Are you getting enough sleep? Tips to improve your sleep
However you sleep, all of us feel worse when we are not getting enough.
Recently talking with a group of 14-18 years olds, many of them commented they were not getting to sleep until the early hours either playing games or on their phones. And it doesn’t get better with age. At a workshop a group of ladies stated they got on average 3-4 hours sleep a night. In a survey I conducted in 2015 not having enough sleep or time were two of the biggest causes of stress for people who took part.
When we’re resting, our bodies are repairing, so getting a good nights sleep is important for our mental and physical health and wellbeing.
Here’s just a few tips to help with your sleep.
A good place to start is by creating a bedtime routine to help your mind and body reconnect. Create the same repeated patterns before bed every night, from putting on your nightwear, brushing your teeth to pulling back the covers, switching off the light. A step by step routine to teach your mind again how to go to sleep.
Once in bed, spend a few minutes focused on your breathing. Inhale deeply through your nose, counting to five right down into your tummy behind your belly button, and exhaling slowly out of your mouth counting to five. Notice how with each breath your mind and body relax even more deeply. Place your hands on your stomach and with each breath notice as your stomach rises and falls.
Adding a blanket to your bed can offer an extra layer of weighted protection, helping your physical body feel secure and therefore relaxed.
In times when your mind is full with racing thoughts, take this as a sign to slow down. Write everything down and then organise your thoughts into common themes. Next write a list of what you know needs to be completed each day.
Remember worry is like a rocking chair, taking you backwards and forwards, however change only happens when you take action. Writing down your thoughts will help you start processing them; taking action.
When we are physically unwell this also impacts on our sleep if we’re not comfortable, so make sure you get rest, gentle exercise (if advised) and time to laugh with family and friends to speed up your recovery.
Just doing one of these tips above will help you get started towards getting a better nights sleep.