The importance of good Sleep:
How well do you sleep? Good quality sleep is so important for our mental and physical health. Struggling with insomnia can have a dramatic impact on your life.
A report in 2017 by the Mental Health Foundation reported that 30% of people surveyed in the United Kingdom are severely sleep deprived, putting them more at risk of mental health and relationship issues. The online survey found that more than a third of respondents were classified as possibly having chronic insomnia.
Some people have difficulty falling asleep (that’ll be me!) while others find themselves lying awake throughout the night and wake up feeling tired and lethargic the next day.
The impact of little sleep and fragmented sleep can have far reaching consequences affecting work and family life.
Tips for Better Sleep
The following are some tips to help you get a better sleep:
- Aim for a regular 8 hours sleep every night. Go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time EVERY day of the week (Even Weekends). If you’ve had a bad night still get up at your normal time and go to bed at your normal time to reset your body clock
- We need darkness to release the hormone Melatonin. Melatonin helps the healthy timing of our sleep. In the evening dim your lights and stay away from screens, especially LED (blue lights) that stop Melatonin and fool your brain into thinking it’s day time.
- Keep your room coll (about 18.5o ). Your brain and body need to drop the core temperature slightly to initiate good sleep and you will probably find it easier to fall asleep in a room that’s too cold rather than too hot.
- Avoid alcohol. Alcohol is a sedative. It knocks your brain out rather than putting it to sleep. It also causes you to wake up through the night and is a potent chemical for stopping your dream sleep (REM – Rapid eye movement sleep.
- Avoid caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant. When you’ve had a cup of coffee in the evening you will not sleep as deeply and even if you sleep you won’t wake up fresh. Studies have shown that half the level of caffeine is still in your system five hours after your last coffee
- When you can’t sleep DON’T stay in bed awake. If you’ve tried for about twenty minutes and can’t sleep or if you’ve been sleeping and woke up, get out of bed and go to another room. Make sure the other room is dimly lit and read until you feel sleepy then go back to bed. If you stay in bed your brain forms the association of being awake with your bed rather than sleeping.
- Practicing meditation and/or self hypnosis can improve your sleep. It’s good to exercise your brain as well as your body. If you get into the habit of relaxing your body you will be able to calm your ‘fight or flight’ response when you wake up during the night. You will learn to make your mind quiet as well as your body which will help you fall back asleep. A good hypnotherapist will help you learn self hypnosis and will be able to prepare you a relaxation recording to help you go to sleep. This is the method I use to fall over most nights. There are also lots of Apps available to help with this and the Headspace one is particularly good.
- If you are tossing and turning, get up and write down your thoughts on paper or write a to-do list for the next day. Emptying your mind onto paper can help you relax.
- Book a hypnotherapy session. Many people tell me after a hypnosis session with me that they sleep much better. Hypnosis can promote a sense of calm, helps ease anxiety and worrying and helps you develop good sleep patterns without the need for medication. Hypnotherapy also helps with many issues such as anxiety, stress etc. and dealing with these will also help you sleep better.
If you want to find out more please get in touch.