Sleep Your Way To Stress Relief Naturally

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Story Updated: Feb 7, 2013

Did you know 1 in every 3 people aren't sleeping well? This leads to an irritable, agitated population that is quick to anger, slow to calm, and 'stressed out'!

We encourage you to take part in our 1-week challenge towards more peaceful sleep, resulting in a healthier, happier you. The following steps are mostly related to decreasing exposure to or calming the body's response to external stimuli, including electrical impulse interference. To participate, simply follow the steps below for 7 consecutive days/nights and let us know how it changes your life by posting a comment below.

1. Remove any fabrics from your bedroom that are not plant-based - yes, this means anything with any polyester or other synthetic content, even pillows or blankets! Replace them with natural fiber alternatives such as wool, cotton, hemp, or bamboo. This also applies to curtains located near your bed or the filling in pillows/mattress pads.

2. Remove or unplug all electronics from your bedroom, unless they are battery operated (turning them off is not enough, they must be unplugged to stop electricity flow from the outlet). Remove cell phones and computers from the bedroom; if you use your cell phone as an alarm clock, put your cell phone into airplane mode before going to bed.

3. Think about the position of your bed - is it located above/below a major electric appliance such as the fridge or tv? Is there a plug-in wall outlet behind your bed? Are there electronics plugged in on the other side of the wall from your bed? If so, try to maximize the distance between your bed positioning and those items and/or unplug those electric devices. (walls are invisible to electric currents and energy)

4. Make sure the room is completely dark with no lights from clocks, night lights, or windows. This is an important step in preparing your body for deep sleep! Also, if possible, spend the hour before bedtime in dim lighting to prepare your body for sleep.

5. Stretch your body gently for 10 minutes before bed and focus on deep breathing and relaxing your muscles, from your toes up each muscle to your scalp. The easiest way to accomplish this relaxation exercise is to focus on each body part, tense it, then release it completely, one-by-one. Make sure to maintain a balance to both sides of your body throughout the exercise (i.e. tense and release both feet at the same time, both thighs, both fists, etc).

6. Lay down on crisp, clean 100% cotton or bamboo sheets with no scent (any scent, even natural, can interfere with deep sleep).

7. To improve your sleep, make sure you're using the correct pillow. If you sleep on your stomach, use a soft 100% cotton fill pillow. If you sleep on your back, use a medium firmness. If you sleep on your side, use a hard/very firm pillow. It's also important to ensure your pillow is not filled with a synthetic fiber; we recommend one like this for the best night's sleep!

8. Allow yourself 7.5 or 9 hours for sleep....sleep cycles are 90 minutes in length and it is best to allow each cycle to complete before waking!

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SPORTS MEDICINE

UHS

The UHS Sports Medicine Program specializes in diagnosing and treating orthopedic and sports-related injuries, providing care on an outpatient basis. The program combines the expertise of certified athletic trainers and physical therapists, who work closely with sports medicine physicians on our medical staff to help patients resume their physical activities as soon as possible.

UHS Sports Medicine providers work with many local sports teams and organizations, including the Binghamton University Bearcats.

Clinical sports medicine services provided include:
- Preventive sports medicine
- Comprehensive evaluation of physical injuries
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- For concussion/mild traumatic brain injuries, visit our UHS Concussion Center webpage

Our experts in sports medicine provide comprehensive care at many local sporting events, as well as serve as healthcare providers for athletics teams from Binghamton University, Broome Community College, Davis College and several local school districts. Whether you are a weekend athlete, professional athlete, non-athlete or just have a physically demanding job, our sports medicine specialists are committed to helping you get back to the activities you love.

The UHS Sports Medicine Program specializes in diagnosing and treating orthopedic and sports-related injuries, providing care on an outpatient basis. The program combines the expertise of certified athletic trainers and physical therapists, who work closely with sports medicine physicians on our medical staff to help patients resume their physical activities as soon as possible.