How important is a good night’s sleep? If we are sleeping well, we don’t even think about it. When we aren’t and insomnia takes hold, it really can rule our lives as we feel tired, foggy, constant yawning, not able to concentrate, having a poor memory, etc, etc, etc.
Sleep rejuvenate’s us from a physical, emotional and mental level. It gives our bodies time to process anything from the day. Any stress, tension, activities which need to be processed is done at this time.
We know when our kids are sleepy the temper tantrums and lack of any rational thinking comes up. Well we adult’s are not too different. Like children a good night’s sleep or even an afternoon nap can do wonders to get us back up and running.
A Good Night’s Sleep
A good night’s sleep looks different from one individual to the next. In general 8 hours of good quality sleep is best for a good functioning body. I advise my clients to be asleep by 10pm. This is because 2 hours of sleep before midnight is equivalent to 4 hours after midnight. It just gives us good bang for our buck. So how do we achieve a good night’s sleep.
How to get a good nights sleep
Some idea’s to try to achieve a good nights sleep.
- Deal with the root cause. If you know what is keeping you awake (stress), deal with it. This alone can help you on your way to sleeping like a baby. Do you need to have that conversation with your boss or back down on a verbal agreement with a friend that isn’t sitting right? Just do it!!
- If you are not sure why you can’t sleep have some kinesiology sessions to get to the root cause and clear the block or restriction causing the lack of sleep. This will usually be multi factorial and we together can put the pieces of the puzzle together and clear the blocks.
- Avoid eating 2 hours before bedtime.
- Be in bed and ASLEEP by 10pm.
- Avoid alcoholic and caffeinated beverages in the hours before bedtime.
- Avoid stimulating technology and stressful conversations before sleep.
- Take magnesium in the evening, it is the relaxer of the body.
- Take warm bath with Epsom Salts is a nice way to retire into the evening.
- Make a list of things you are grateful for each evening. Let this list grow day by day. It may be relating to your health, your surroundings, a conversation you had that day etc Ending your day with positive thoughts can be very restful.
- Alternate nostril breathing- Close your right nostril and inhale through your left. Then, close your left nostril and exhale through your right. Inhale through your right nostril, close your right, and then exhale through your left. I like to breath in for 3-5 seconds, hold for 1-2 seconds then breath out for 5-10 seconds and hold 1-2 seconds (see image above)
- If your mind is very active, get out of it. Concentrate on breathing, do a mindful meditation where you are concentrating on different parts of your body or squeeze all parts of your body at different times and let you body follow this- so squeeze your feet, then relax them. Move to your calves, squeeze and relax. Move up your body to your skull.
- Ayurvedic medicine encourages us to drink warm milk with spices including nutmeg before bed.
- Chamomile tea taken during the late afternoon to evening.
- If you need extra help some herbs may be a short term solution. Whether it be valarian, chamomile, st john’s wort, passionflower or ziziphus. Come in and I’ll test which herbs would specifically assist you at this time.
There have been many studies outlining the benefits of day time napping. I’ve felt this myself when I have felt run down. In many oversea’s countries the practise of siesta’s is still common place. If you are in a place where you can fit an afternoon nap in, do so. The key is to keep it short. 20-30 minutes max. The benefits include improved mental alertness and performance without interfering with you night time sleep.
Ahh, a good night’s sleep. Wouldn’t that be amazing every night. Well it should be for us all as it is the basic foundation of our health. If your struggling for a good nights sleep please reach out for help. This is a fundamental act we all need and deserve in our lives.