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How to Sleep Well

Why do we Sleep?

We spend a third of our lives doing something that leaves us defenseless to attack, unable to eat, drink, or reproduce! Sleep! We don’t know why, but it must be important and our lives can become seriously impacted when we’re not able to do it well.

Lack of Sleep

Lack of slumber is associated with diabetes, obesity, hypertension, pulmonary heart disease, memory loss, lack of concentration, poor mood regulation and can be an underlying factor in many psychological issues.

Furthermore being tired feels rubbish!

Managing Expectations

When we keep trying we usually succeed, right?

Not with sleep.

Lying awake at night and trying to sleep is actually an effective way to set yourself up for failure!

Your body knows how to sleep, so your energy would be better spent finding ways to step out of the way of your mind.

How Much do I Need?

We all need different amounts at different times in our lives. If you can function well during the day and you don’t find it too difficult to wake up at the right time you are probably getting enough.

Listen to your body and how you feel upon going to bed, waking and during the day. Estimate the time you spend asleep, when you feel well rested and when you don’t. You don’t need to feel guilty for getting as much as 9 hours, or deprived for getting only 6 hours.

Sleep Cycles

There are different levels wakefulness that we naturally cycle through, with very different levels of brain activity. It is normal to briefly wake up multiple times during the night and go back to sleep again.

The lighter levels are associated with dreams that we remember and are more vivid, the deeper levels are where the body grows and repairs itself and where new pathways in the brain are forged.

What Can I do to Get a Good Night’s Sleep?

Counting sheep

While the biggest contributing factors to sleep disturbances come from within us, you can make things easier for yourself by also setting things up externally for a good night:

  • Don’t count bed time as the time you fall asleep. Give yourself enough time to wind down, go to bed in a dark room, with low lighting and no screen time, with relatively low ambient noise. It may be 30 to 45 minutes before you actually fall asleep.
  • Aim to make this bed time procedure a habit to stick to. Eye masks, earplugs and guided meditation can help to reduce ambient light and noise.
  • If possible sleep in a bedroom with a temperature of around 18°Celsius, or 65° fahrenheit.
  • Eat at least 4 hours before going to need
  • Stay hydrated, but drink fluids no later than 2 hours before bed time
  • Avoid having alcohol, nicotine and other stimulants in your bloodstream at bed time
  • Build an association between your bedroom and sleep. Try to avoid exercising, or working in the same space. If you can’t avoid this, change the lighting and create other rituals that characterise the change in function of the space.
  • If you do wake up in the night for roughly more than 20 minutes, move to another space and engage in a relaxing activity with low light.
  • Soon after you wake up, spend time in bright light, preferably sunlight, preferably outside, without wearing sunglasses and without staring directly at the sun. 10 minutes should be enough. Light lamps, or any artificial light can be an option in the winter or if working night shifts

The Elephant in the Bedroom

A major cause of disturbance includes, of course, mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and seasonal affective disorder, for example.

Addressing these issues through therapy and meditation, for example, may be the most effective way to sleep well.

Do You Want Help to Work Through Something That May be Blocking Your Replenishing Sleep?

Do you believe you may be suffering from anxiety, depression, or another existential issue, and that it may be preventing you from getting a good night’s sleep? You can learn more about my approach to Hypnotherapy and how it could help you here.

Meditations to Help You Sleep

A Gratitude Rhyme To Send You To Sleep (FREE MEDITATION)

Sleep Meditation: Progressive Relaxation (Insight Timer Plus users)

Rhyming Sleep Meditation – Mountain Trees To Tropical Beach (Insight Timer Plus users)

Sleep Meditation – Gratitude For Your Amazing Body And Mind (Insight Timer Plus users)

Do You Want to Take the Conversation Further – Ask Questions and Contribute Answers?

Join Believe – Relieve – Conceive, my Insight Timer group.