Sleep! It’s what we all need every day, but something that most of us don’t get enough of.
Sleep is so important, it’s the one time of the day that our Brains get to rest and rebuild. Although, even when we’re asleep, our brains are still working and creating dreams, nightmares and managing our body’s functions and nervous system.
Getting good quality sleep is important and simply sleeping for the go to 8 hours is no good if you are waking up every few hours. Of course, we all require different hours of sleep too, some people can run on 6 hours, some need 8 hours.
Generally I sleep well most nights, but if I feel stressed or down, then it will take me a long time to get to sleep. I will normally sleep through the night in that case, but it will take me 1-3 hours to get to sleep. Then I end up only getting 4-5 hours and I wake feeling very tired and not motivated at all.
My job can be quite stressful sometimes, so I will quite often lay there worrying about what the next day brings and I can’t shake that feeling. The only thing that will get me to drift off is turning on a podcast and then falling sleep with it on. Often, if I feel that I’m stressed, I will pre-empt this and start with the podcast on as soon as I go to bed.
Another thing I have found to help me is to stop drinking fluids 90mins or so before going to bed, as this will reduce my need to get up to use the bathroom during the night.
The biggest thing I have found lately, is that I have been going to bed 30mins earlier than usual. If we feel stressed or worried about the next day, I think a lot of us will stay up later – in the thought that we’re delaying the start of the new working day and feeling like it’s helping us mentally. When in fact all we’re doing is delaying sleep, and looking to start the day we are so worried about with less sleep and feeling even worse about it.
So, I find that going to bed 30mins earlier actually gives me a buffer time, so that if it does take me an hour to fall to sleep, I’m falling asleep quicker than what I would normally have done by.
Lastly, consistency is key. I tend to try to be in bed by 10.30pm each night, even on weekends. Of course, if I’m going out or seeing friends this will be later. But, if I’m not doing that, then it’s 10.30pm on the weekends too, and that way the routine is easier to adhere to.
The thing about sleep is that it’s all relative. There is no one stop solution, as everyone is different and some techniques will work for some people, while other techniques may make someone’s quality of sleep even worse. What works for you?