Getting Better Sleep
Not getting enough sleep is a common problem for us Americans. We run around sleep deprived and stressed out. This takes a heavy toll on our bodies and degrades our health. The most important thing that you can do to improve your health is to improve your sleep.
The first thing to mention is the paradox that the more tired you are, the less likely you are to sleep well. This is why it is essential that you listen to your body and sleep when you’re tired. If you can’t sleep at that time, consider taking a nap to boost your energy. If you stay awake through this call for sleep, you are likely to hit that “second wind” which makes it much more difficult to fall asleep later.
The key to good sleep really is listening to your body and sleeping when it tells you to. The problem is that American society has us set up to fail. Not many work places are going to let you take a nap. But consider using your 1/2 hour break for that. Eating small snacks on your 15 minute breaks ans getting in a nap might be the solution to your work fatigue.
Reducing your stress goes a long way to improving your sleep. There are a billion posts out there are stress reduction and coping skills (some are mine :P) so I’m not going to get into stress reduction practices in this post. But I will mention that you should use your stress busting skills and get into relaxation mode about an hour before trying to go to sleep. Do something that is relaxing but not overly engaging. Mediation is a great option.
Healthy eating equates to healthy sleep. Eating the proteins in the morning and having a light supper will improve your sleep. It is a good idea to eat at least an hour before you go to sleep. Avoid foods that will produce heart burn.
Lastly, embrace your sleep. Set your alarm clock for when you want to get up but then don’t count the hours. It isn’t about how many hours you sleep but about the quality of sleep you get. Just lay down with the goal to rest. Just relax yourself and close your eyes. Listen to relaxing music. Focus on your breathing. Don’t fight the anxious thoughts and worries that like to creep in when we lay down. Acknowledge that they are there and let them be. Keep focusing on your breathing and let those thoughts peek in. Just breathe. Sleep will find you. Breathe.