Lady in bed

Answer These 5 Questions to Enhance Your Sleep Without Medications

Insomnia can make you feel tempted to reach for prescription sleep medications. Those sleep aids can come with some dangerous side effects, though, and the health risks can be greater than the benefits for your sleep. So how can you find relief from insomnia without resorting to pills and sleep aids? You can start with these questions:

Do You Need a New Mattress?

If you’re struggling to fall asleep at night, your old bed may be to blame. While the debate rages on as to when to replace mattresses, most experts recommend investing in a new mattress if your current one is not providing proper support. Understanding support needs is critical when shopping for your new mattress as well, since certain mattress types are better suited for certain sleeping preferences and body types. For instance, back, stomach and combo sleepers may find that opting for a hybrid bed like the DreamCloud will provide the versatile support they need to improve their sleep hygiene. If your prefer to curl up on your side at night, then investing in a softer mattress like Saatva may provide enhanced alignment and support.

Is Your Bedroom Designed for Sleep?

This may seem like a silly question, since bedrooms are traditionally where we sleep at night, but how your bedroom is set up can determine how well you sleep through the night. For example, certain bedroom colors are more soothing than others. Soft shades of purple, green, and blue can help you drift off to dreamland faster, but you can also go with a bold black for better sleep. To maintain that sense of calm throughout your bedroom, stick with soft colors for decor and bedding as well, but feel free to add a pop of color with a random throw pillow. For even better sleep, you can also adjust the light and temperature in your bedroom at night.

Do You Watch TV Right Before Bed?

Falling asleep with the TV on is a common relaxation technique for many people. As it turns out, though, watching TV before bed is actually one of the worst ways to soothe yourself to sleep at night. While you may fall asleep with the TV on, you are less likely to stay asleep and your are less likely to experience the deep sleep needed to feel refreshed in the morning. Your best bet for improved sleep is to turn your TV off and keep it out of your bedroom. If you find yourself unable to sleep without a TV, you can also try dimming the screen and turning off autoplay.

Are You Getting Adequate Exercise?

When you just can’t seem to switch your body and brain off at night, you may need to reevaluate your exercise habits. You see, your body needs sleep to restore and replace energy, so the more energy you burn during the day, the more rest you need to feel recovered in the morning. To maximize this effect, try upping your workout routine to include at least 30 minutes of intense cardio a few times each week. You can always work out a little harder, if good sleep still feels elusive, but limit exercise to the morning hours to minimize negative impacts on your sleep.

Do You Eat Dinner Late at Night?

Having a little protein before bed can help you stay asleep longer, but heavy meals have the potential to ruin your sleep. In fact, many of your diet choices can have an impact on the quality of your sleep. Avoiding those heavy meals a few hours before bedtime can help, but you can also cut back on processed foods to prepare your body for sleep. Another sneaky culprit that could be affecting your sleep is caffeine. You know that drinking coffee before bedtime can make it harder to sleep, but there are some hidden caffeine sources to be aware of, too.

When you can’t sleep, you can’t fully function. With the tips above, hopefully you can restore your sleep hygiene without reaching for potentially dangerous sleep aids. If these tips don’t work and you are still struggling with insomnia, it may be time to consult your doctor.

Guest Blogger Gabriel Patel | Photo Credit: Rawpixel

Nicole Doherty Reiki Healing Los Angeles, California

What is Reiki and How Does It Help Me?


What is Reiki energy healing?

When potential clients ask me what Reiki is I always ask them to simply book a session and experience it themselves. Describing an energetic healing session is like trying to describe Burning Man to someone who has never been.  You just have to experience it for yourself! Every session is different and the energy healing customizes to your bodies’ personal energy map.  That being said, I’ve described what it is, how it works, how it was discovered and its main benefits.

How Does it Work?

Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that is done through touch. A warm and soothing energy flows from the practitioner’s hands into the client and promotes relaxation and release of tension.

Reiki is a Divinely guided healing light energy that we all carry within us. Reiki practitioners get attuned* to this energy and become more available to the understanding that we all have the capacity to move and work with energy. We are all powerful, energetic beings.

Reiki is guided by Source. The practitioner does not guide the Reiki, the Reiki guides itself and the practitioner is simply a channel for its direction. As the client, your energetic body tells the Reiki practitioner where it needs assistance and the practitioner becomes simply a conduit.   The Reiki practioners also receive healing while giving healing, so it’s a beautiful exchange of energy.

Reiki is easy to learn and gets more powerful and attuned as you practice.   There are various levels of Reiki and in each level you receive symbols that help different aspects of the energetic system.   Once you are proficient and receiving good bio feedback using the first system/level, then you will feel confident to move to the next level, until you reach Master status, thus then attuning others to this energy.

Reiki practitioners practice deep meditation on these specific symbols during your healing based on downloads they are receiving from your energy field.

How Was it Discovered?

The symbols were discovered in the same way that enlightened masters throughout time have received downloads – through a meditation journey high up in the mountains.

Reiki is a practice that is referenced in scriptures from ancient Tibet and was rediscovered by Mikao Usui in 1922, a doctor of Theology with the command of the English, Japenese, Chinese and Sanskrit languages.

After a 21-day meditation in solitude at Mt. Kurama, he was spiritually awakened and delivered the ancient symbols that are keys and vehicles for Reiki healing energy. Usui began to create healing miracles with this energy the moment after their discovery.

He opened up healing clinics all over Japan and subsequently it has spread in popularity in hospitals, clinics and private practices around the globe.

What Are People’s Experiences?

Here is some feedback that I have received from clients, so you can understand the wide range of experiences you can have.

“ During my session I felt energy and colors moving throughout my body. She helped me …. areas that were blocked… to help unblock these chakras. I left feeling grounded, yet light…”

“I always leave appointments … feeling energized and inspired…”

“… incredibly intuitive and identified my main areas tension and depletion without my telling her.  The treatment itself was super relaxing ….having left the treatment I was able to see more openness and capacity to give in my interactions with others. “

“… I felt uplifted, as if the air around me became galvanized….personalized the treatment based on my bio-feedback… I literally felt the world dissolve away.  I experienced powerful emotion at times and left feeling grateful.”

“… dredged up and released stored anger and frustration in me, leaving me feeling like I am walking on air. “

“…the minute you placed your hands above my head I saw a white beam of light and so much warmth and relaxation…”

What Are Some Benefits?

Here is list of benefits you may experience:

    • Balances the flow of energy for overall well-being
    • Provides relaxation and release of tension
    • Offers better and deeper sleep
    • Nourishes the physical organs and tissues
    • Supports the cells of the body and vital functioning
    • Shifts negative thinking and releases blocks that cause illness
    • Raises the vibration of the energy field
    • Cleans the aura
    • Clears the chakras, nadis and meridians
    • Brings up relationship issues to the surface for clearing

If you are interested in learning more about Reiki for your own healing, or interested in learning how to become a Reiki practitioner, feel free to contact me. As a Master Reiki practitioner, I can attune you to the Reiki energy or provide you with healing sessions.

*My next Reiki 1 Training & Attunement is on Saturday, January 31st 12:30pm to 7:30pm in a private residence in Venice.

Email for more info.