Do you find yourself lying awake in bed at night?
Is it really okay that you sleep during the day to make up for late hours of work? Is there something you can do to have a better, more restful sleep?
I will share with you some easy-to-understand information about sleep and how it impacts our health. You will learn why sleep is so important, 5 quick sleep facts, and 5 sleep hacks you can use to get the most healing benefits from your rest.
Here are 5 Quick Sleep Facts:
- Our brain is very active during sleep. It is not only during REM, Rapid Eye Movement, stage of dreams but the entire time that we are ‘resting’ our brain is actually working harder than it does during the day.
- Sleep helps organize memories, master skills, perfect new information learned.
- During sleep, our digestion shifts to the heal and repair mode, termed the fasting or catabolic phase. This is when the body ‘cleans up’ after a hard day’s work. Digesting everything we put in our mouths is tough!
- During sleep, every cell and tissue of our body works differently. In a sense, every tissue has a separate to-do list during sleep.
- Adequate restful sleep is critical for higher-order thinking, problem-solving, creativity etc. In short, without proper sleep, you are only 25% as efficient at your job or life as you can be.
The state of mind in which we fall asleep determines how restorative the sleep is.
Here are 5 sleep hacks to have the most restful sleep:
Play soft, relaxing music just before bedtime. Music has a way of percolating down to our tissues and relaxes us deeply. When we relax before falling asleep then we get the most benefit from our rest.
Play any of the freely available guided meditations on YouTube. You can also check out the track I have made here. The tracks take us step-by-step to relaxing the body and mind. The spiritual angle also helps give us a healthier attitude.
If you’re feeling restless at bedtime try turning on a small fan for white noise. You may bring a small fountain into your bedroom for the sound. The last option is to play digital white noise from any online source.
Change the Sheets.
Some of us have mild allergies. The dust and mites in our bed sheets and mattress can trigger the allergy. This can disturb our sleep. Air out the mattress once every couple of months. Change your sheets if you suspect an allergy.
We often underestimate the power of smell to either calm or excite us. Go back to your childhood memory to find a smell that soothed you. Pine, cinnamon, cloves, lavender, or the Indian jasmine, can all be options. You can burn a fragrant oil, drop a little on your pillow, make a spice bag to put next to your bed, or even bring a potted plant indoors.
Whatever change you choose to make, remember you are gunning for deeper relaxation.
If you find that you tend to worry, then keeping a notepad and pen by your bed will give you a chance to write it all down. You can then choose to work on it in the morning. Remind yourself that sleep is an active and crucial part of your day when your body shifts focus to itself. For more information on how sleep affects health and for steps to deep muscle relaxation before bed, read the chapter Sleep Medicine in The Body Nirvana: More than just a weight loss book, HarperCollins, 2017, available on Amazon.
Our most important relationship is the one we have with ourselves. — The Body Nirvana: More than just a weight loss book