Sleeping your way to better health is absolutely crucial to health and well being. It’s normal to have an occasional bad night’s sleep – this happens to all of us. But did you know that up to 30% of adults have regular nights of sleeplessness? And if you worry about not sleeping, that will make things even worse. Worries about insomnia upsets sleep patterns, which can lead to sleep deprivation. It is suggested that we aim for a good night’s sleep of between 7 – 8 hours minimum per night.
Good quality sleep
During sleep our bodies start to actually recover and repair. The body ‘spring cleans’ itself (this is known as autophagy) and it is at this specific time where we mop up a lot of waste that has accumulated in our cells. After a good night’s sleep we wake up feeling refreshed and ready for whatever the day ahead has to offer us. But don’t forget, we need to focus on the quality as well as the quantity of our sleep.
My Top Tips – focusing on 3 distinct areas:
- The bedroom environment – this needs to be comfortable, not too warm (around 17 degrees centigrade), dark and with no screens and no distractions
- Your physical and mental state – you need to feel relaxed, having had plenty of fresh air and good morning light, have exercised, and have a calm mind
- A good bedtime routine – perhaps having had a warm bath, a milky drink, no scary thrillers and not too much drama in the 2 hours before bedtime, some meditation, or breathing techniques, a little reading or listening to music
If all else fails
If you simply cannot get to sleep, or wake up and can’t get back to sleep, just simply rest instead. Think of restful ways to put you into a state of relaxation. Have you tried Yoga Nidra? This is a Yoga Sleep meditation that takes you through a number of different layers of self, from initial relaxation through to externalisation, leaving you with a sense of wholeness. Yoga Nidra is a simple practice and it is taught lying down, guided by a teacher. There are numerous free apps and tracks you can download that you follow at a time to suit you. The major benefits are that it helps in slowing us down and chilling us out, whilst relieving muscular, emotional, and mental tension.
It’s ok to lie there and to just be in a calm state, to be still and peaceful. And if you are taking short restful breaks during the day, or even afternoon naps, you may find that you sleep better at night.
I hope you enjoy my tips on how to apply Sleep Magic to your life. Read more Monday Motivation blogs HERE.
Help to stay motivated – come and stay with us in our beautiful cottage apartments and make the most of our fantastic onsite training facilities, nestled on the outskirts of Dartmoor National Park.