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My Sleep Hygiene Tips

Remember, there are only 2 things you should be doing in bed and they both start with S

 

  • It might sound boring, but try sticking to the same sleep schedule every day, even on weekends (go to bed and wake up at the same time)

  • Avoid caffeine from afternoon onwards

  • Exercise regularly, but not too late at night.  The endorphins released through exercising can interfere with sleep

  • Make sure you get enough sunlight exposure during the day

  • You might think alcohol will help you get off to sleep but it can ferment in the stomach and wake you up later

  • About an hour before bedtime, start winding down with a routine.  This sends messages to your brain that it’s time for sleep and will make it easier to fall asleep quickly.  This could include having a bath or shower (which helps lower your core temperature), drinking a herbal “sleep time” tea, listening to relaxing music, reading.  Give yourself time to think and reflect on your day.  If you are constantly entertaining your mind it doesn't get a chance to process the events of the day

  • Make sure your bed is comfy.  When you get in say to yourself or out loud “I love my bed”.  You want your brain to associate bed with good feelings.

  • Minimise potential disruptions from light and sound (white noise to mask loud noises, if you live in a noisy environment) and make sure the room is fairly cool.

  • Warm hands and feet in winter socks or with a hot water bottle.  Warming your extremities helps your core temperature to drop

  • No mobiles, iPad or devices in bed!!!!  Try not to use screens ½ an hour before bed. Turn on lamps or dim lights.

  • Don’t lie in bed awake.  You don’t want your brain to associate bed with lying awake, worrying about not being able to sleep.   If you can’t sleep for 20 minutes, get up and do something boring.   Clean your bathroom, prepare your tax return or read something fairly boring.  You don’t want to reward your brain with anything stimulating.

  • If you find your mind is racing, overanalysing, looping, shift your focus because what you focus on you amplify.  Here are some ways of doing this:

 

BREATHING

Breathe in for the count of four, hold for 2 and then out for 6.  The activates the parasympathetic response (the rest and digest response which is the opposite of the fight/flight response)

 

BODY SCAN

Take your attention to the tiny muscles around your eyes, focus on them and simply let them relax. Then move down your body to the jaw, neck and shoulders, arms, torso, legs, feet, each time focussing on those muscles and allowing them to relax, unwind and let go.  I can send you a recording to listen to

 

IMAGINE

A plane in the sky doing signwriting, calming words like sleep, relax, unwind. Count down from 100 in 7s writing your answers on a blackboard and rubbing them out and continuing.

Write any worries you have on a blackboard and then rub them out or write them in the sky and have them slowly disappear.

Imagine flicking a switch to turn off a lamp or turning off the engine in your car.  There’s so much you can do.  Get creative or just count sheep, whatever works.

If you're still struggling after following these tips contact me for a personalised session on 0434873842 or book online and we will identify and tackle the root causes.