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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Dr. Michael Fallon

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Lourdes Regional Cancer Center


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The LOURDES Regional Cancer Center is the area's premier facility dedicated to spiritually based, comprehensive cancer care. Since 1957, the Lourdes Regional Cancer Center has been providing the Southern Tier of New York with outstanding cancer care.

Now, nearly fifty years later, the LOURDES Regional Cancer Center continues that mission. Since 1971, the Lourdes Regional Cancer Center has been accredited as a Community Hospital Comprehensive Cancer Program. Most recently, Lourdes has been awarded the 2008 Commission on Cancer Outstanding Achievement Award by the Commission on Cancer American College of Surgeons. The Award is designed to recognize cancer programs that strive for excellence in providing quality care to cancer patients. Lourdes is one of only 95 facilities in the US to receive this award.

Today, Lourdes is among the largest and most sophisticated community cancer centers in the country. Here within the region's premier facility dedicated to the fight against cancer we've gathered the area's top physicians and oncologists. We've assembled select teams of cancer nurses and specialists and we've brought to the Southern Tier some of the newest weapons to fight cancer.

Pastoral care, nutrition services, and rehabilitation services are also available for both outpatients and inpatients. Lourdes Regional Cancer Center also maintains a link with the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) database. This database provides the latest information on research advances and new treatments, as well as emerging topics on the influence of genetics, environmental factors and lifestyle factors in the development of cancer.

For more information visit www.lourdes.com.