Monday, November 14, 2011


The average American gets about 6 hours of sleep a night, but extensive research shows that people need 7 to 8 hours of sleep for optimum well-being. Here are some tips to help you achieve better sleep:
  1. Wakeup and go to bed at the same time everyday aiming for at least 7 hours of sleep.
  2. Avoid strenuous exercise 2 to 3 hours before your regular bedtime.
  3. Avoid any stimulating beverages several hours before your regular bedtime. This includes coffee, caffeinated tea, soft drinks, alcohol and sugary beverages. Alcohol may initially help you fall asleep, but it is a chemical stimulate and will hinder the quality and depth of stage 3 & 4 sleep.
  4. Minimize brain-stimulating activities 1 to 2 hours before your regular bedtime. Brain-stimulating activities include television viewing, web surfing, intense discussions, balancing your checkbooks, exposure to bright lighting and stressing about the future.
  5. Take Melotonin as it may improve your sleep. Research shows that some people benefit from taking this supplement.
  6. Before bedtime, drink a cup of herbal tea that includes valerian or chamomile or lavender.
  7. Drink a glass of warm, low-fat milk before bedtime.
  8. Embrace relaxation-type activities before bedtime. Relaxation-type activities include meditating on God's Word, prayer, listening to relaxing music, deep diaphragmatic breathing, taking a bath, light stretching, meditating on your goals, focusing on your life's purpose, visualizing your desired future, writing a gratitude list, and journaling or reflecting.


If you embrace many of the standard tips for getting better sleep, and still cannot achieve a good night's rest, there may be other issues involved. Here are some possible reasons for a poor night's sleep:
  1. Emotional stress or worry is the predominate cause of poor sleep. Get to the root of your negative stress and deal with it. Your sleep will improve.
  2. If you fall asleep soon after going to bed, but wakeup in the middle of the night and cannot go back to sleep, your subconscious mind may be telling you that there is something in your life that you need to address. Maybe it is an assignment that you need to complete or a person you need to deal with. Ask God for discernment in this area.
  3. If you go to bed, but can't fall asleep, then perhaps you may be dealing with some form of fear. It may be a fear about a matter you are facing or a person you need to confront. It may be a fear of "facing tomorrow." Look within yourself and ask God to reveal any hidden fears that you might be having.
  4. For post-menopausal women, sleep problems are a big issue. Natural herbal supplementation that has shown positive results is Black Cohosh, Sage, Dandelion Leaves and Calendula. Also supplementation with Calcium-Magnesium may prove beneficial. However, before taking any over-the-counter supplements, please check with your OB/GYN.
  5. The combination of many prescription medications can adversely affect your sleep. Consult with your doctor about your sleep issues and the possible connection with your prescription meds.
  6. Lack of regular exercise or physical activity can hinder sleep.
  7. A poor diet that includes processed carbohydrates and high-fat foods can affect your sleep.


Rockridge Fruit Salad is a healthy and very tasty fruit salad recipe that is quick and easy to prepare and can be stored for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Rockridge Fruit Salad is excellent for a snack or dessert. It is high in protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and monounsaturated fat; it is low in sugar and has no saturated fat. Kids and adults alike will love this tasty, satisfying and very filling dish.

2 medium-size finely chopped apples (washed)
1 1/2 cup of low-fat plain Greek-style yogurt
1 cup dried cranberries (Craisins)
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 tbsp brown sugar (Stevia may be substituted)
1 tbsp Madagascar Bourbon pure vanilla powder (pure Vanilla extract may be substituted)
Optional - tsp of cinnamon
Optional - tsp of nutmeg

Finely chop 2 apples and thoroughly stir in yogurt, dried cranberries, walnuts and vanilla. For an option, sprinkle cinnamon and/or nutmeg onto the fruit salad. Eat immediately or chill.