Everyone knows how good sleep is for you, but do you know how much is truly plays into your health? Google what happens when you sleep or benefits of sleep and pages upon pages will open up. I believe sleep is the number one thing you can do to improve your health. Good quality sleep will single handily improve your mood, concentration, body function, fitness and relationships. It’s the miracle cure of most of what ails us. Yet it’s the one thing most people battle.
We need to change our attitudes about sleep. We need to stop thinking a pill will get us there and rely on our own bodies to get the sleep we are designed to enjoy. This will take a huge effort in how we approach sleep and our attitudes about sleep. First we need to stop staying up so late. Going to bed early never hurt anyone and in fact will add time spent sleeping which always a good thing. Also, start the ‘getting ready for bed’ process earlier. Get in your jammies early, start your evening routine a little earlier and stop the noise earlier. No TV, iPhone, iPad, Kindle, computer, etc. If needs a plug or charge, it needs to be turned off and it needs to be set up somewhere besides your bedroom. You do not need it as an alarm, you can get an actual alarm for that. Noises that wake us or devices that allow us to get up and face a screen do not help with sleeping in any way. If you wake up at that oh so early 3am window and your phone is in the other room, chances are you will not get up and go get it, you will more likely roll over and try to go back to sleep.
Add white noise through a fan or machine. Keep your room temperature and a slightly cooler level making sleep more enjoyable. Consider a naturally non caffeinated herbal tea prior to bed. Do some deep breathing exercises, consider 2 or 3 easy calming yoga moves to get the body ready for rest. There are so many things we can do to get our body ready for rest and its worth your time to find which ones help the most.
Think of the act of falling asleep as an ocean wave. Sleep will flow up onto us like the surf on the beach and recede back. Then it will flow up further and recede back again. It’s an ebb and flow not a ‘fall into’. As you are drifting into sleep you may come awake again, that is natural. This is the ebb and flow of falling asleep. You sink into sleep, then lift slightly up and out, then sink further into sleep and a little lift out. Like the tides you will slowly find sleep. It’s rarely the sudden drop from awake to sleep. Do not see the awake portion as you are not falling asleep, it’s very much part of how one falls asleep.
These changes will not change your sleep in one effort. This change takes time and regular practice until you find that sleep is more readily available to you. You can have a bad night of sleep, but your new practices will slowly make them less frequent. And more restful sleep more available.