It’s time to go to sleep. You’ve had a long, hard day. You’re busy at work, Johnny has a test at school tomorrow and you’re having friends over for dinner tomorrow night.
You want and need a long and restful nights sleep. You go to bed and close your eyes but your mind keeps working overtime. One thought after another pops into your head. The night goes on; time passes.
You know that you need to sleep and you start worrying that you won’t wake up feeling refreshed or even able to function properly. This worry and fear causes adrenaline to pump throughout your system. You toss and turn and soft, sweet sleep eludes you yet again.
You can understand your sleeping patterns and learn to remove internal and external ‘interrupters’ to sleep and you can BECOME A GOOD SLEEPER. This will give you, as well as those around you, long-lasting benefits to your health and well-being.
Each pattern has a particular cause(s).
1)You can’t fall asleep; you lie awake, perhaps for hours and get anxious about it.
2)You fall asleep immediately but awaken in the middle of the night and stay awake until it’s time to get up.
3)You may sleep on and off for a few minutes or a few hours at a time.
With any or all of these sleeping patterns, you do feel the need for a better and more complete rest.
To get a better and more restful sleep:
1)Make sure that conditions that require medical attention or professional counseling and/or help, have been cleared up, ie: alcohol or chemical dependency, chronic pain, snoring, sleep apnea and/or chronic anxiety/depression.
2)You may want to skip daytime naps.
3)Consume less stimulants during the day, especially later on in the day, ie: coffee, soft drinks with caffeine, black tea, etc. (This is a tough one for me, coming from French parents——I love a good coffee and some dark chocolate. I’ve learned how to enjoy them earlier in the day).
4)Do not participate in stimulating activities right before sleep, ie: exercise workout, checking email, smart phones, etc.
5)Keep noise and lights in your bedroom, to a minimum, including clocks, phones, computers and outsi light.
6)You can practice checking your body for tension as you lie in bed and practice progressive relaxation, starting at one end of your body to the other.
Reprogramming for Rest:
1)Replace the negative with the positive. Dwell on the positive things that happened in your day, instead of on the negative or on the sense of being a victim.
2)Give yourself permission to rest while you are awake. You don’t need to check the clock. Know that even as you rest, with or without complete sleep, your body can feel rejuvenated.
3)Night time is sleep time. So, you can tell yourself or write down what you want/need to work on. Then, you can let these things go. Often, your sleep and dreams will give you the answers/solutions/questions you need.
As author John Steinbeck wrote: “It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.”
So, LET GO and LET SLEEP do its wonders and its work!