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Some tips for good sleep Spend some time relaxing before you head off to bed. Some light exercise after dinner can prepare you to “wind down” with a book or some music before it’s time for sleep. You may also want to add a little meditation or yoga stretches to get yourself into a comfortable frame of mind. Make sure that your bedroom is peaceful and quiet. When you aren’t able to control noise coming into your bedroom, you can use white noise machines or earplugs to drown out the distractions. Eliminate light for restful sleep. Outfit your bedroom with thick curtains or blinds if possible keep lights on electronic devices at a minimum. In some cases you might need an eye shade or sleep mask. Let the sunshine in! Immediately opening your blinds or drapes in the morning ensures that your internal clock keeps the correct time. Earlier exposure to bright sunlight makes it easier to become fully awake and alert. Avoid drinking and smoking in the hours just before sleep. Nicotine acts as a stimulant to keep you awake, while the glutamine rebound from drinking may cause you to wake up during the night. The rebound may also force you to wake up for repeated bathroom breaks, preventing deeper stages of sleep. Avoid electronic devices and entertainment just before bed. The backlighting on the screen produces similar mental effects to those of bright morning sunshine. Avoid negative thoughts in the bedroom. Concentrate on good emotions and memories instead. Think about the things that matter most and make you feel good. Spend a little time considering your loved ones or something you’re proud of. Visualize your favorite vacation locales. Control your breathing while in bed. Practice diaphragmatic breathing. Count to four while breathing in, hold the breath for a moment, then breathe out for another four seconds. On the exhale, try silently repeating a ‘mantra’ or calming word. If you have trouble sleeping after being awake for a half hour, don’t stay in bed. Go to another room and do something calming, like some light stretching or relaxed reading. Just make sure that you don’t end up feeling stressed about being unable to sleep.
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