Do you have a clock on your bedside table?
If you have and you find yourself up at all hours of the night battling with your thoughts, then I might be telling you in a minute to just get rid of the damn thing, or at least turn it to face the wall.
If you have a clock on your bedside table and you would rate your sleep as AWESOME, then you can keep it where it is – for now.
It’s not a problem until it’s a problem right?
Sleeping is extremely important for good health. It is very useful for things like conserving energy, consolidating memory, restoring bodily functions and keeping our immune system in check. This in turn decreases our chances of getting chronic diseases, depression and not being able to cope with stress.
I think we all know what it feels like to not have enough sleep. We wake up feeling AWFUL and less than able to tackle the day. In some countries, sleep deprivation is a form of torture, so if you can do something about it before you build up a big sleep debt, then you are going to benefit immensely.
Here are some TIPS to help you wake in the morning feeling as fresh as a daisy:
Try and go to bed at the same time every night, and wake up at roughly the same time every morning
Ditch the caffeine at least 6 hours prior to bedtime (not only coffee, but tea, and those horrid caffeinated soft drinks)
Limit your alcohol intake
No napping in the day (this makes you build up a sleep surplus and then you are less likely to sleep at night)
Move it. Your body likes to move so be sure to be doing it. Try and get some exercise done during the day so you have a reason to be a tired
Go to bed when your eyes are tired (eyes-tired is quite different to body-tired, so know the difference)
Stop flicking around on your phone or iPad in bed (the light suppresses melatonin production, which you need for sleep)
Use your bedroom for sleeping and sex (yes, no TV)
Have very low lighting on in your home during your wind down time, try using lamps or candles
Ensure your bedroom makes you feel peaceful (it needs to be conducive to relaxing so ditch the clutter)
If you can’t fall asleep after 10 minutes, get up and move to another room. Only come back when your eyes are tired (otherwise you are training your brain to link your bedroom with not sleeping)
If you happen to wake up in the night, tell yourself that you are supposed to wake up a few times a night and that it is very normal to do so (us humans are actually programmed to go into a very light sleep, almost to the point of being awake, about 4 times a night)
What about the bedside clock you ask? Well, when you wake in the night and you look at the clock you make a judgement, don’t you? Usually it is negative talk “urgh I have to get up soon and I haven’t had much sleep” or “oh no I’m still awake” or “I have to go to work soon and blah blah blah…….”
Just have your alarm on somewhere so that you only need to get up when you need to get up. No point in giving yourself a hard time for not sleeping, because that will set off all of the stress chemicals and you don’t need that happening while you are trying to relax. Just get rid of the clock.
Remember, like all changes, they take time.
Like I said before, if you are sleeping like a baby then by all means keep doing all of your naughty little sleeping habits. But if you do find, in the future, that your sleep becomes less than awesome, at least you know you have plenty of things to try.
Have a nice sleep x