A few weeks ago I spoke on a wellness panel of Wellbeing Experts at Wow Beauty’s, Your Wellbeing Is Your Superpower event in London. It was an amazing event and one of the main themes that were important to the attendees at the event was sleep and the issues around it. I have been meaning to write a post about sleep for some time, so I thought it would be a great opportunity to do so now.
I believe that in the West, sleep is something most of us take for granted. We tend to leave sleep as an afterthought and tend to sacrifice it to when we have done everything else. In the entrepreneurial world, you will often hear the message “Hustle, Hustle, Hustle, I can sleep when I am dead”. Or another common scenario is students who burn the late night oil cramming before an examination. And often employees, work late at the office and in turn, get home so late in the evenings that it impacts on their sleep.
The average human requires between six and eight hours of sleep per night for optimum function, to heal and restore. Our bodies carry out the majority of our healing and cell renewal while we are asleep and that is why a number of major illnesses can be attributed to lack to sleep. In addition, sleep deprivation can cause a lack of concentration and the disruption of our metabolism.
Before electricity, our ancestors were probably more in-tune with the natural circadian rhythms (our internal body clock) of their bodies. Meaning they would wake at sunrise and go to sleep at sunset.
Now our days are so much longer and with the advent of electricity we can stay awake and keep active at night, watching TV, Reading, going out socialising, not to mention night-work. These things can have an adverse effect on our bodies. I have heard it said that we can die from lack of sleep faster than we could die from lack of food.
Common behaviour highlights that we are so wired to our devices that we seem to be using them constantly. Did you know that the blue light that is omitted from our phone, laptops, televisions and reading devices etc can affect our ability to got to sleep? Not to mention the hormone dopamine that we produce when on the devices which triggers almost addictive-like behaviour.
Sleep issues present themselves in many ways, some of us get into bed and find it difficult to fall asleep. While others can fall asleep quite easy but then find themselves up at 3AM, tossing, turning with an abundance of thoughts plaguing their attempt to fall back to sleep.
MY TIPS FOR A GOOD NIGHTS SLEEP
- Establish a Night time routine.
- Switch off all devices about an hour before bedtime.
- Turn down the lights and or use candlelight (if safe to do so) an hour before bed.
- Use blackout curtains or an eye mask.
- Essential oils – Lavender is my favourite to aid sleep
- Have a warm bath – You can add epsom salts to your bath (epsom salts is high in magnesium which aids sleep. If you are deficient in magnesium you may experience sleep issues)
- Create a comfortable and uncluttered bedroom
- Manage your stress levels
- Keep your phone/devices in another room (I bought an alarm clock for the occasions I need to be woken by an alarm)
- Clear your mind – write your thoughts in a journal
- No caffeine or alcohol at night
- Practice meditation or deep breathing exercises
- Yoga or gentle stretching to remove tension from your body and aid relaxation
- Avoid eating a heavy meal at least an hour or so before bedtime
- Enjoy a calming herbal tea such as chamomile as it is renowned for easing you into sleep
- Changes in our hormones or medical conditions can impact our sleep patterns. Therefore, seek medical advice if necessary.
The above tips are the things that I often use to get me on track with my sleep. Give them a try and see if they help in aiding your quality of sleep. Even if you are not experiencing sleep issues they are good habits for your general wellbeing.
Let me know if any of these work for you.
Until next time.
Award winning/Life Coach/Author/Blogger/Speaker/Radio Presenter
Sonia supports women to get unstuck, jumpstart their lives and get their sassy back so that they can live the life of their desires.
Passionate about supporting women to live their best lives, Sonia’s is often invited to speak and contribute on a number of radio shows, speaking platforms and articles.
A housing professional, wife, mother of 4 and grandmother, Sonia believes that sometimes the simplest mind-set and lifestyle changes have the biggest impact on living a balanced and happy life.
Sonia offers life coaching tools, wellbeing tips and inspiration on her lifestyle blog.