Healthy Hollywood: Wellness Wednesday — Sweet Dreams!

Leonardo DiCaprio explores the dream world in the blockbuster “Inception” and has many of us wanting to know more about our own subconscious realities. After seeing the movie, a friend of mine couldn’t wait to go home, get under the covers and ‘Dream.’

Yet, for some of us, remembering the dream state seems impossible – in fact there are those of us who simply crave a good night’s sleep. 70 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep problems. They are even sleepless in Hollywood. Jessica Simpson, Miley Cyrus, and Gwyneth Paltrow have all publicly complained about their lack of Zzzz’s. Stress, bad food, and a crazy lifestyle can all lead to sleep issues. Celebrity lifestyle guru, Dr. Frank Lipman, who founded the Eleven Eleven Wellness center in NYC, and wrote “Revive: Stop Feeling Spent and Start Living Again,” shares his top tips to nipping insomnia in the bud.

Dr. Frank Lipman’s Sleep Well Tips:

Create a routine and stick to it.

Getting up and going to bed around the same time, even on weekends, is the most important thing you can do to establish good sleep habits.

Never nap for more than 30 minutes.

If naps are absolutely necessary, make sure you only nap once and keep it under ½ hour and before 4pm.

Try not to snack before bedtime.

If you have to eat, have a high-protein snack. Don’t eat a snack of refined grains or sugars – these will raise blood sugar, which can cause a hormone roller coaster and could disrupt sleep cycles.

Stay away from sleeping pills.

Sleeping pills mask sleep problems and do not resolve the underlying issue of insomnia. They can also be highly addictive and dangerous to your health. Instead, learn relaxation techniques: Do some deep breathing, restorative yoga or meditation.

Never use alcohol to fall asleep.

Alcohol does have an initial sleep inducing effect, but as it gets broken down by the body, it usually ends up impairing sleep. Take calming nutrients such as amino acids, L theanine, and GABA, and herbs like lemon balm, passion flower, chamomile and valerian root. Taking the minerals, calcium and magnesium at night is also helpful.

Don’t stay in bed if you can’t sleep.

If you can’t fall asleep within 45 minutes, get up and get out of the bedroom. Read a book, do a restorative yoga pose or some other calming activity for another 1 – 1.5 hours before trying to sleep again.

Now, hopefully, Leo can and will invade your dreams. Goodnight! To find out more sleeping tips and feel-good tidbits, check out Dr Lipman is the creator of Eleven Eleven Wellness Guided Health Solutions, a leading edge integrative health program.

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