Four Tips to Try To Help You Sleep
You know those nights where sleep just doesn't happen? You lay awake, waiting "patiently" to drift off into a nice relaxing slumber, but nothing happens. And then you get more and more frustrated, which doesn't help the matter very much at all...
Yeah, me too. I used to be an insomniac and I know those nights really well.
I did the typical things, you know:
Watch the clock tick down every hour.
Counting how many hours of sleep I would get if I fell asleep right... NOW.
Fearing to go to bed because it was the most stressful part of my day.
Thinking about all the things I had to do the next day and worrying about how I would do them if I didn't sleep.
It was a waking nightmare. (See what I did there?)
I'm not going to pretend that I'm an expert on insomnia or sleep, however, I want to let you know what I learnt from living most of teen years and early twenties awake.
I sincerely thought that sleep was just not a part of my DNA. I kind of thought it was optional. I thought I was somebody who a) didn't need a lot of sleep and b) was destined to sleep.
I remember my mum telling me how I never slept as a child. Clearly it was my lot in life to remain awake...
But, hey, I believed I was productive so what was the problem?
I was going to Uni full time and working full time. "I was crushing it".
However, I didn't know what it was like to have a restful nights sleep. You don't know what you don't know, ay?
So after many years of living in denial, I started taking sleep seriously. I started looking at all the ways it could impact me if I didn't change things. And the future looked bleak my friends.
So whatever did I do?
I looked at my sleep schedule and realised, hey, maybe if I tweak a few things, maybe that could help? I mean it couldn't hurt, right?
Then I realised. What if what I do in the day impacts my sleep?
So here we are:
the Four Things I Changed.
1) Turned Off My Phone!
I stopped looking at my:
Right before I go to sleep.
I also stopped having phone calls late at night.
Regardless if they were business or personal calls.
I didn't realise how impactful having a call late at night was having on my ability to fall asleep.
I give myself an hour away from my phone before I go to sleep.
2) Made Sure I Had An Amazing Morning Routine
Ahh, a good ole morning routine. Raise your hand if you have a routine at all?
You would be surprised at how many people don't have a routine. They just get up and go. Not always the most beneficial way to be.
Anywho, I have actually written a little something on morning routines. If you want to look at good morning routine habits, check out this article here.
3) Don't Be A Bear
So I can be like a bear.
I can eat and fall asleep straight away. It's like a gift. I've had this talent since I was a baby. Heck, when I was a baby I would fall asleep while still eating my dinner. True story.
However, I started thinking this could be impacting my sleep. So I committed to changing it.
Now, I make sure I eat at least 2 hours before I plan to go to sleep.
You don't want your body trying to digest dinner while you're trying to go to sleep.
4) DRINK WATER THROUGHOUT THE DAY
Dehydration is not good on all fronts.
It reduces concentration, impacts bowel movements, increases headaches, makes you tired annnnd the list can go on.
However, it can also directly impact the way we sleep.
Being dehydrated can cause leg cramps! I thought. I was alone in this camp, however, a study has shown that 60% of adults suffer from this.
Drinking enough water throughout the day can change that.
Make sure you drink at least 2 litres a day.
And if you work in an office, up that a little.
What did I learn from making these simple changes?
Well, quite a lot.
1) Rest Is Optimal.
Along with my poor sleeping habits, I also subscribed to whole "no rest days" mentality. Or "rest is for the weak". If you've been following me for a while, you'll know that I'm a Type A person... That suffered from anxiety. Check out my story here.
I was in desperate need of getting my sh*t together during this time.
Sleep is important in every element of our health. It impacts nearly every function, tissue and cell within the body. Not getting enough sleep will put your whole system at a deficit.
Not sleeping enough or getting enough good quality of sleep directly impacts our emotional, mental and physical health.
Sleep helps us undo the damage we do to our bodies while we are awake. Not only that it helps us process the information we have accumulated throughout the day. Like a mental detox, if you will.
2) My Memory Could Better.
Yes, folks, sleep is directly going to impact your memory.
I always thought that my memory was amazing. I called recall useless information at a drop of a hat (still can).
However, after making a conscious effort to change my sleeping patterns, I realised how much my memory was being sacrificed from not getting enough sleep.
Now I can recall not just useless information!
3) Sleeping Is A Necessity
For me, looking at sleep as optional was ignorant.
Sleep is incredibly important in nearly every facet of our lives.
It changes our immunity, our moods, our ability to focus, have mental clarity and simply impacts our mental and emotional health dramatically.
It also leads to burnout, for more information about burnout, have a wee gander at this blog.
Make sleep a priority.
Get Your Sh*t Together - Literally and Figuratively