Tranquil scene of a young woman dreaming and sleeping on a cloud up in the sky

Oh, for a Good Nights Sleep!  Waking refreshed from deep, restful sleep really is magical to rejuvenate the body and mind. Add some magic to your nighttime habits with these six tips:

1. Warm Bath Warmth coaxes your body to relax.  Dissolve one cup of epsom salts in your bath water and you will benefit from magnesium, the relaxation mineral.  A few drops of essential oil of lavender in the water engages your sense of smell to enhance the relaxation experience.

2. Sleep Snacks Choosing small bites of the right snacks enhances sleep chemistry.  A warm glass of milk, cherries, walnuts and honey are high in  the amino acid tryptophan.  Tryptophan makes  melatonin… your natural sleep sedative hormone. Remember the turkey coma after Thanksgiving dinner?  It was the high levels of tryptophan in the turkey that did it.

Potassium and magnesium are minerals that promote relaxation.  Sweet potatoes, low sodium popcorn (oil popped), rice cakes and potato chips are high in both potassium and magnesium.

Pistachios are high in the vitamin B-6 required to make melatonin.  If you do not recall your dreams, you may be low in B-6.

Dark Chocolate, one ounce of 70%  or greater cocoa, is a superstar snack containing potassium and magnesium while promoting serotonin, which proceeds the production of melatonin.  Yum.

3. Lights Out Total darkness stimulates your brain to produce the sleep hormone, melatonin.  Yes, that translates into no reading, TV, computer, Kindle or Facebook on your smart phone thirty minutes before going to bed.

4. Soothing Sounds Your choice: nature sounds, soothing instrumentals or white noise intices the brain to surrender into a relaxed rhythm.

5. Sleep on Your Left Side  Sleeping on your left side aids digestion thus reducing heartburn. Left-side sleeping, also, works with gravity to move lymph fluid along it’s natural course toward the heart.  Circulation of lymph fluid boosts  immune activity and the elimination of toxins.

6. Count Sheep One by one, appreciate the positive things in your life.  Research has shown gratefulpeople sleep better.

Developing sleep habits creates body memory to expedite your transition into quality sleep.  As you practice your sleep ritual it will, soon, take less effort to fall asleep and enjoy better sleep.   Good night, sweet dreams.