How To Achieve This Mystery We Call 'Sleep'
So I heard through the grapevine that there is this thing called ‘sleep’, where you close your eyes and wake up 7 - 9 hours later refreshed and ready for the day ahead.
Have you heard of it? Or maybe you get some shut eye but still wake up tired and not ready for the day ahead?
The effects of Poor Sleep
In a nutshell, this is what poor sleep can do to your mind and body:
- 40% of mood complaints are linked to no sleep
- 55% of migraines and headaches are linked to bad sleep
- 35% of child behaviours are linked to poor sleep
- Decreases immunity
- Detrimental to gland and organ functioning
- Poor memory affects
- Constant muscle and body weakness
- Learning capabilities are low
As adults we need 7 - 9 hours of sleep each night, school aged children need 9.5 hours of sleep and babies, oh how I wish I was a baby, they need 16 - 18 hours of sleep every day!
We spend on average 30 years of our lifetime sleeping, so you would want this to be the best right?
Between children, work, relationships, social lives, household work, family, eating and cares, how do we find the time for sleep? Well we have to. And I am about to share some fun tips on how to achieve the best sleep!
“Oh great, another blog on sleep and what I should be doing!”
I’m sure there are multiple blogs out there that you have read telling you how to sleep and what to do, blah blah blah… The difference here is that I have tried every idea, I can share from a personal perspective and… well I am that hypocrite that is still constantly working on keeping my routine, don’t judge!
Routine is the best way.
Babies and children aren’t the only ones that need structure and rules around bedtime, sometimes we forget about ourselves too.
So here they are:
- Brain Dump
- Avoid bright lights
- 16 minute think time
Yoga helps your respiratory system which reduces joint and muscular pain, increases your waste disposal system (don’t worry doesn’t mean you are going to poo yourself!), so that your body can balance and keep on top of energy production ready for the next day!
Reading, well if you’re like me you love a good fantasy where there is elephants everywhere and you’re in the middle of a waterfall with double rainbows shining bright! Well maybe not quite like that. For no other reason other than calming and creating good dreams, I would recommend 20 minutes for reading before bed!
Just because it sounds a lot cooler than ‘journal’. Buy a nice pretty book with a quirky quote or funky background for motivation! I have two; I have a work version and a life version; perfect for writing down thoughts, work ideas, what happened that day, any stress and any offloads that you need! But this could be hard if you’re anything like me and hate admitting the crazy thoughts in your head ha!
Avoiding bright lights
Yes this includes the TV! Just gives your eyes a rest and prepares for the night time as you dim down to your ZZZ time.
16 minute think time
This works the same as a Brain Dump, but for those who don’t want to write. As we got through our days we never really give ourselves time to just sit and think and breathe. I practice this during the day and would recommend before bed, or during day too, if you’re an overachiever hehe.
Build your own bedtime routine or as I like to call it your relaxing ritual! Find your niche and give yourself time to turn some or all of these ideas into habits to bring your balance back. I have attached an awesome plan that you can play around with and download for free!
Tried all these things and more and still not being able to sleep?
Is getting to sleep or waking up throughout night the trouble? Firstly, change your room around, create a new environment to change your thought patterns and gain your comfort back. See if we are constantly struggling to sleep or always waking up, your brain will became trained to always do this when it is in the environment. So make a change!
In this same sense, if you find yourself in bed for 20 minutes (on estimate) and still not asleep, get up! Move around, sit in the lounge, regroup yourself. And then try again, you don’t want to create a habit here, where your brain’s default setting will see the ‘bed’ and think we can play around and leave our eyes open for hours!
I’m sure you’ve all heard of magnesium, magnesium is the go to. This is because every gland in our body needs this mineral to be able to function efficiently. Try out walnuts, apricots and apples instead of supplements, as these foods are high in magnesium! I would recommend pumpkin seeds too, as these are high in Zinc which our Master Gland needs, yes the one that controls every other gland in the body! And throw in some cheeky cheese too, high in calcium-phosphate for your Thalamus, which helps with transitions between sleep and arousal (the awake kind!).
Remember, as much as this is annoying, everything takes time. You need to work on your balance of sleep, create habits and patterns for better quality and quantity of sleep. To live your best life.