How to sleep better and calm your anxiety
Are you tired but wired?
Being wired and overtired is ruining the sleep of millions of people. If you're one of them, we hope you will enjoy today's podcast on how to improve both the quality and quantity of your sleep.
Those who suffer from lack of sleep will try almost anything to get a decent night's rest. But sometimes, what we think of as solutions are just aggravating the underlying problem.
Points covered in this week's show:
Being tired but wired increases anxiety
Being wired and overtired is ruining the sleep of millions of people. If you're one of them, read on to find out how to improve both the quality and quantity of your sleep.
Sleep loss or disturbed sleep can cause or increase: anxiety, stress, ADHD and more. It can make us feel unsettled and impair our memory, focus and strain our nerves.
When we're too exhausted to sleep
One of the most common misconceptions about sleep is that if we're tired enough it will just happen. Yet thousands of people fall into bed exhausted every night and then lay there wide-awake four hours.
How to prepare for a Good Night's Sleep
The secret to good sleep, is to be willing to prepare for it. Setting the scene and creating a routine that encourages restful sleep is the first step.
The trouble with a tired and wired mind is that it's hard for it to settle down. The challenge with this is that it does take a little effort and preparation to calm your mind and clear your head in preparation for sleep. Exhaustion makes this all the harder. But it is possible and the rewards can be quickly felt and appreciated.
Magnesium salt baths, tablets and/or drinks can help you sleep.
A magnesium deficiency increases the risk of insomnia, but if you address the issue, you’ll get a much better night’s sleep and improve your overall health.
In a study published in the Journal of Research in Medical Science, researchers split participants into two groups: one was given magnesium supplements over an eight-week period, while the other took a placebo. Those that received the supplements enjoyed a significant increase in sleep time and also had an easier time falling asleep.
How to create a good environment for sleep
Use blankets, throws and cushions to make your sleeping space feel soft and secure. Banish screens from your bedroom and devices like iPads and mobile phones. Use soft dim lighting, and if you find it relaxing, play some gentle classical music or sounds of nature softly in the background.
Experiment with colours lights and sounds that you find relaxing and try to make your bed inviting for sleep, not entertainment, Facebook, or anything else... just sleep.
An evening routine for peaceful sleep
The first priority in cultivating quality sleep is to cut out the things that can spoil it. This means avoiding stimulants like caffeine for several hours before you go to bed, it also means not drinking alcohol in the evening. Many people believe that alcohol can help you sleep but alcohol negatively affects the mind and nervous system and can cause many people to wake up feeling disturbed in the middle of the night. Alcohol my help you fall asleep more quickly, but research has shown that it affects the deeper REM stages of sleep that are essential to feeling rested the next day.
Television, computers, and video games are also stimulating to the nervous system and can make your mind feel busy and unsettled.
The first step for somebody having trouble sleeping, should be to practice relaxing alternatives to anything that can make it difficult for your mind to settle.
Warm baths with candles, epsom salts, relaxing essential oils like lavender, or rose, can help the muscles and the mind relax and unwind. Reading gentle and inspiring books can be soothing and settling.
Massaging the souls of your feet with sesame oil can help all that busy head energy move down through your body and help it feel grounded and relax.
Free your head from worries and relax
Sometimes you may have something specific on your mind that is affecting your sleep; for such times it's helpful to know some specific techniques that can help you clear your mind and and help you feel more calm and relaxed.
Perhaps the easiest way to do this and the method which requires the least effort on your part is to invest in a good quality hypnosis relaxation we've created a relaxation especially for this. It goes through gentle series of stages to help you relax your body and your mind, clear your head of any aggravating thoughts or worries, and settle down into the perfect state for sleep.
Try this bedtime breathing practice:
Lay on your back with your right-hand on your chest and your left hand on your belly and empty your lungs completely...
then take a slow deep breath in and count to four filling your lungs and feeling your hand over your stomach rise...
hold the breath for a count of two...
and then exhale slowly through your slightly open mouth for a count of seven and feel your chest and belly sink back down under your hands...
Keep breathing and counting your breaths for a couple of minutes with your full attention on your breath as you let tension drain away from your body.