Get More Sleep
Good Sleep is Vital
by Vicki Handfield.
Medical providers are now recognizing something I have seen for almost 30 years; good sleep is vital to having a good life!
Many people have trouble getting a good full relaxing, restful night's sleep and this adds to life disruption, stress, aggravation, frustration, etc. Someone told me once they were "FINE", meaning Frustrated, Irritable, Neurotic and Emotional! I thought this was the perfect description of modern life; but, we can overcome many of the everyday problems with good, healthy choices.
Our Get Healthy, Get Happy Strategies are very interactive and build on each other. Exercise is key to better sleep so you may also want to consider this as you look to improve the choices you make.There are, however, several things that can improve the odds of having a good night's sleep.
- Consistent schedule
- Bedtime rituals
- Healthy bedtime prep
- Bedtime relaxation
The first step is to identify the things that you know are interfering with your sleep. Often, people are well aware of the interferences, but just don't do anything about it. Make a list of these interferences, put down your ideas of how to change things for the better; we can talk about these items and include them in your goals and plans.
In order to sleep better, develop a more CONSISTENT SCHEDULE. Many people stay up later in order to get things done or simply to have some time for themselves. They tend to feel that there is no other way to accomplish these goals. For many, it’s a matter of time management and better prioritization. It’s important to be open to change and to give other ways a chance. If you make the changes we discuss, your life will flow better and you will feel better. You will have more time and energy, but you must make changes in order to see how this works.
Slowly, go to bed earlier, moving back your bedtime in 15-minute increments. Even if you don't sleep better right away, it will lead to better habits and better sleep. Do something relaxing, like reading, as a way to get your body and mind ready for sleep. Most people do better if they go to bed earlier and get up earlier; there are some who don't work this way, but it's a good idea to experiment.
Then, develop BEDTIME RITUALS. These behaviors tell your mind that sleep time is coming and your brain gets ready for sleep. Common rituals often include closing up the house, checking doors, turning off lights, brushing teeth, changing into pajamas, turning down the bed and getting a book out to read. Other typical items that constitute HEALTHY BEDTIME PREP, may include checking to make sure your clothes are ready for the morning or checking your schedule for the next day. If you have children, this often includes checking their needs, such as lunch, homework, clothing and bathing them. As you can see, this is very linked to how one spends a typical evening. It is important to have regular habits, to do things in a timely manner, but be flexible. It isn't easy, but you will find it gets easier as you do it.
BEDTIME RELAXATION is good for many folks. Once in your bed, take many slow, deep breaths and develop an image of a relaxing location in your mind. For many people, the beach is the most relaxing place on earth! Develop the picture in your mind just as you would see a Polaroid photo develop. Look at the details, the colors, the textures; see the sand, the water, the sky, the waves, the birds, all the things you love and associate with the beach. Continue breathing.
Clear Your Mind
If you have something on your mind that you just can't turn off, keep a pad of paper by your bed, so you can write it down. This helps clear your mind because once it's written down, you know you're going to take care of it. Continue breathing and relaxing, and before you know it, it's morning! If you wake up during the night, and have trouble falling back to sleep, use this technique again, it will help!
Make some plans to reward yourself for making the positive changes discussed above. Even though better sleep is very rewarding, rewarding yourself in other ways will help you make the needed changes. Change is so difficult for all of us! It is important to be as positive as possible as you go about making the changes and developing a healthier lifestyle. Too many of us focus on keeping our noses to the grindstone, thinking that only work is rewarding.
Many people saw their parents work very hard with little enjoyment and took this to mean this is what adults do, period! We all tend to imitate our parents, often without thinking a lot about what our goals are and what it will take to get us there. We will often live a lot longer than our parents and grandparents, and it is vital to have a healthy lifestyle in order to live well as we live longer.
If you have questions about these good sleep tips or would like to know more about my 6 step plan to help with lasting life experience improvement, please let me know by contacting me and I will be glad to help you create the positive healthy, happy changes you want to make. As you make these changes, you will be pleasantly surprised at how powerful they are for you.