What keeps you awake at night? Job security, paying the bills, worrying about a loved one’s health, kids struggling in school, relationship challenges? All of these examples can cause you to worry, and fear saps your vital energy. Fear can affect you on many levels of your life, in ways you may not even fully realize. Here are some points to consider: Your sleep can be disturbed by fear and stress. Although we should spend about a third of our lives sleeping, half of all adults don’t get enough. Sleep matters because getting adequate sleep is essential to health and peak performance and will help you cope with the stress of everyday life. You’ll feel stronger and clearer, and be less likely to react to situations in a way that will trigger your stress response. Here are some e-zzz ways to a better night’s sleep:
- Go to Bed and get up at the same time every day.Your body has its unique internal clock that it set for the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep a night is what healthy adults need. Going to bed at the same time – even on the weekends- helps that clock become – and stay -regulated.
- Establish a Relaxing Bedtime Routine. Whether it’s taking a relaxing bath, reading in bed for a bit, or listening to some soothing music, it’s important to send the message to your brain and body that it’s time for rest. Research has shown that listening to classical or new age music helps insomniacs fall asleep – the body matches the rhythm of the music and slows the heart rate.
- Skip Stimulants. Forget that after-dinner espresso or late night celebratory cigar. It’ll keep you awake. Don’t rely on alcohol to lull you to sleep. As its effects wear off; the brain grows more alert. And only use sleeping pills for short-term relief…better to establish your natural sleep/wake cycle.
- Exercise Regularly. One of the myriad benefits of exercise is its impact on sleep – not only will you fall asleep more quickly (in about half the time as non-exercisers), sleep more restoratively, and feel better rested in the a.m., but a recent study showed that exercisers sleep an hour longer, on average.
- Learn to Value Sleep. To value life fully, you need to value sleep. Your body needs to rest, and you need to respect that primary function. We live in a society that thrives on the adrenaline rush of the 24/7 cycle, but your body needs time to restore itself nightly. If you want to be alert and fully functioning during the day, you owe it to yourself to get a full night’s sleep. So, say no to those all-nighters and goodbye to late-night parties – it’s not worth it!
See my recommended books in the Post Wellness Center and explore ways to increase wellness in your life so you can be your whole self.