“Sleep is the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.”
~ Thomas Dekker
On Wednesday morning I woke up at 4am. The bedroom was way too hot (see below for the optimum temperature for sleep). I gave myself 10 minutes to get back to sleep and, when I didn’t, decided to get up and start work for the day. I re-framed the situation as an opportunity to use the two extra hours to progress a project I’m working on.
When I turned on my PC I discovered it was #InternationalWellbeingWednesday, and that the theme for 2018 was all about getting a good night’s sleep! How timely!!
By late afternoon I was feeling really tired and my ability to focus and be productive had fallen away dramatically. The loss of those two valuable hours of good quality sleep had caught up with me.
Good quality sleep
Good quality sleep is one of the three main pillars that support our well-being (nutrition and movement being the other two). Despite what many of us believe, it is impossible to be in good health and not have enough quality sleep because, there isn’t one facet of our mental, emotional or physical performance that’s not affected by the quality of our sleep. Sleep allows our bodies to repair and enables our brains to consolidate and process the information it’s gathered during the day.
The recommended amount of sleep
So how much quality sleep do we need? The recommended amount of sleep for the average adult ranges from 7 hours to 9.
Are you struggling to get 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep .......
If you are struggling to get 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep, here are four things that research shows helps us to sleep better:
- Stick to a bedtime ritual. If you have difficulty falling asleep, a regular bedtime routine is one of the keys to a good night’s sleep. It will help you wind down, prepare for bed and transition to sleep. Your routine depends on what works for you, but the most important thing is working out a routine and sticking to it.
2. The ideal environment for sleep. An ideal environment for sleep is relaxing, quiet, dark, and relatively cool, with a comfortable bed and minimal clutter. If stray light is a problem, fit thick curtains. If you're disturbed by noise consider using earplugs.
Shock! Horror! - you should not have a TV in your bedroom – the sleep experts recommend that the bedroom be reserved for sleep and sex only. The blue light from electronic devices makes it harder to get to sleep.
3. The optimum temperature for sleep. The recent hot weather has pushed up the temperature of our bedrooms with the result that many people have struggled getting to sleep, and/or staying asleep. If it’s too hot, it can be a psychological challenge for our body to get into the ideal state for restful sleep. The solution is to create a nice cool environment for sleep and the recommended temperature for a bedroom is around 19 degrees Celsius.
4. Sleep on the correct mattress. You wouldn’t run a marathon or trek to the South Pole without the right gear and yet despite spending a third of our lives sleeping, many of us sleep on the wrong mattress or a mattress that’s simply too old.
In a small 2009 study, 59 healthy men and women slept for 28 consecutive nights on their regular mattresses, then another 28 nights on new, medium-firm mattresses. They were asked to evaluate their stress levels based on factors like worrying, racing thoughts, nervousness, irritability, headaches, trembling and more. The new beds resulted in “a significant decrease in stress,” according to the study, possibly because of the related increase in sleep quality and decrease in pain associated with the firmer setup.
The fact is, when your mattress offers the correct support and comfort, and you have enough space, you’re more likely to move around less, wake less and so, you are less likely to wake up feeling tired or aching.
Bonus tip: Develop a Sleep Mind-Set.
As a mind management coach, I help people normalise their sleep patterns and to get back to sleeping properly. This includes overcoming negative or intrusive thoughts, falling asleep relatively quickly, staying asleep throughout the night, and getting up at the desired time the next day.
Here’s an example of just one of the sleep tools I share with my clients - "Monkey Mind" Brain Calmer - Get to Sleep Tool!
If you’d like to explore how I can help you improve your sleep, or overcome insomnia, let’s sit down for a free no-obligation conversation. To arrange your meeting call me on - 021 056 8389 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you'd like to go ahead and get started asap, you can book your coaching session using the Book Now button.
Performing Under Pressure Workshop
Most people will experience pressure at some point in their lives and a certain amount can be healthy, but there can be times when it seems like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. For many, the pressure builds and builds until it becomes just too much to face and they endure a life blighted by stress. It doesn’t have to be that way. Avoiding stress and coping with pressure is possible once you know how.
I’ve developed a one day workshop to share some of the pressure management skills I routinely help my stressed and anxious clients develop. The workshop will be held on the following two dates - 3 March and 18 August. Click HERE to find out more about the workshop and to secure your place at one of the two workshops.
Have a restful, restorative week.
Tony specializes in helping people to 'manage and change their minds' to achieve success and well-being in life, work and business. Tony's particular area of expertise is in helping people perform under pressure and gain freedom from worry, anxiety and stress. Tony’s solution focused approach to coaching uses a range of techniques drawn from the fields of co-active coaching, professional hypnosis, positive psychology and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP).