Sleeping Problems

Having sleeping issues can be a real problem.  It can lead to reduced performance or anxiety.  Our emotional problems are more difficult to deal with, if we are already tired.

Fortunately, sleep problems can often be behavioural.   It is good to check there are no issues with a medical doctor however barring that, there are some easy things to try.

1.  Get enough sunlight.  No sunlight – reduced melatonin, the sleep hormone.  Conversely, a nice dark room at night.

2.  Get out and about or some exercise.  Doesn’t have to be hard core, maybe a walk.  Body needs to be tired to sleep.

3.  Keep a routine.  We are creatures of habit.

4.  Do not make up for lost sleep by having a long nap the next day.  There is only so much sleep you need.  If you take it during the day, you won’t need it at night.  Unless you like a siesta and are happy sleeping less at night.

5.  Everyone is different but most adults need about 6-8 per night.

6. Unless you have been having trouble for a while, having less sleep for a night or two doesn’t necessarily have to affect your life.  It may not even affect your productivity.  You may feel differently but that doesn’t mean you can’t be creative or useful.

7.  What are your expectations? 8 hours uninterrupted sleep?  Maybe it’s time to lower your expectations,  especially for uninterrupted sleep.  We wake more easily as we get older.  Waking up doesn’t devalue our sleep.

8. Depending on what wakes you up and where you are in your sleep cycle it may be up to 45 minutes before you get sleepy again.  Don’t get frustrated, get up if you feel wide awake or read a book.  You will know when you are sleepy again as you will feel colder and start to yawn.

9. Try not to get frustrated with yourself. Maybe try a book or music to relax.  Or even some free podcast self hypnosis tracks.   NO back lit electronics for a hour at least before bed.

10.  Eating or drinking is a tricky one, try to remember what works for you.  Milky drinks aren’t a great idea unless they are already part of your routine.  Same as food.

11.  Lastly and maybe most  important.  Don’t worry about how much you sleep.  It puts more pressure on yourself.  Just another thing you have to be good at.  That’s not fair.

Unless you are a chronic insomniac, you are not harming yourself.  Do a few things to waken yourself up in the morning, music, hot shower, exercise and then put that night behind you.  You assume you will not be as productive when tired but who knows really?  The altered state may be a new way to look at things – hopefully for a short time