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This blog is aimed at those of you who put off going to bed to sleep! Before you know it, 1 a.m. or 4 a.m. in the morning when you turn off ‘that work laptop or TV screen’ and stagger to your bedroom.
When do you decide to sleep?
Maybe you’ve fallen asleep on the couch and have to drag your body off to your bedroom.
Fancy getting a decent night’s sleep?
How about making improvements to your sleep routine, so that the prospect of having pure deep refreshing sleep becomes more of reality?
Start your Q.U.E.S.T. for something much better
Question: What are you doing now which means you’re not getting to bed at a reasonable time?
- Imagine what it would mean to your body, to your mind if you have a longer period of deep, uninterrupted sleep-time. What you would be feeling like in the morning?
“What would you be doing, what could you be doing, with more energy taking you through the day?” *
Unstick: What is it that stops you going to bed?
- Have you heard of ‘procrastination’ it means putting off something which we want to do, because it takes some effort? Going to bed usually has a routine. A set of habits that can take a bit of effort.
Imagine Joe has been watching the late night football highlights on TV. He’s tranced-out and sleepy as the TV shows merge into the next program. He wants to go to bed but hears himself snoring as the beer bottle falls to his side.
“So, what would he need to be doing in order to get his head to hit that pillow at a reasonable time? What time must he kick off that bedroom routine?”
Now, ask yourself the same question when it comes to your bedtime routine.
- Some people get distracted by a TV channel, internet surfing, checking emails or social media.
- Worst still is taking work home, and not giving your brain the creative time to consolidate the learning from the day.
- Leaving the mobile phone on means that just like that phone, your brain is being asked to stay constantly on alert.
“So where and how do you set your boundaries?”
Encourage: Try an experiment for one week and see what happens if you take up the challenge for BETTER SLEEP.
- Maybe you could buddy up with your partner or a friend – because sometimes working as a team can be more encouraging than doing things on our own.
Significant: Rather than being seduced by what you think you should do to not miss out, think
“What have I got to win, by sticking to boundaries and a good bedtime routine?”
The benefits of a good night’s sleep for you:
The duration of your sleep, and getting the adequate cycles of sleep for your needs is key to your immune efficiency, bringing benefits to your heart, clarity of your mind, and potential longevity to your life force.
- During REM (rapid eye movement) memories or new skills, you learned during the day are strengthened and consolidated.
Restrict inflammation and lowering stress:
- Research * suggests that people surviving on less sleep, have increased blood levels of inflammatory proteins known as cytokines.
- Deep sleep allows a time for the body and mind to shut down so that biologically our energy is restored and our immune system is turned on to combat illnesses.
- Healthy sleep patterns mean a lowering of stress levels, which has a positive effect on cardiovascular health, cholesterol and blood pressure.
Get more creative:
- Sleeping well strengthens one’s creative ability to.
- The brain consolidates memories during the period of REM sleep. They are restructured and organised in such a way, that researchers believe, may result in a strengthening of one’s creative ability.
- So, from experience, when you’ve had a good night’s rest, you have a clearer mind for the next day.
Less likely accidents
- Having to make quick decisions and speedier reaction times are much more likely when we aren’t sleep deprived.
- Driving on insufficient sleep can be as risky as drink-driving.
Building on levels of quality sleep:
- As people start to take care of themselves, in their emotional and physical needs, then low mood and depression also decrease. This helps to build on the quality level of sleep too.
Being tenacious means you’ve already been clinging on to distracting habits that have stopped you going to bed. So, you already have ‘tenacity’ as a resource. Imagine using that feeling of tenacity by replacing an old habit with one that gets you to bed earlier. Go on you can do this! Ah…We all have to start somewhere; one small action leads to…
Gradually breaking the pattern of old habits and replacing them with new, and you could see improvements towards better bedtime routines and refreshing sleep.
Tips for refreshing sleep
- Kick out the TV and work-related stuff from your bedroom. Stop checking emails or accessing the internet a couple of hours before bedtime.
- View your bedroom as your sleep chamber, and place for intimacy only.
- Gentle stretching before bed can be quite relaxing and it’s beneficial to stop heavy exercise at least 3 hours before retiring.
- A change in the body’s core temperature can lead to feeling sleepy. That’s why having a warm bath an hour before bed can lead to drifting off to sleep more quickly.
- Beware of alcohol in excess or too close to bedtime.
“Contrary to belief the body’s cycle for processing alcohol can lead to us waking up throughout the night and interrupts the deep restorative sleep that we all need for our health and well-being.”
- If you’re in bed and can’t sleep for 30 minutes; get out of the bedroom and do something incredibly tedious. For example, reading something that’s not excitable. I once chose the water boiler manual! Do not pick anything else to do that could be perceived as a reward.
- Our bodies have a mechanism that adjusts our sleepiness to the hours of darkness. You may benefit from a darkened bedroom at night, which is cool in temperature.
- Learn to meditate. – I do and I love it! Good meditation engages our nervous system by reducing stress levels and allowing deep rest for health and well-being.
Is your sleep issue due to chronic stress?
- Generalized anxieties, work anxiety, panic attacks, moodiness, and depression, can all lead to the impairment of sleep.
- If you are suffering from constant and chronic insomnia it may be time to seek professional therapeutic help.
- Get yourself checked out by your GP to ensure there is no physical reason for your condition.
All being well you may like to make contact and we can work together towards getting you a good night’s sleep. Or you may like to purchase a personalized recording to help you sleep.
Email me to set something up, either at the office or across Skype or Zoom web meetings.
Are you a shift worker?
Here’s some information and guidelines for you, alongside the 1-2-3 experiment to help you overcome the biological jet lag of changing rotas. Click here for my shift worker blog…
- * Research link above – US National Library of Medicine – NCBI – research on controlled studies
- Www.health.com: The benefits of a good night’s sleep: Research pointers from NYU school of medicine, Boston University, Stanford University.
NB: Inflammatory proteins have been linked to heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and premature aging.
Good sleep habits potentially have a positive effect on prevention.
REM : * Rapid eye movement during sleep allows the brain to process information over the day, and consolidate what we have learned.
Whereas stage 4 in the sleep cycle allows for the calming slow delta brain waves which aid deep rest and healing.