This is episode 149 of the Absolute Mind podcasts and today I am covering how to sleep better.
Please do bear in mind that we have created this podcast to be of some insight and some sort of assistance but by no means a way to treat conditions on their own.
If you do have any deep-rooted conditions or ailments that you'd like some assistance with on a one-to-one professional approach, then please feel free to contact either me or Michael on Facebook or directly through the website and we can arrange sessions that way or via Skype, whatever suits.
Bedtime should be something we all look forward to, being able to lay back forget the troubles of the day and rest, allowing our bodies to recharge, rejuvenate and let go of any stresses or strains. But when you struggle to drift off into a nice deep sleep its can have a massive impact on our everyday life.
How Does Lack Of Sleep Affect You?
Sleep deprivation can leave you brain feeling exhausted meaning it cant perform its duties as well as it would with a good night sleep. In some cases, if sleep deprivation continues for long periods it's possible you could experience hallucinations, seeing or hearing things that aren't actually there but this is an extreme case of sleep deprivation. The most common side effects people experience are:
- Overeat/comfort eat
- Weight gain
- Lower libido
- Physically affects appearance
Now, these are just a few of the symptoms that most people experience and you may not experience all of them. Sometimes lack of sleep and anxiety go hand in hand and most anxiety sufferers find that bedtime is their worst time as all of their negative internal thoughts are in full swing at this time of the day.
How Can You Start To Sleep Better?
There are many ways in which you can help yourself to sleep from taking action and changing how you do things and your routines, to natural remedies that I use in my own home to help my family sleep.
What you do affects your sleep, our lifestyles are busy, hectic, fast-paced, stressful and so on. We have so many things spinning around in our heads on a daily basis, that sometimes we feel there's just not enough hours in a day to get rid of all the burdens of life. When we cant offload we try to go to sleep with stressful thoughts, emotions all still spinning around in our head and at this time of the day there are no distractions to take our thoughts away from whats bothering us so we spend hours trying to will ourselves to sleep, getting more and more frustrated that were not yet in the land of Nod. So how can you change that?
- Relax - Begin to practice some relaxation techniques to allow the stress and the frustration to ease a little, a clear mind is a calm mind and a calm mind is able to switch off when needed. Things like meditation, mindfulness, diaphragmatic breathing (breathing through the belly and not the chest)
- Switch off - and by switch off I mean switch off all those ipads, laptops, phones, social media, emails, anything that stimulates your brain and keeps it on alert. Switch them off at least 1 hour before bed your brain and your body needs time to start the natural process of winding down.
- Change your light bulbs - around your home have dim orange lights that emulate a natural sunset for your body. Bright stark lights don't allow your body to realise its night time and can restrict the natural process of hibernation mode. even lights from laptops and tv's can prevent the natural process.
- Blackout - Have your room as dark as possible, this again will emulate the natural process of night time. So if you have any lights shining through your window try to get some blackout blinds or curtains and ditch any bright LED alarm clocks. Give your body a chance to do what it naturally needs to do.
- Ditch Caffeine - no caffeine after 1pm at the latest! caffeine is said to have a half-life of 5-6 hours meaning that after 5-6 hours of having a caffeinated drink there is still half of that caffeine in your system. caffeine is a stimulant and can prevent sleep as it stimulates the body and the mind keeping it on alert. Allow your body to get rid of any caffeine in its system before you go to bed.
- Exercise - Try exercising in the morning, getting up earlier and exercising can help when trying to sleep in the evening. it can also help with making you feel more awake and alert throughout the day when having exercised first thing, your body will be filled with the endorphins from a workout keeping you in a good mood throughout. Then come evening you will be feeling more tired than usual from getting up and moving!
- Plan - If work or jobs that need completing spill over into your night time and your finding that you are constantly thinking about what needs doing tomorrow when trying to sleep then try having a process where you plan the next days' jobs. Have a plan and allocate what jobs need completing in priority, how long you're going to spend on that job etc. This can allow your brain to switch off as you have already planned and know what to do.
- Magnesium - This is something I personally use for me and my family to help with a natural deep sleep. Magnesium salts in a nice warm bath can help to relax the body. MAgnesium is well known for its ability to relieve insomnia, studies have found that it helps to decrease Cortisol the stress hormone that can keep you awake at night. It also helps to relax muscles which can give you that calm sleepy feeling helping you to unwind at the end of the day. You can find the salts I use for my family here
These are some techniques I have personally used and also given to many clients to help them to sleep better which have given drastic results. If you begin to change how you do things you will start to see results.
Sleep is such a big factor in our health and our mindset so if you are struggling to sleep then try some of these techniques to hopefully allow you to start sleeping better.