What Are Your Sleep ABC’s?
By Susan Leigh
So many things can impact on our ability to sleep, no wonder then that 90% adults report not getting enough sleep or that they wake up feeling jaded and unrefreshed. Let’s consider some sleep ABC’s and how they may influence our sleep.
Your sleep A’s
– Anxiety is often a big factor in sleep-related issues. Many things can factor in, from the days’ stresses and concerns to the very real worry about being able to sleep or about sleeping though till the morning. I often say that if we brought a little kitten home and tried to grab it, snatch it up, it would run away from our grasp. Far better to leave it alone and let it come to us. Sleep is like that. Trying to force it to come to us rarely works. Far better to adopt a more relaxed approach and aim to clear the mind of any chatter. Maybe use lists to reassure yourself that you won’t forget anything important and then you can park up those nagging thoughts before bed.
– Ability. If we’re plagued with negative self-talk about our skills and talents or have a myriad of insecurities they can impact on our ability to sleep. Self-doubt hi-jacks our confidence and causes stress. Therapy or a quality self-help book like my book, ‘Dealing with Stress, Managing its Impact’ may help us deal with any underlying patterns and habits. Aim to find positive affirmations, ways to improve the way you talk to yourself to bolster and reinforce your self-confidence. When that happens it’s often easier to become calmer, relax the mind and sleep.
– Activity is relevant, where you ensure that you’ve exerted yourself both mentally and physically. You may find your time full of much mental activity but little physical exertion or vice versa. And that can cause a restlessness and an inability to sleep. Find better balance by adding physical exercise like walking, a visit to the gym or game of football, or ensure there’s mental activity with quizzes, crosswords and stimulating conversation.
Your sleep B’s
– Your bedroom should be a comfortable, calm place, an oasis where you go to relax, de-stress and perhaps spend quality intimate time with your partner. Try to keep it free from clutter, screen off any work or office area so that your bedroom is your retreat, a cosy place.
– It’s worth investing money in a quality bed and bedding as you spend a good amount of time there. Treat it as an investment in your health and wellbeing. It really is worth it and sends the message to yourself that your sleep time matters.
– Boundaries. Be firm about impositions on your wind-down time. Insist that serious or contentious conversations and discussions are booked for another more mutually convenient time. Learn to say ‘no’ in an appropriate way if you feel that you’re being pushed in a direction you don’t want to go or are starting to feel overwhelmed.
Your sleep C’s
– Colour makes a difference to your home. Celebrate the seasons. Ensure that your bedroom reflects how you want to feel; maybe by using muted colours, soft lighting, scented candles, soothing textures for cushions and furnishings, comfortable sheets and pillows.
– Chill and wind down for an hour or so before bed. Switch off technology and resist the temptation to keep checking social media and emails unless there’s an urgent situation that requires your attention. Treat the time before bed as switching yourself off too, as you prepare to take your nightly break, recharge your batteries and renew yourself, ready for sleep and hence the forthcoming new day.
Giving respect and paying due regard to your sleep ABC’s can really help you to enjoy a better, quality night’s sleep and so improve your awake times accordingly.
Susan Leigh is a long established counsellor, hypnotherapist, writer and media contributor who works with clients to help with relationship conflict, stress management, assertiveness and confidence issues. She works with individual clients, couples and provides corporate workshops and support.
She’s author of 3 books, ‘Dealing with Stress, Managing its Impact’, ‘101 Days of Inspiration #tipoftheday’ and ‘Dealing with Death, Coping with the Pain’; all on Amazon & with easy to read sections, tips and ideas to help you feel more positive about your life.
To order a copy or for more information, help and free articles visit http://www.lifestyletherapy.net
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