LAURA MORRISSEY COUNSELLING·THURSDAY, 21 FEBRUARY 2019
I recently posted a blog about sleep, takin from my Anxiety Workbook ( available on Amazon!). It highlighted how important sleep is to our mood and mental health in general. I shared how differently I felt after having a good nights sleep and how it made me realise that I was actually sleep deprived. I was not going off to sleep well. I was waking up at regular intervals throughout the night and then was wide awake from 4 or 5 am.
My brain was whirring, I was composing emails that I needed to write the next day, adding to my to do list..as you can tell, none of which needed to be done at his hour of the night or morning! But I could not seem to stop the loop, and a loop it certainly was. After several hours, my mind would return, as if by magic to the original email that I had composed…and not yet sent!
I decided that I needed to address this part of my life. I researched sleep, because that is often how I tackle a problem and set up my own action plan. I like a plan! This is what I learned, some I used, some I haven’t yet..
- Sleep needs routine. Regular bedtimes, not trying to ‘catch up’ on sleep at the weekends.
- Lavender helps me to sleep – but be warned find you own aromatherapy oil as for some, lavender is a stimulant!
- Have the room as dark as possible. Apparently, blackout eye masks help sleep better than ear plugs.
- Have a sleep hygiene routine, it warns your body that sleep is imminent. Have a bath, a shower if you prefer..relax, turn down lights.
- Do not use your bedroom for TV…use it for sleep.
- Turn off your phone ( sorry!), tablets etc by 8;30 or 9pm. The white light stimulates the brain, firing patterns are activated and slope is the furthest thing from it’s desire!
- Learn to meditate. There are loads of apps etc available, there will be one out there that suits you. It is not a contest, you cannot get it wrong! If your mind floats off, that is ok, just recognise it and re-focus on the meditatio
- Try not to exercise too vigorously late in the evening
- Make sure your bed, pillow etc is suitable for you.
- Ensure you have warm feet! But have bedding that keeps you at an optimum temperature.