So you are struggling to sleep, lets see if we can help 🙂
When looking to achieve something, the first question we must always ask is what is stopping us from achieving that which we desire. Maybe you already know what is stopping you from sleeping like a baby and just not sure how to address it or maybe your completely perplexed as to what is the cause.
The most common cause of poor sleep is too much mental stimulation usually stress from the days work, however staying up too late on social media could also do the same. If you know that you struggle to sleep because of mental stimulation prior to going to sleep and maybe while trying to sleep then thats what we need to fix.
Caffeine and alcohol are also major sleep disruptors, high amounts of caffeine and sometimes small amounts depending on the person will keep you stimulated which will make falling sleep harder. Alcohol does make some people dose off easier, but it puts us into a light sleep that we will probably wake us up from in the night resulting in feeling less rested.
Low blood sugar in the middle of the night may be the reason you wake up in the night, as your body is now wanting you to give it a sugar fix to bring it back to normal levels and being too sedentary may also make it hard to sleep.
So, what can we do to start sleeping like a baby?
Well first thing is to understand just how important sleep is, sleep is not just a duration of time where you turn the engine off and close your eyes. Both physical and mental recovery occur during sleep presuming you sleep sufficiently and while your body is resting it can properly digest all the food form the day. A lack of sleep will cause you to feel low on energy, backed up, crave less than ideal quick energy fix foods, which if causes you to overeat will result in weight gain, your concentration, motivation and productivity will also all be worse, making everything in life harder to perform as well as making certain aspects more dangerous.
Sleep is basically the foundation of good health, so we can agree its worth putting some effort into fixing a poor sleeping pattern. so here are our top tips that may require a little effort.
- Teach the body to sleep and wake up when its supposed to, by following the circadian rhythm (the natural biological cloak that follows the light / dark cycle), by going to bed on time and getting up early and sticking to the same times everyday. This alone could be all you need to do if your going to bed and waking up at different times everyday.
- Protect your sleeping routine by stopping sleep blockers, like working late, eating too late or watching that next episode on net flicks.
- Start getting ready for bed at least 1 hour before bed, this would include things like turning off or stopping using electronics like laptops and phones, (let people know they can only contact you by email unless absolutely urgent after 9pm and that you will reply in the morning. Ensure they understand what urgent means, if it can be done tomorrow its not urgent.) The light coming out of electronics can stimulate your eyes and make your brain think its still day time, not sleeping time.
- Drinking some calming tea like camomile can be a great way to increase relaxation as can a hot bath or shower.
- Setting your room up for sleep is a big one, if there is gaps in your curtains and light can seep through this will affect your sleep, a torch behind your knee cap would affect sleep, so just trust us and get black out curtains or blinds.
- Stop drinking caffeine after 2pm and keep below 3 cups a day.
- Avoid alcohol wherever possible.
- Eat a nutritious well balanced meal 2-3 hours before bed. Eating processed foods or foods high in sugar may negatively affect sleep. Choose a protein source, a good fat source, a slow digesting carb and some vegetables or a salad and blood sugar should be fine until the morning.
- Do some exercise daily, as using your energy up their will make you feel more ready for bed, however do not train too late in the evening as the increase in adrenaline will negatively affect sleep.
- If you are mentally stimulated from work or from another source of stress, learning how to mediate or at the very least do deep breathing will help somewhat with this. If it cannot, maybe its time to get a new job, relationship or whatever else is stressing you out is probably best eliminated from your life.
Understand that poor sleep will negatively affect your life more and more the longer you allow it to be insufficient.
If you would like to delve deeper into more advanced strategies, get in contact with us to book a sit down consultation.