Did you know that a lack of sleep can affect your happiness? Ask anyone that is suffering from sleep problems and I bet you a million dollars it impacts their life in some way. I know, personally, I feel like I have a hangover and have no energy, if I have under 8 hours sleep. This does not make me feel like a happy little piggy……are you getting enough sleep??
What can cause our sleep problems??? Well there are many reasons, but the following are some common ones:
- Prescription medicine: if you are taking any medication, at all, check with your Dr, pharmacist or Natropath if it may affect your sleep. Some pills are better taken in the morning.
- Anxiety: are you literally trying to go to sleep on a bed of worries? Your brain either wants to be awake: ready to think; up for action and basically turned on OR Your brain wants to be asleep…restful, calm and turned off. Are you telling your brain that it needs to be awake, thinking or worrying or are you giving it permission to shut down for the night?
- Are you a snorer? Apparently snoring is a major contributor for many people’s sleep problems…….I certainly know a few people who might suggest that their partners snoring is the bigger problem, but apparently your own snoring disrupts your breathing patterns and can give you a poor nights sleep.
- Are you eating/drinking your way to sleep problems?: Caffeine, eating too late and alcohol are major contributors to sleep problems. I know many think that alcohol helps with sleep but in fact it contributes to poor quality sleep.
- Is you health affecting your sleep?: Do you have pain? Are you overweight? Could you have a health condition that contributes to fatigue, e.g iron deficiency? Do you get enough physical activity in a day…..being physically tired helps you sleep. A visit to you Doctor or Natropath might help with some of these issues or maybe some lifestyle changes are called for.
- This one is my biggest problem and probably the easiest one to fix…….Do you go to bed too late? I feel buggered but stay up to see the end of a show or stay up to pick up teenagers etc?
Some sleepy tips:
- If you think you need to, see a Doctor or Natropath. Rule out medical reasons eg snoring/medication/sleep apnea etc.
- Watch what and when you eat/drink….Maybe no caffeine after 2pm, no food after 8pm? Cut back on alcohol. If you have to get up to go to the loo in the night, maybe restrict you fluid intake before bed.
- Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity, every day.
- If you have little ones that you need to tend to at night, try to get a nap in whenever you can and go to bed as early as you can, even if it only two or three times a week……..it will help.
- Have a routine at night…..shower, warm lemon drink, lay in bed, aromatherapy in your bedroom, make sure that you are comfy and relax. Reading helps some people, soft music, meditation,(source out cd’s or books to help with this), lavender oil, deep breathing, find natural sleep remedies from a Health Food shop or chemist, shut down your body one part at a time until you are asleep, count backwards from 500 counting by 3’s…bascially do not allow your brain to think it needs to be on high alert…give yourself permission to shut down. Shut down the thinking highway and prepare for sleep.
- If you have a lot on your mind make a list at 9pm and leave it until tomorrow.
- If you nap in the day but can’t sleep at night try stopping your nap.
- Have regular bed and wake up times to get your body in a pattern.
- Basically do what works for you….I know if I read I can never make it through a page, but I have a friend that will stay up half the night reading a good book…..maybe the tip there should be to read bad books. Listen to your body and keep trying until you find what works for you. We are all different and what works for one might not for another.
- I saw a show once that did a study that proved when we are tired we crave junk food……remember this and know that we should go to bed earlier to be healthier and happy as pigs in mud.
So nighty, night, sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite.