How much sleep do you need?
Each night I listen to ‘sounds of the sea’ on my Alexa, after having an indulgent bath and I’m lucky to say that I sleep all the way through (most nights) until my very rude alarm wakes me ready to start the whole hectic cycle of my daily life again. Someone very close to me is the complete opposite and is often awake in the early hours of the morning, unable to doze back off again. He isn’t the only one to suffer sleep deprivation, in fact, 16 million people in the UK mirror his problem.
A good night's sleep promotes many important factors such as controlling your appetite, improvement of your brain function and lowers your risk of depression. Continuous lack of sleep can affect us during the day. My daughter is a fine example, if she lacks sleep because we have had a busy weekend, her personality changes. She becomes angry and miserable and quite often makes silly mistakes or forgets things.
There are many things that prevent us from sleeping. Often we are not completely sure what the causes are. Some of us can link it to stress and anxiety, excess worry and fear, and unhelpful habits. Whatever the cause, the most effective way of treating a sleep disorder is to uncover the root problem and deal with it.
Hypnotherapy can help uncover this, and will also give you the tools to help change any related bad habits, negative thought patterns, or problem issues.
Once these have been addressed and treated, it can help you fall into a natural lull and establish tranquil nights.
Other things can help ensure a restful night’s sleep. It is essential a healthy bedtime routine is established. Did you know regular exercise aids a good night's sleep? This is best done no later than two hours before you want to go to sleep, as when you work out, it releases stress hormones into the body which enables the body to stay alert. That said, I know of many who can work out late into the evening and have a completely wonderful night's sleep. The message really is, that we are all different and we should listen to our body and mind.
Let me share a few things that work for me and some of my friends to ensure relaxation which will hopefully lead to a restful night...
I always make sure the window in my bedroom is just slightly open with a very cool temperature. The ideal temperature for your bedroom is 18.3’C give or take a couple of degrees.
When my bedlinen has been washed, dried (preferably outside on the washing line), and ironed to a crisp feel. I know my night’s sleep will feel like pure indulgence.
Before bed a nice cup of ‘sleepy tea’ i.e. something without caffeine such as chamomile. Make sure it's not too late in the evening though as you definitely don’t want to be up all night going to the loo!
Reading a good book, with low lighting. My favourite book of all time is A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini if anyone was looking for a recommendation!
More and more of us have taken up walking during the lockdown. This was a hobby of mine way before the ‘lockdown days’. I enjoy nothing more than a brisk, long walk breathing in the fresh air and admiring the views. I always seem to sleep better after one of my trails.
Many of us feel like wine is a perfect way to relax, and I agree. However, it can hinder sleep because even though alcohol has sedative effects that can induce feelings of relaxation and help you fall asleep more quickly, it is also linked to poor sleep quality and duration leading to sleep disruption and insomnia symptoms.
Headspace is a great meditation app and can be downloaded onto your phone or laptop.
The BBC has recently launched Headroom which is an online support network offering not only advice and education services but tips and stories together with relaxing, calming music compilations intended to help people cope with the challenges of lockdown. This service looks pretty relevant to this topic, but I have only glanced through the site and would welcome any feedback you have.
We all have different problems and issues which means we need to be diverse in our investigations and treatments of them. If you are struggling to find something that works for you, then personalised 1-2-1 hypnotherapy could be the answer.
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