How to Get Better Sleep

Today’s Dr. Oz episode is all about how to get better sleep. From keeping a dream journal to keeping a worry journal to ease your mind and make it possible to sleep better, Dr. Oz brings a few different guests on today’s show to help American get higher quality rest.

Keeping a Dream Journal

Dr. Oz brings Dream Analyst Lauri Loewenberg on stage to talk about her new book Dream on it: Unlock Your Dreams and Change Your Life. While with Dr. Oz, she explains the importance of keeping a dream journal so you can decipher what they mean, because your body is very closely connected to your mind. What you dream about may signal an issue with your body, such as ovulation or pregnancy. Sometimes, dreams can tell you when you’re about to get sick, or when anxiety is coming.

She says falling dreams are normal, and if you fall in the dream, it usually signifies that you are beating yourself up over something you feel bad about. They can also signify depression, so she says you should write down feelings you have, so that when you have a falling dream, you can look back and see if you can figure out what may be upsetting you.

She also says dreams of being chased are normal, and indicate that you’re trying to get away from something in your life. She says you should take a close look at your life to see what there could be that you’re wanting to get away from.

She recommends keeping a pen and paper by the bed so you can write down the parts of your dreams you remember when you wake up. If you have trouble remembering your dreams, she suggests turning down your alarm clock. When the volume is too loud, it can startle you awake, making it difficult for you to remember what you were dreaming about. This is another place where keeping a diary of your thoughts and feelings can help.

Falling Asleep in Front of the TV: Is it okay?

For the rest of the show, Dr. Oz brings on Dr. Michael Breus to discuss how to get a better sleep. They talk about using the TV to fall asleep. Many people do it, but it’s actually not good for your sleep because it can disrupt your sleep cycles. Falling asleep watching TV is not the problem. The problem comes when you leave it on because the sound and light can wake you and even cause you to sleep differently if it doesn’t wake you up. He recommends using the sleep timer for an automatic shut off so it doesn’t stay on all night.

Difficulty Sleeping: Magnolia Bark Sleep Aid

Dr. Breus says quality sleep is more important than quantity. If you’re not sleeping well, it doesn’t really matter how long you’re sleeping. He recommends using Magnolia bark to help you calm anxiety so you can get better sleep. This has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years. You can take a 30 mg dose every night for up to six weeks to help you sleep better.

Keeping a Worry Journal

Just like Lauri stresses the importance of keeping a dream journal, Dr. Breus says you should keep a worry journal. Write down what you’re worrying about and what’s got you upset before you go to bed. This acts as a release, and helps to calm the mind of anxiety before you go to sleep at night.

Yoga in Bed

Dr. Breus also recommends doing yoga while you’re in bed. He demonstrates moves you can do in bed right before you go to sleep to calm and relax you.

photo by: Sean MacEntee

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