Did you know that a good day starts the night before? Getting a good night’s sleep is the precursor to helping you successfully manage your day. Having a good night’s sleep increases the potential for your success, happiness and your health. We all know this. We learnt it as children, we hear it in the media constantly yet how many of us sacrifice the number of hours we sleep to fit in all we need to do in a day? Or how many of us struggle to get a good night’s sleep? Sleep is invariably the lowest item on our list of priorities. And the reality is, unless we address this sleep deficiency, we are heading for disaster.
For adults, getting less than the recommended seven to eight hours sleep a night, puts you at risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, coronary heart disease and stroke, as well as for mental distress and depression. Furthermore, your productivity at work is decreased, your ability to concentrate is compromised and your overall performance is less than optimum.
Getting a good, restorative and restful sleep is not far from reach. There are some easy, and simple to follow ideas that can help you to increase the quality and quantity of your sleep. It is important to realise that sleep, and falling asleep actually begins before we go to bed.
Recognise if caffeine contributes to keeping you awake and perhaps limiting your intake, and time of intake. Remember, caffeine can stay in the system for up to 8 hours.
Your evening meal should be light and satisfying, not rich, heavy and difficult to digest. You want your body to be using your sleep time to restore not digest!
There is strong evidence to suggest that laptops, television screens and other electronic devices stimulate our minds, and the sympathetic nervous system… this is counteractive to what is necessary for helping us to wind down and go to sleep.
If you find that you have a lot on your mind, how about taking time before dinner and bed to plan the next day. Write down what you need to do. Clear your head.
So, in the evening, take time to slow down. Unwind, relax and let go of the day. I suggest turning off your “devices” and lowering your lights, at least an hour before going to bed. A warm shower, and cup of chamomile tea is great. Perhaps some enjoyable reading …. Nothing to stimulating and exciting. How about some self-hypnosis, meditation or tapping as a way of clearing your head and emptying your mind. And getting into bed, some slow deep breathing is always an excellent way to trigger the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the process of rest and repair to begin.
This is just a few easy strategies to get you started. I have a whole lot more to offer you. Getting a good night’s sleep is easier than you think. What are you waiting for?