Q: Dear Dr. Mao,
I never feel rested when I wake up in the morning, even when I get 8 or 9 hours of sleep. I only feel my usual energy return after I have dragged myself from the bed and into the shower. Do you know a way to wake up feeling ready for the day?
A: Quantity of sleep is as important as the quality of sleep. I suggest you review some of the basics:
1. Do not eat late. Your last meal should be no later than seven in the evening
2. Do not exercise just before bed. You should engage in no strenuous exercise for at least two hours before bed.
3. There should be no pets in the bedroom. Sleeping with pets often causes restless sleep.
4. Is your bedroom energetically sound, clean, and comfortable? Is the bed conducive to restful sleep? Often we think we sleep for eight or nine hours but we actually get very little REM sleep, which is when the body truly rests.
After reviewing these, I suggest you add a light meditation half an hour before bed. You might try this sitting meditation: Sit comfortably at the edge of a firm seat with your back erect and your head tilted slightly downwards. Place your arms gently over your lap and breathe slowly, deliberately, and gently. Keep your eyes slightly closed. Do this for 15-20 minutes.
Additionally, you might try the herbal formulas “Abundant Energy” and “Enduring Youth” by Traditions of Tao to supplement your healthy lifestyle. Of course, discuss with your physician before beginning any new health regime.