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Sleep 101

dreamstimefree_219000I’ve learned a lot about sleep through my research for the Dream Weaver series.  If you’re having trouble sleeping, try some of the following tips:

  • Make your bedroom a place for sleep only (and that other thing adults like to do and erotic romance authors tend to write about).  Televisions, radios, and work keep the mind going.  The goal is to turn the brain off and let it relax.
  • Reading in bed is a special case.  Some people read to relax.  Others like me tend to get caught up in the story and will read into the wee hours to see how a story plays out.  You know which you are, so be aware of your habits.
  • Make sure everything is comfortable for you:  the mattress, your pillow, and the temperature .  A room that’s too warm will keep you awake.  Cooler temperatures tend to encourage sleep, but you don’t want your teeth to clatter!
  • Watch your intake of caffeine.  Try not to drink caffeinated beverages after dinner.  It’s a more powerful drug than you think.
  • Likewise, exercise earlier in the day.  Once the blood gets pumping and the body gets revved, it’s hard to slow it down to a complete stop.
  • Try to relax an hour or so before going to bed.  We all have a million things to do, but if you keep going full bore sleep will elude you.  Most people can’t turn a switch and go to sleep.  You must prepare the mind and the body.
  • Sometimes, the body is ready for sleep, but the mind isn’t.  If your mind is racing try different techniques to slow it down.  Concentrate on relaxing one part of the body at a time.  Focus on a peaceful scene and bring your thoughts back to this place when they start to wander.  This can be the hardest step in letting sleep take over.
  • Finally, if your sleep problems persist, see your doctor.  Sleep deprivation is rampant in our fast-paced, non-stop world.  It can make your reflexes slower and your thoughts hazy.  It can cause persistent headaches, make you gain weight, and many other bad things.  Get help when you need it!

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