Why isn't sleep at the top of our priorities?
We can take sleep for granted and become a little lax in the attention we give it, but once it goes out of kilter it can be a real challenge to get it back. Far too often I see clients who just accept bad sleep as they feel powerless to change it (small children aside), but actually with a bit of discipline and effort you can enjoy the benefits of a restful and restorative nights sleep. Some things to think about are below.
- Technology is not your sleeps friend - we are permanently connected and switched on and consume so much via our phones and tech... however, switched on and alert is not the best state with which to fall asleep. So, take stock of your consumption and limit use in the run-up to bedtime!
- Food/ drink - our bodies should be relaxed and 'bed ready', slowing down and chilling out. Foods high in sugar give our bodies a hit of energy and heavy meals in the evening leave us feeling uncomfortable and bloated (not a great state to feel in bed). Alcohol is also a tricky one. It can make us feel sleepy by limit the deep sleep we experience. As with technology, limit it or remove it in the hours before sleep.
- Consistency - if our bodies are constantly second-guessing when we are going to sleep and wake it up, then how can it know what bedtime means? Yet, we expect it to switch off at will. Being consistent with a sleep and wake up time will get your body and mind in tune with when it is time for sleep!
Simple yet effective habits to build into (and keep check of) around sleep can really reap major rewards.
What works for you?