“The amount of sleep required by the average person is five minutes more”.
You can’t beat a good night’s sleep but more than half of us will experience insomnia at some point in our lives.
For some, lack of sleep is a temporary annoyance that can cause irritability, forgetfulness and despondency. However, it can also be a debilitating symptom of more chronic condition such as depression, stress, anxiety, pain and heart disease. Simple things become difficult and long term sleep disturbance can make everything seem overwhelming.
Sleep is a natural state of unconsciousness that enables your body to rest. While you’re asleep, your body goes through different sleep stages in a cycle that lasts approximately 90 minutes. Your body may go through five of these cycles in a night. The sleep stages are:
• light sleep
• deep sleep
• dreaming – also known as rapid eye movement (REM) sleep
So how do you ensure a good night’s sleep? There are a number of practical measures which may help re-establish a healthy sleep pattern. Try these for at least 3 weeks.
• Establish a fixed time to get up and stick to it even if you have had a bad night
• Don’t nap during the day
• Take moderate exercise every day, at least four hours before bedtime.
• Try to establish a bedtime routine, for example, a warm bath, reading, or another relaxing routine can make it easier to fall sleep. You can train yourself to associate certain restful activities with sleep and make them part of your bedtime ritual.
• Ensure a comfortable sleeping environment, not too hot or cold etc.
• Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol within six hours of going to bed
• Avoid eating a heavy meal late at night
• Hide your watch or clock so that you don’t keep checking it throughout the night
• Don’t lie in bed worrying. The anxiety of being unable to fall asleep can actually contribute to insomnia. Distract yourself with a book until you feel sleepy.
• See your doctor, if you always feel tired, there may be an underlying medical condition which needs treating.
If you need further support why not learn self hypnosis? Learning relaxation techniques and dealing with any contributory factors like stress or anxiety can be invaluable in helping you get the sleep you need.