23 Mar Get Some Sleep Tonight
How much sleep do you get each night?
Sleep is a wonderful silent healer that keeps you balanced and on the right track to physical, mental and emotional health.
It helps you to perform at your very best.
Restless sleep can impact you in many ways. It can be the difference between success and failure, between you going out today or not, and between being healthy or not.
It is important to get a good night’s sleep for natural stress relief. Did you know that sleep deprivation can exacerbate stress?
Your body responds to the stresses of daily life. It impacts your emotions, your physical body and your behaviours.
Too much stress can and does impact your ability to have a restful night’s sleep. That’s why it’s vitally important to learn how to sleep better.
While outdoor activities provide you with mental and physical stimulation and exercise, at the end of the day, your body needs sleep, to recharge.
A good night’s sleep is one of the most effective stress relievers.
Psychological and mental health problems like depression, anxiety and stress are often associated with sleeping difficulty. In many cases, difficulty staying asleep may be the only presenting sign of depression.
Many medications can cause sleeplessness as a side effect. For example, ‘water tablets’ (diuretics), some antidepressants, steroids, beta-blockers, some slimming tablets, painkillers containing caffeine, and some cold remedies containing pseudoephedrine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if any medications you are taking can lead to sleeplessness.
Tolerance to sleeping tablets may develop if you take them regularly. This means that, in time, the usual dose has no effect. You then need a higher dose to help with sleep. In time, the higher dose then has no effect, and so on and you get caught up in a vicious cycle, becoming dependent (addicted) on sleeping tablets, and will have withdrawal symptoms if the tablets are stopped suddenly which, again, can cause poor sleep.
Possible problems with sleeping tablets can include: Clumsiness and confusion in the night if you have to get up increasing the risk of falling and breaking your hips.
They can cause drowsiness the next day, making you not safe to drive or being able to operate machinery properly creating a risk to yourself and others.
In most cases insomnia, the inability to sleep or inability to sleep well at night is a symptom not a disease. It usually reflects some underlying problem.
Whatever the initial cause, worry about poor sleep, and worry about feeling tired the next day, are common reasons for the problem to become worse.
The brain has 4 main frequencies
- Beta waves – when you are alert and problem solving
- Alpha waves – when you are relaxed and day dreaming
- Theta waves – deep meditation, hypnosis, and light sleep.
- Delta waves – deep restful sleep
Most adults require 6-9 hours of sleep per night.
In order to induce sleep, you need to make your bedroom a peaceful place.
To help overall improvement in your sleep patterns create the perfect space for restful sleep.
If you can, change the decor keeping the colours soft and soothing to support your new, improved sleep pattern. Choose and hang a picture that make you feel at peace and add a live plant to your room to cleanse the air and absorb toxic fumes.
Consider changing your bed if it is old or not comfortable, ensure that your mattress is in good condition it will be a good investment in your long term health. The quality of your bed and bedding will have a huge impact on the quality of your sleep. Experiment with how many pillows you need and which type of duvet is best for you and don’t underestimate the power of a good body pillow.
Keep the bed away from radiators if possible, to avoid fluctuations in temperature, and have layers of bedclothes so that you can react easily if you feel too hot or cold. The ideal bedroom temperature is around 18C.
Allow your room time to breathe; a stuffy room is likely to cause you a sleepless night, while fresh air will promote a good night’s sleep. Try opening a window before going to bed, the circulation of good quality air is going to be helpful. See what you can do to adjust that blend of temperature and air control so that it is right for you and if you live near noisy sounds or traffic earplugs maybe useful.
Ensure that your bedroom is completely dark, and as quiet as possible. Our brain responds to the dark by preparing us for sleep, so your bedroom should be very dark once you have switched off the light. Use blackout blinds and avoid thin curtains so that street lights and car headlights won’t disturb you. Even a single LED light can be enough to fuel insomnia, so if your alarm clock glows, turn it to face away from you. This will also stop you from clock-watching and worrying about the time.
Technology is a great thing, but when night falls, messages, a bright screen, and notification sounds instantly wake up your mind. It is important to remove electronic gadgets with bright display lights, televisions, phones and computers from your bedroom. These provide unhelpful stimulation for your brain, and emit electro-magnetic fields which are proven to have a negative effect on sleep patterns.
Clear the clutter, if you find it difficult to switch off, an untidy room could make it more difficult to get to sleep, as piles of papers and clothes simply remind you of all the things that you need to do!
Create a clear association between your bed and sleep. I would recommend not even reading in bed, choose a comfy armchair instead.
If you are affected by a ‘busy brain’, you may find it helpful to keep a notepad next to the bed. If you think of something that you are worried that you might forget, write it down, breathe deeply and relax.
The more you reserve your bed for sleep, the more your mind will associate it with sleep, and the easier it will be to fall asleep on.
Connect to nature, add a few drops of lavender or chamomile essential oil diffused through a room or sprinkled on your bed linen will calm and relax your mind. Play some soothing relaxing music; i.e. the sound of gentle waves on the sea.
When sharing your bed with a partner, it’s important to consider the needs of both of you when you are trying to get the best quality sleep. One can disturb each other’s sleep in several ways, such as one partner reading in bed, coming to bed later or getting up earlier, as well as turning over during the night, snoring and periods of awakening to name a few. So take the time to share how each of you maybe be affecting the others quality of sleep and by making some simple changes that will benefit you both and give you a better quality of sleep. Before sleeping make it a ritual to engage in intimate conversation or activity with your partner, this will take your mind of your worries and making love will physically release some of the tension you may have been feeling.
- A stroll followed by a bath, some reading, and a warm drink (without caffeine) may be relaxing in the late evening. Taking a hot bath will not only relax your muscles, but it will also raise your core body temperature, which acts as a trigger to help you fall asleep.
- Do not do anything mentally demanding within 90 minutes of going to bed – such as watching television, studying etc.
- Keep a general schedule or ritual for that wind-down hour so your body and mind start to know that each step is one step closer to bed.
- Go To Bed at the Same Time Every Night. You should always make sure that you get to sleep before midnight, preferably by 10PM each night. That way you can get a full eight hours sleep and wake up fresh and revitalized at 6AM the next morning.
- Make up for lost sleep as soon as possible. Catch up by going to bed earlier rather than sleeping later. If you sleep later, it will make it harder to get to sleep the following night at the usual hour.
- Resist the temptation to lie in – even after a poor night’s sleep. Do not use weekends to catch up on sleep, as this may upset the natural body rhythm that you have got used to in the week.
- Avoid Stimulants such as sugar; it’s amazing how much damage sugar does to the body. Eating food or drinks that are high in sugar can get you agitated and make sleeping a lot more difficult. Try to eliminate sugar from your diet as much as possible. Alcohol, many people take an alcoholic drink to help sleep. Alcohol actually causes broken sleep and early morning wakefulness. Caffeine can be found in tea, coffee, soft drinks such as cola, and even chocolate. It is also in some painkiller tablets and other medicines (check the ingredients on the medicine packet). Caffeine is a stimulant and can cause poor sleep. Nicotine (from smoking) is a stimulant, and Street drugs (for example, ecstasy, cocaine, cannabis and amphetamines) can affect sleep.
- Do not have a heavy meal just before bedtime (although a light snack may be helpful).
- Do not do any strenuous exercise within four hours of bedtime.
Whatever methods you employ to help you achieve a restful night’s sleep, do not underestimate the power of sleep as a healing mechanism and a stress reliever.
Hypnotherapy can help you fall into a deep restful sleep every night!
You may like to use my Get Some Sleep Tonight! Hypnotherapy MP3 or MP3.
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