Secrets of a “Great Night’s Sleep”

This is a list created by Barbara Stevens, Certified Stress Management Consultant (1). I am reproducing it in full, with her verbal permission during one of her seminars.


  1. Do not use television to get to sleep.
  2. Don’t over sleep in the morning.
  3. Cut down, or eliminate caffeine and sugar.
  4. Eliminate alcohol before bed time.
  5. Quit smoking.


  1. Manage stress daily.
  2. Create a mental view of the day’s positive events.
  3. Tell yourself “It’s time to sleep”.
  4. Suggest that it will be a deep restorative sleep.
  5. Take time during the day to relax or nap.
  6. Engage in relaxing activity before bedtime.
  7. Create a bedtime routine.
  8. Set a regular bedtime.
  9. Use the bed room for sleep.
  10. Keep it organized.
  11. Create a sleep-inducing environment.
  12. Keep computers, TV’s, and work materials out of the bed room.
  13. Progressive relaxation.
  14. Deep breathing.
  15. Visualize something peaceful.
  16. Counting backwards.
  17. Keep the bed room at a cool temperature.
  18. Use pink noise or white noise to focus the brain.
  19. Drink a relaxing herbal tea, chamomile, passionflower, and lavender.
  20. Aromatherapy – use essential organic oils, – lavender, sandalwood, Mandarin.
  21. Keep a pen and paper next to the bed – write down those ideas that pop in.
  22. Learn to move your attention to what is soothing, away from any discomfort.
  23. When worry comes in, tell yourself “I don’t have the energy to deal with this now. I will resolve this tomorrow, when I am refreshed.”
  24. Exercise helps to release stress.
  25. Take time to be in natural light every day.
  26. Invest in a light box.
  27. Purchase an air cleaner with a negative ion generator.
  28. Allow your eyes to adjust to a dimmer light before bed.
  29. Make sure your bed is comfortable.
  30. Listen to soft music.
  31. Listen to a relaxation CD.
  32. Finish eating 2 hours before bed.
  33. Settle for relaxation.

Sleep is as important as food and air. Quality and quantity are very important.
Most adults need between 7.5 to 8.5 hours of uninterrupted sleep.

Stress increases heart rate, blood flow and sugar. SEROTONIN regulates your sleep cycles.  According to Dr. Ellen Weber, October 14, 2006, cortisol inhibits serotonin.  As serotonin is blocked, sleep patterns are disrupted. Staying angry and resentful increases cortisol and disturbs the sleep cycle. Best time to nap is between 2.00 and 3.00 pm, when the body naturally experiences a level of sleepiness.

Increase light exposure during the day. Spend more time outside during daylight.

Remove your sunglasses in the morning and let light onto your face.
Let as much light into your home/workspace as possible.

Keep curtains and blinds open during the day; Move your desk  closer to the window. Try to take your work breaks outside in sunlight, exercise outside, or walk your dog during the day, instead of at night.

Negative ions relieve hay fever and asthma symptoms, seasonal depression, fatigue and headaches. A room charged with negative ions was shown to stem bacteria growth and precipitate many airborne contaminants.

Fatty foods take a lot of work for your stomach to digest, and may keep you up. Also be cautious with spicy or acidic foods in the evening, as they can cause stomach trouble and heartburn.

Nicotine is a stimulant, which disrupts sleep.

Light boxes:
Music: Steven Halpern
Dr. Jeffrey Thompson:: His clinical research with thousands of patients and volunteers led to groundbreaking discoveries in how sound frequency patterns, built into musical soundtracks, can entrain brainwaves and trigger numerous health benefits.

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(1) Barbara Stevens  # 518-755-5053

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