How to conquer sleepless nights?
How to Conquer Sleepless Nights?
This week I saw an article that said 4 out of 5 people in the UK have disturbed sleep and that half of the population get six hours of sleep or less. Which is a little scary, considering scientists have proven that the average adult needs approximately 8 hours of sleep.
This can of course vary from person to person – some people require less and some more (like me!). The dangers of sleep deprivation are many, continued sleep deprivation is the equivalent of being drunk and not only could one be a danger to the people around but significantly affect their health too.
Sleep gives our body and mind time to rest and regenerate, studies show that adequate amounts of sleep can help people suffering from anxiety and depression, help to lose weight, can help prevent Alzheimer’s, diabetes and heart disease and generally improve one’s mental wellbeing. But I’m sure you’ve heard of the benefits of sleep before.
There are multiple reasons that people aren’t getting enough sleep, people have busy schedules that don’t allow for so much time in bed, some people suffer from sleep apnoea and some people are kept up by anxiety. I am no stranger to being kept up by a racing mind, before ‘Conquering Life’ I used to think that my restless nights were just something I was going to have to deal with. I’d spend hours tossing and turning, willing sleep to take me away, but instead I’d think about everything – conversations of the day, things I was worried about, things from the past, plans for the future… basically anything and everything. I’d get so frustrated with myself and this anger at myself and my lack of sleep did nothing to help the problem.
Anxiety was keeping me up all night and I am a person, as I have discovered through trial and error, that needs approximately 9 hours of sleep every night to be a happy functioning human being. When I first started Conquering Life I didn’t think it would change anything, especially not my difficult nights and I was very happily wrong.
By learning how to work through my many anxieties I found that sleep was suddenly a much more pleasant and easy experience. Here are some tips for those of you struggling with anxiety before bed:
If you spend 20 to 30 minutes in bed trying to sleep with no luck and a noisy mind, stop and get up. Yes, get up!
Spending a long time struggling to get to sleep will just get you frustrated and will eventually lead to a negative association with your bed and sleep.
Don’t spend time on your laptop or mobile, but take a little walk around and then try and write some of your thoughts down- the thoughts that have been nipping at the edges of your mind.
Write it all down and then tell yourself that all of these thoughts can wait until the morning, because no amount of worrying now will have any effect.
Take a deep breath and hold in the air for a moment before releasing it.
Now climb back into bed and carry your deep breathing with you- become aware of your slow deep inhales and the equally slow exhales. Let your mind fill with breaths and soon you’ll find you’re Conquering life and sleep.