Dim All the Lights, Sweet Dahlin’

Having trouble sleeping? Tried all the latest products and tips, spiced milk, valerian root and melatonin, even prescription medications and still can’t get a good night’s sleep?

Create a den of darkness. Cut the lights – all of them. Yes, all of them. Our electronic world invites disruption during the night. Even though their output seems small, it’s enough to disturb sleep.

Your digital alarm clock, night light, blinking computer, modem lights, TV and DVD player lights, even electronic chargers, all contribute to interrupting sleep. You wake up, look at the clock to check out just how many hours of restlessness you have remaining before you have to be at work, and you disturb sleep even further. Or you turn on the light when you get up to go to the bathroom.

I just bought a new alarm clock that lets me turn off the light that illuminates the time – it’s been a blessing. The blinds are pulled tightly to prevent city lights and the moon from shining in. Night lights are hidden behind a closed door and if I do get up, I keep my eyes closed as I make my way to the toilet.

When morning arrives, bright and beautiful, my alarm clock first announces my awakening by lighting up the display panel through 3 stages of brightness before the music starts – this simulates natural awakening with the rising sun. Once up, I open all the blinds so the sunrise can flood the room.

Other tips – keep to a schedule. Go to bed at the same time each night and strive for the same length of slumber. If you do awaken inappropriately at night, resist the temptation to log on to Facebook, read or write. The bedside lamp and computer screen can make going back to sleep impossible!

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