6 Techniques for a Sound Sleep
Why sleep is so important and 6 techniques to create calm in the bedroom, for you and your kids.
Did you know that sleep deprivation used to be a torture technique? Anyone who has had babies will understand exactly what I’m saying. Imagine feeling sleep deprived for years and years, instead of months.
I’m certain that is why there are those signs on the back of people’s cars that say “Baby On Board”, because when you see that, you know to keep WAY clear, because that person is sleep deprived and their brain won’t be functioning properly.
I can sort of understand a little, as I stop breathing every 3 minutes when I’m asleep, which according to the doctors, really isn’t that bad as sleep apnoea goes. I have it sorted now, but it has taken years off my life and I went down the unfortunate track of finding hard stimulants to keep me awake.
According to sleep experts, stress is the number one cause of short-term sleeping difficulties.
Our jobs, families, money worries or illness put constant pressure on us, and affect our sleep patterns. Hopefully once these certain problems have passed, we can go back to our normal sleep routine, but sometimes long-lasting insomnia occurs.
So how much sleep do you actually need?
Everybody is different, and we need to keep in mind, that it’s the quality of sleep that we are getting that’s important. As a general rule, here is a guide:
- Newborns: 16–18 hours a day
- Preschool-aged children: 11–12 hours a day
- School-aged children: At least 10 hours a day
- Teens: 9–10 hours a day
- Adults: (including the elderly) 7–8 hours a day
A good night’s rest helps our bodies and minds rejuvenate. Sleep will keep your immune system healthy and will help you regulate your moods.
3 fun facts why sleep needs to be a priority in your life:
- It is stated that 60-80% of patients with depression report experiencing sleep disturbances of some kind
- When you are asleep your body can heal and repair your heart and blood vessels. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke
- A good night’s sleep can help to keep you in a good weight range.
In order to get a good night’s sleep, preparation and routine is the key. As always, the process begins with YOU. You need to acknowledge that sleep is integral to stress management and make sleep a priority over other activities.
We know that not every night will have the same in store for us. We will have situations that come up, a party, a late night meeting, a long phone call to a friend, kids being sick and needing attention, but if we can see that this isn’t the norm, and make the majority of our nights similar, it will benefit us in enormous ways, physically and mentally.
6 tips and tricks to prepare yourself for some lovely zzzzz’s:
- Limit alcoholic beverages – to max 1 or 2 in the afternoon/night (and ideally none!).
- Grab your last cup of caffeine no later than 2 in the afternoon.
- Limit your really hard core workouts to day time sessions, and use slow restorative Yoga to stretch and slow the body down. The same goes for your mental hard core training – keep it to day time. I read prolifically, and I always keep my neuroscience books for the day, and my romantic or funny fluff for night time.
- Try to keep a similar waking and sleeping time each day, including the weekends. Napping during the day will disrupt your sleep patterns.
- Have a dark room to help your amazing eyes send a signal to your amazing brain to process the sleep chemicals (melatonin) and sends it to your amazing body, and tells your body it’s time to go nigh-nighs.
- ‘Legs up the wall’ exercise: Sit sideways against a wall, with your hip up on the skirting board. Then gently lie down on your back and bring your legs up the wall. We call this position, Inverted Lake pose. 5 minutes in this position is said to be equivalent to 20 minutes deep rest and 20 minutes is equivalent to an hour. I like to put a guided meditation using ear buds when I do this pose. If you have tight hammies, then either bend the knees or bring the soles of the feet together and relax the knees out to the side.
Tell me in the comments – do you have trouble sleeping? What techniques work for you? I’d love to hear your stories.
With love and light,
P.S. Do you know someone, maybe a Mummy, who might find this to be a helpful read? Help them get some shut-eye by hitting one of the big buttons below.