Wirral transformational mind coach and therapist Alison Blackler of 2minds says what you believe about your sleep is the secret ingredient to getting enough shut-eye each night
Do you lie awake at night thinking that you can’t sleep? Do you say “I am a poor sleeper” or “I can’t sleep”, or ”I always wake up at 3am and then can’t get back to sleep”.
Do you find your mind is super active and often running over the same thoughts all night?
We need sleep for our physical, emotional and mental health.
Quality of life
Many of us can cope with not sleeping properly for a couple of nights, particularly if we are excited about a forthcoming event. The problems really start when this becomes the norm.
It becomes harder and harder to cope with day to day life without good sleep and we start to use coffee or energy drinks to try and override our exhaustion.
Below I offer some common and useful tips for improving quantity and quality of sleep. Firstly though, it is important to check in with our language as our unconscious minds need clear instructions about what you want rather than what you don’t want.
It is our conscious, rational mind that rests at bedtime. The unconscious mind, which runs our body, is constantly working.
We need to give it clear messages about what you want… whatever you tell yourself becomes your reality. Our self-talk needs to be “I can have a restful sleep”, or “I feel tired and am ready to sleep”, ”I feel safe and will have a full night’s sleep”.
Programme your mind
We can programme ourselves to wake up at a specific time by giving a clear message to your mind so make sure this is the time that you want. Remember what you believe about your sleep is the secret ingredient to being successful.
And here are eight simple lifestyle tips than can help you get a good night’s sleep:
- Keep regular sleep hours – going to bed and getting up at roughly the same time every day will programme your body to sleep better. Choose a time when you’re likely to feel tired and sleepy.
- Create a restful sleeping environment – your bedroom should be a peaceful place for rest and sleep. Temperature, lighting and noise are important, as is a comfortable bed.
- Exercise regularly – moderate exercise on a regular basis, such as swimming or walking, can help relieve some of the tension built up over the day. Make sure that you don’t do vigorous exercise too close to bedtime.
- Avoid stimulants – too much food or alcohol, especially late at night, can interrupt your sleep patterns. Alcohol creates a shallow sleep, you may fall asleep initially, but it will disrupt your sleep later on in the night. Nicotine is also a stimulant.
- Try to relax before bed – have a warm bath, listen to quiet music or do some gentle yoga to relax the mind and body. TVs and mobile devices in the bedroom can disrupt sleep.
- Breathing – focusing on your breathing settles the mind and reduces blood pressure. Breathe in through your nostrils and out gently through your mouth. You can focus on relaxing each part of your body in turn.
- Write away your worries – if you tend to lie in bed thinking about everything you have to do tomorrow, set aside time before bedtime to write them down and make plans to think about how to resolve them for the next day.
- If you can’t sleep, get up – don’t lie there worrying about it. Get up and do something you find relaxing until you feel sleepy again, then go back to bed.
You can find Alison on Facebook, click here, and on Twitter: @AlisonBlackler