7 Tips for a good nights sleep
Updated: Aug 27
I wonder - are you getting a good nights sleep or are you laying awake looking at the ceiling most nights?
Many people suffering with anxiety and stress that I have spoken to recently have told me that they are not getting a good nights sleep, naming it as one of their top problems, which is understandable in the current climate.
Sleep problems are often caused by anxiety and stress related issues and can be viewed as bad habits and, like all bad habits, can be unlearned and replaced with good habits; i.e. falling asleep easily and enjoying a proper night’s sleep.
Because your unconscious mind has learnt to stay awake from a formed habit it thinks it is the thing to do when you go to bed, your mind has been programmed! I think most of us have had this experience at some point in our lives but for some it is a chronic complaint like one of my clients who had been suffering for over 20 years!
Insomnia can be seen as difficulty getting to sleep or waking in the early hours and having trouble getting back to sleep. Interestingly it seems to be more common in women than men, it is thought that up to a third of adults in the UK have insomnia at some point and seems to be more of an issue as we age.
The most common symptoms of insomnia are:
• Finding difficulty getting off to sleep
• Waking up early in the morning
• Waking in the morning feeling as though you have not slept and feeling irritable, tired, and finding yourself unable to function and focus during the day.
So what is sleep and why do we need it?
Sleep is a natural state of unconsciousness where we all need to spend some time in order to let our body repair and rest. Whilst you are sleeping your body goes through cycles lasting on average around 90 minutes in duration of light, deep sleep and dreaming (although you may not remember dreaming), other wise known as rapid eye movement (REM). Whilst in this state your body temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing increase to levels measured when people are awake. Studies have shown that REM sleep enhances learning and memory, and contributes to emotional health — in complex ways (*).
Sleep deprivation can lower your immunity and lead to other complications so it’s really important to have good sleep hygiene. Following are 7 tips to help you do just that.
1. Go to bed at the same time each night
Routine is important – we are creatures of habit so going to bed at roughly the same time each night will encourage your brain to form a new habit.
2. Create a restful environment
By making sure your bedroom is dark (black out blinds are brilliant) and inviting, cosy and the right temperature will make it easier to fall asleep.
3.If you can’t get to sleep
Don’t try forcing it. Get up and do something relaxing for a short while then go back to bed. You may have to repeat this pattern a few times before your mind finally gets fed up and gives in to sleep!
Taking a gentle walk before bedtime can help you sleep better. More vigorous exercise should be taken earlier in the day! Exercise is great to keep your mental health healthy and positive which will help you to sleep more soundly.
5.Prepare for the following day
Putting things in place ready for lift off the next day will take worries off your mind when you lay down to sleep. Set aside time before bed to make a list for things you need to address the next day. Something magic happens when you write things down!
Stimulants like caffeine and alcohol can stop you falling asleep and prevent deep sleep so try and cut down on your alcohol consumption and avoid caffeine after lunchtime.
7.Have your evening meal early
Eating a large meal late at night is not a good idea as your digestive system will not have time to digest it properly so it will lay heavily on your stomach keeping you awake.
I hope you find these tips useful and wish you a good nights sleep, if you need any more help do contact me and lets have a chat to see whats keeping you awake!
Til the next time, much love
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