How to get better sleep
Many people are not sleeping well so I share with you how to get better sleep. When we sleep well we are energised, healthy and able to cope with life’s challenges. However, disturbed sleep makes us irritable, unable to concentrate, lethargic and unwell.
During sleep our immune system works to maintain our bodies in good order and repairs any areas that need help.
By sleeping well you are less at risk of getting a chronic disease such as heart problems, diabetes or obesity related to an ongoing lack of sleep.
Each person has their own sleep requirement typically it will be 8 -9 hours for most people. Some manage on less but some need more. If you wake up feeling lethargic and under par the chances are you are not sleeping long enough and not getting quality sleep. Read on and find out how to get better sleep.
Sugar and Energy
I am sure you have reached for a sweet treat to boost your energy on a tired day. As a one off you can get away with that but if it becomes a habit then you will experience blood sugar fluctuations and ultimately, you put yourself at risk of getting diabetes. When the sugar habit kicks in you will have energy high and lows that lead to poor sleep patterns.
Sugar is a potent ingredient and is highly addictive, I know because I battle sugar and chocolate cravings when I experience stress in my life. I “get clean” and live happily until stress returns. If I don’t catch it in time, I am back to eating sweet treats again.
Are you stressed?
I see daily the impact of stress for my patients and this is why I encourage you to look at stress because it is so detrimental to your health.
We all respond to life in different ways and different things stress us. I recommend that you understand what the cause is and that you take steps to address it quickly.
For example, what is going on and what can do you do to change it? Are you overloaded?
Yes? Ask for help, perhaps a work colleague or family member has time to take over some of your jobs. This could lighten the load quickly.
Is your expectation of what you can do realistic? Do you need to do everything? Could you do less?
Is Self Care part of your daily routine? If not, it should be. No one else can look after you that is your job. My mantra is self care is you are number ONE on the list – if you are not well how can you look after anyone else?
When did you last have a holiday? I plan a break every 3 – 4 months so I can recharge and take some time for me just to relax. In our current situation of the pandemic creativity is important! Think outside of the box to find different things to do at home as the saying goes a change is as good as a rest.
Can you talk to someone? Just talking it through with someone can often give us clarity and a new approach. Talking to someone allows you to lighten the load, whatever your concern it will be more manageable once you have talked about it.
Have you got stuck on the hamster wheel and not looked up for a while? Is life a pattern of get up go to work eat lunch or not work some more, come home late, sleep and get up and do it all again?
The impact of stress
Sleep deprivation is caused by stress. A lack of sleep leads to anxiety and we may find it hard to concentrate or make decisions. In addition, we become irrational and irritable and this can put a strain on our relationships. It creates a vicious cycle that can lead to depression and other mental health issues.
If this resonates with you then it could be time for some new habits.
Daily habits for good sleep
Create a haven in your bedroom make sure it is a clutter free peaceful environment. Do you know how old your mattress and pillow are? They need to be changed regularly and of course, they need to be comfortable. Many people sleep so much better with black out curtains or blinds to stop the light coming in
It is a good idea to prioritise relaxation for at least an hour before bed. Meditate or do some deep breathing both are excellent ways to relax. Blue light from electronic devices over stimulates us so put them away two hours before bed. Avoid other stimulation such as horror or thriller films / books before sleep. Speaking of stimulation, alcohol, coffee, spicy foods and sweet foods are not good before bed, they cause the digestive system more work when it should be dormant so you can rest.
If you get to bed and find your mind is not shutting down keep a notepad and pen by your bed. Write your thoughts and “must remember to do’s” down. This allows you to brain dump and then go off to sleep.Write your to do list for tomorrow before you go to bed then you can just go straight to sleep.
Make time for exercise, it is good for our overall physical and mental health and it makes you tired so you sleep better.
Many people are magnesium deficient so taking a supplement two hours before bed can really help.
A lavender bath before bed works for me and you can use lavender oil on a tissue under your pillow to ease you into sleep.
Homeopathy and Sleep
If your sleep is regularly disturbed there may be more to consider and I would recommend that we explore what is happening for you.
If your sleep issue is short term the following remedies could help:
When you have an overactive mind, you just can’t switch off either because you aren’t relaxed or because you are overexcited then try Coffea 30c. Take half an hour before bedtime and repeat up to 3 times if needed during the night.
Shift workers suffer from disturbed body clocks try using Cocculus 200c each bedtime. Use one daily for up to 10 days.
When you are emotionally upset through a loss, disappointment or grief try Ignatia 200c in the early stages – up to 10 days. Should your feelings continue then move on to Nat Mur 1m for a few days. If these remedies have you still need help please contact me.
Exams create lots of pressure from studying or trying to achieve deadlines. You are feel burnt out but keep pushing on; if this is you try Nux Vomica 30c. Take half an hour before bedtime and up to 3 doses during night.
There are many other remedies so don’t despair if these remedies haven’t resonated with you. I will find the right one!