FIX YOUR SLEEPING PATTERN
The digital age has blessed us in as many ways as it has jinxed us. The great advances in technology have seen the human race communicating and interacting like never before, with new social platforms being released every day. However, it has come with a price. According to Professor John Ellis – a sleep specialist – the issues we experience with sleep are a result of over consumption of digital devices late in the evenings, especially within the bedroom. He argues the strength of light does not allow our body to slow down and enter into rest mode, peacefully, which would result in much better sleep if many of us were to follow this advice.
Prof. Ellis does not limit all sleep problems to the use of digital devices, but he outlines the contributing factors that either postpone sleep or make it a very anxiety-ridden experience. In his book ‘The One-week Insomnia Cure: Learn to Solve Your Sleep Problems,’ he identifies all the problems we face when trying to sleep, how poor sleep patterns are created, and how we can go about fixing them. We had condensed his advice, along with a few tips of our own to help you combat the vicious cycle that insomnia can create.
However, it’s important to know why and how a good sleep cycle is healthy. Sleepio, a UK market sleep researcher, has conducted various surveys that have allowed us to better understand the reality of the problem. For the full results of their survey, you are more than welcome to read it here (Sleepio Survey Results). The last survey was taken in March 2012 with a panel of 20,800 participants; it is safe to say these figures will have only increased since.
WHAT KEEPS US UP AT NIGHT
The results detail the most physical limitation of sleep is bodily discomfort. This could mean a variety of things, whether it is the comfort of the bed or positioning, or if it is poor diet or health issues that make for disrupted and uncomfortable sleep.
We all go to bed with a million thoughts rushing through our minds before we drift, and the most popular thought is worry; worrying about the present, and the future. All these thoughts create an uneasiness before sleep, and it can be very easily linked to the fact that we are constantly working, more than ever before, that “switching off” for bedtime is not as easy as it used to be.
SIDE EFFECTS OF POOR SLEEP
Now, we may have established the issues that keep us up at night, but what does that mean for you? As part of the survey, it was highlighted the effects of poor sleep are more than just being tired. Poor sleepers are more likely to experience very negative feelings, a negative outlook on life, experience more relationship problems, and be less productive than they would be if their sleep issues were appropriately addressed.
We are the stressed out and the depressed generation, and after seeing these results, it is clear to see why. As we advance, we have given our health more importance in terms of diet and exercise, but sleep is one aspect of heath we continue to shrink in importance. Sleep is just as important as diet and physical health, as it is your body’s way of repairing, resetting and making the most out of the following day.
Great, now we have given you the facts, how do you go about fixing these poor sleep patterns and habits? Look no further.
5 TIPS TO HELP YOU SLEEP BETTER
- No phones, laptops, TV’s or the like
The blue light emitted from these devices signals your brain to keep working and to avoid entering rest mode. It is advised to switch off all devices at least an hour before you plan on sleeping. This gives your brain time to adjust to winding down, and not focusing on a bright distracting screen.
- Create your sleep environment
When you bring your work home, and even into your bedroom, it becomes a room where you are not able to easily relax and wind down as you will associate it with work and sleep, rather than sleep alone. Limit your work to the office, create a home office if need be, or sit at the kitchen table, but do not bring piles and piles of paperwork with your laptop to bed ever again. Your mind will begin to work and even when you do attempt to sleep, your mind will still be racing with work thoughts.
- No scary clocks ticking away
It’s 2am. You have to be up in a few hours, and the clock is stealing more and more seconds of precious sleep away. All the thoughts of how you’ll face the day tomorrow, how much coffee you’ll need, the energy you will have to take, the healthy decisions you must make even if you’re exhausted etc. and you STILL haven’t slept. Loud clocks are nothing more than a reminder of how your attempts are not working. Invest in a silent alarm clock, and turn it away from your view. You know it’s there. You don’t need to be reminded how late it is.
- If it isn’t working, do something else
Sometimes we are told to lie there until we fall asleep, even if it may take hours – after all, it’s better than distracting yourself with more nonsense on your phone or letting time go by too quickly when you should be sleeping. However, sometimes it may just be what you need. Why not walk around the house? Make a cup of herbal tea (preferably, camomile). Take a warm shower. Listen to a calming playlist on Spotify. Help your mind calm down and prepare to sleep. After the guilt-ridden thoughts you’ve forced yourself to endure for the past few hours, you deserve it.
You cannot avoid stress lately, it seems. Everything is triggering a stressful response in us and we worry constantly. Very few have mastered the art of staying calm. For the rest of us, we clearly still have a lot to learn. Meditation is one of the greatest ways to cope with stress. When you get into bed this evening, why not lie back comfortably, close your eyes and breathe deeply. Count each breath for up to 10 seconds…and breathe out. Do this and focus on nothing but your breathing. If you feel your mind wonder, focus on your breathing once more. The problems of today should not ruin sleep for you. Bedtime is your time, and the problems of tomorrow are for tomorrow.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this weeks post. Let us know how you get on by getting in touch via our Twitter page @MoroccanNatural, Instagram @Moroccan_Natural or find us on Facebook @ Moroccan Natural.