-Hour Sleep Countdown

Did you know that what you do in the final hour before going to bed can be the most important factor in how well you sleep? Learn how to stop stress, work problems and anxiety from getting in the way of a deep and restful slumber.

The 1-Hour Sleep Countdown

You can transform your dreadful sleepless nights of watching the clock into nights of deep, restful sleep with these four tips.

Dr. Oz's Tired Tea - 9:00 p.m.

Chamomile and liquid melatonin are the two main ingredients. Chamomile works as a mild tranquilizer and a sleep inducer. Along with regulating sleep, liquid melatonin boasts several advantages: It helps lower heart rate and blood pressure, increases immune function, and blocks the body’s stress response. Try adding 18 drops, which is about .5 mg, of liquid melatonin to your tea two hours before bedtime.

Lavender Steam Facial - 9:15 p.m.

Lavender is proven to reduce anxiety, a common cause of sleepless nights. Fill a bowl with 2 cups of boiling water and add 10 drops of lavender essential oil. Place your head over the bowl and drape a towel across the back of your head to keep steam in. Inhale deeply for 1 minute. Steam has been shown to improve lung and airway function, so this can help you breathe easier. You can also try this in the bathtub.

Turn Down the Heat - 9:30 p.m.

The ideal room temperature for sleeping is 65-68°F. Cooling the room will decrease your core body temperature and induce sleepiness. The Grobag Egg Digital Room Thermometer is a simple visual aid to keep your sleeping temperature optimal. When the room is at an ideal temperature, the egg gives a yellow glow.  A red hue indicates the room temperature needs to be turned down. Cooling the body helps slow down all the metabolic processes, including activity in the brain, promoting deep sleep.

Stretch - 9:45 p.m.

Exercising at night may be getting in the way of a good night’s sleep. It can suppress melatonin, and the adrenaline surge may make it difficult to relax. Stretching along with deep breathing can help relax you without raising your heart rate dramatically. It also loosens the muscles and improves circulation before sleep.

Try doing this stretch for 2 minutes: Lie down 6 inches from a headboard or a wall with your legs up extended up the wall. Let arms rest by your sides and breathe gently. You should feel a light stretch in your legs. Elevating the legs helps loosen muscles and aids in the prevention of morning leg cramps. When you have finished these stretches,  try to go to bed within 10 minutes for a deep sleep. 

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