Sleep

 

 

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Zzzzzzzzzz…

 

sleep

Having trouble getting a good night’s sleep? If so then you are not alone, it’s a common problem with a heavy impact on daily activities and health.

Lack of sleep seriously impacts your thinking, feeling and physiology. On the other hand, a healthy sleeping pattern improves cognitive ability, boosts your immune system, lifts your mood and gives you more energy.

Here are my top tips for creating healthy sleeping habits:

 

Create a routine

Go to bed at roughly the same time each night and create a routine of preparation before bed that is the same every night. This sends a signal to the body that it is time to sleep.

 

Make a relaxing space

Create an environment that feels safe, clean and welcoming. Get rid of those piles of unfolded washing, guilt-causing half-read books from your bedroom, and make sure you are sliding into a fresh comfy, well-made bed. While you are at it…invest in a good pillow for proper support too!

 

Be at peace with your belly

Our emerging understanding of the imporance of our gut biome suggests that poor gut health has a significant impact on the nervous system, brain function, emotional and hormone regulation. All things that directly impact sleep. Long term strategies will include some self-education that will allow you to create the right environment for balanced gut function. At the very least be kind to your belly -avoid rich, spicy and sugary foods and eating just before bed! Substitute Chamomile tea or other soothing herbal tea instead or alcohol, coffee or tea.

 

Switch off

Don’t have a television in your room and don’t read or play games on your iPad, tablet or phone at bed time. Keep your room as a place for sleeping; this strengthens the signal to your body that it’s time to sleep. Even better, avoid media all together in the evening. Instead, create a calm and restful environment by dimming lights, playing soft music and lighting candles.

 

Quiet your mind

Practise some mindfulness technqiues to calm your busy mind. Try a guided meditation or body scan before sleep or during the night if you wake up. Bring your attention into the present moment by focusing on all the details of your bed-time routine. Long term mediation and mindfulness techniques work to reduce stress and slow the body and mind down. Short term strategies can also include writing concerns and worries in a notebook with the understanding they will be there in the morning so you don't need to chew on them overnight. Or use some visualisation techniques to divert the mind into more peaceful realms.

 

Practise gratitude

Write down two or three simple things you were grateful for during the day. Send those grateful thoughts down to your unconscious mind to dwell on while you sleep. For each thing you are grateful for, also include appreciation. For example: I am grateful for my little dog Rosie today. I appreciate that she always makes me smile.  Appreciation links the gratitude to a personal benefit.

 

Wake-up on time

Set a wake-up time that is roughly the same each morning. Your body loves a routine! Sleep with the curtains open to let the natural morning light in.

 

Tire out your body

Get some exercise or body movement into your day to release tension and burn energy.

 

Attend to any unresolved issues

Get help for any unresolved emtional issues that might be disturbing your unconscious mind. Coaching, counselling, psychology or even talking with a friend are all ways to release emotional attachment or resolve any areas of conflict or division.

 

If you are still having trouble, ask your doctor to schedule a sleep-test to check on any health issues that might be impacting your sleep routine. 

 

Insomnia is a gross feeder. It will nourish itself on any kind of thinking, including thinking about not thinking.

~Clifton Fadiman

 

 

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