Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Some Ideas To Help You Sleep

Two of my long term problems have been sleeping well and waking up well. Now I seem to have these under control  and I'll share with you what I have learnt.

Feeling Sleepy - First of all it's a mistake to go to bed before you feel sleepy. Don't go to bed just because it is bed time because if you're not sleepy you won't sleep. The biggest factor here is what time you got up the morning before. However, a trick to help you feel sleepy is to imagine someone yawning - if you think of someone yawning you will start to yawn too (I try to picture a group of people yawning).
Also don't spend any time in the bedroom before you feel sleepy. Early in the evening I check the bedroom is tidy and ready for me to just fall into bed.
Activity - I used to clear up the kitchen and load the dishwasher last thing before going to bed, but the rushing around getting things done would make me feel more energised. Now I try to get these things done earlier in the evening. It also means that when I do feel sleepy I can just brush my teeth and get into bed.
Incommunicado - When 'bed time' arrives I have a rule that I don't watch TV, use the phone, look at e-mail, Facebook or other forms of communication. Reading an e-mail late at night serves no purpose - I can't do anything, but I know that I can end up fretting about something overnight for no reason. Almost anything can wait till the morning. However, even though I call this 'bed time' I don't go to bed until I feel sleepy -  and boredom helps.
Temperature - I keep the bedroom cool at night. I don't turn the heating on and until the weather get's too cold I leave the bedroom window open 24 hours. My duvet is good and thick so I stay lovely and warm even though the room is cold.
Noise - And while I'm writing about the window, I prefer going to sleep with the general hum of the traffic outside (this is inner London) rather than the quiet of a closed window. If the window is closed the room is much quieter, but then little noises from the neighbours can be heard and they can be more disruptive. Traffic hum masks the small noises.

This is what I have found works for me, but the ideas came from Paul McKenna's book I Can Make You Sleep  - if you are having trouble sleeping I recommend this book. It contains lots of useful knowledge and understanding plus great strategies for better sleep.

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