Let me share my best techniques for a good night’s sleep because the reality is, sleep deprivation is so horrible that it used to be used as a torture technique!
Anyone who has had babies will understand exactly what I’m saying. I’m certain it’s the reason there are those signs on the back of people’s cars that say “Baby On Board”, because when you see that, you know to keep WAY clear; because that person is sleep deprived and their brain won’t be functioning properly.
Why sleep needs to be a priority in your life:
- It is stated that 60-80% of patients with depression report experiencing sleep disturbances of some kind
- When you are asleep your body can heal and repair your heart and blood vessels. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke
- A good night’s sleep can help to keep you in a good weight range.
Hence, it’s important we discuss the best techniques for a good night’s sleep below!
Causes of sleep deprivation
According to sleep experts, stress is the number one cause of short-term sleeping difficulties. Our jobs, families, money worries or illness put constant pressure on us and as a result, affect our sleep patterns. Hopefully once these certain problems have passed, we can go back to our normal sleep routine. But sometimes long-lasting insomnia occurs.
How much sleep do you actually need?
Everybody is different and we need to keep in mind that it’s the quality of sleep that’s most important. As a general rule, here is a guide:
- Newborns: 16–18 hours a day
- Preschool-aged children: 11–12 hours a day
- School-aged children: At least 10 hours a day
- Teens: 9–10 hours a day
- Adults: (including the elderly) 7–8 hours a day
A good night’s rest helps our bodies and minds rejuvenate. Sleep will keep your immune system healthy and will help you regulate your moods.
How to get a good night’s sleep
In order to get a good night’s sleep, preparation and routine is the key. As always, the process begins with YOU. You need to acknowledge that sleep is integral to stress management and make it a priority over other activities. Sure situations that come up such as a party, a late night meeting, a long phone call to a friend, kids being sick and so on. But if we can see that this isn’t the norm and make the majority of our nights similar, it will benefit us in enormous ways, physically and mentally.
6 techniques for a good night’s sleep:
- Limit alcoholic beverages to max 1 or 2 in the afternoon/night (and ideally none!).
- Grab your last cup of caffeine no later than 2pm in the afternoon.
- Limit your hardcore mental & physical work to day time sessions. I always keep my neuroscience books for the day, and my romantic or funny fluff for night time. Similarly, if you want to exercise in the evening stick to some gentle yoga for insomnia or yin yoga is a great alternative.
- Keep a similar waking & sleeping time each day, including the weekends. Napping during the day will disrupt your sleep patterns.
- Have a dark room to help your amazing eyes send a signal to your amazing brain to process the sleep chemicals (melatonin) and sends it to your amazing body, and tells your body it’s time to go nigh-nighs.
- Make sure you sleep on a a good quality, full-size mattress. Your mattress must provide a high level of comfort and support.
- Practice ‘legs up the wall’. Sit sideways against a wall, with your hip up on the skirting board. Then gently lie down on your back and bring your legs up the wall. 5 minutes in this position is said to be equivalent to 20 minutes deep rest and 20 minutes is equivalent to an hour. I like to listen to a yoga nidra meditation audio while doing this.
Now it’s your turn. Do you have trouble sleeping? What techniques work for you? Share your story in the comment sections below.
P.S. Who do you know that might find these techniques for a good night’s sleep helpful? Help them get some shut-eye by sharing it with them now.