Excerpt from:
The Creative Dreamer's Journal and Workbook.

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Tips for a Good Night's Sleep

Finish eating no sooner than two hours before bed. A meal rich in carbohydrates (like rice, potatoes, bread, or pasta) with very little or no protein, will help to relax you. A baked potato eaten an hour before bed is a natural sleeping pill.

Start winding down toward sleep after you've eating your evening meal. Avoid television just before sleep; it's stimulating to the nervous system. Try reading a good book, listening to soothing music, or talking with a good friend, instead.

Just before bedtime, drink a glass of warm milk, it contains tryptophan and calcium, natural sedatives.

If you are anxious, try writing out your problems. Several studies have found that people who keep a journal and record their troubles tend to feel less anxious.

Take a warm bath (just a couple of degrees warmer than your body temperature) for about 15 minutes. Staying in longer might lower your blood pressure too much, and a hotter bath will actually stimulate your body and make it harder to sleep.

Try these relaxing essential oils in an oil burner or in the bath: 5 drops rose, 3 drops sandalwood or 6 drops lavender, 2 drops ylang-ylang. Lavender mist sprays are available at many health food stores; spritz your pillow before bed. Take a deep breath through your nose and hold it in. Close your eyes, relaxing your facial muscles, and lightly press your fingers together. Hold them that way for about 5 seconds, then slowly exhale through your mouth. Relax your hands. Repeat several times until you feel relaxed.

Progressive relaxation once you're in bed can help you locate and release any remaining tension spots in your body. Take several deep breaths, imagining yourself sinking into the bed. Then, beginning with your toes and progressing up your body to your shoulders, tense, hold briefly, and release each part of your body. When you reach your neck, lift it up off the bed and hold it for a few seconds, then let it fall. Squeeze your eyes closed and release them, too.

From Tonay, V.K. (1997). The Creative Dreamer's Journal and Workbook. Berkeley: Celestial Arts/Ten Speed Press.

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