“There is a time for many words, and there is also a time for sleep” Homer

The Dalai Lama said ‘Sleep is the best meditation’ and most of us would agree it is one of our most basic human needs.

There is no substitute for sleep. There is no pill we can take or ways we can cheat our bodies into thinking we have caught up on lost sleep.

Not only do we feel better after a good nights rest, we look more ‘alive’ and have more energy. Importantly, our bodies have had a chance to rejuvenate and repair at a cellular level. This means sleep has a very significant part to play in the recovery from injury and the management of pain. You may notice that when you have had a few bad nights that your pain sensitivity and/or your ability to cope with your pain changes – stubbing your toe when you are tired seems to hurt so much more!

In our body and mind training we delve more into why this is and what makes a good night sleep.

But for now, here are few of our top tips:

  • Light, noise and temperature are important as these have an effect on the chemical and hormonal levels in our bodies.  For example darkness stimulate melatonin which induces sleepiness!
  • Avoid nicotine, alcohol and caffeine before bed as these stimulate our central nervous system, increasing our heart rate and adrenaline levels.
  • Avoid checking social media or your work emails before preparing to sleep.  You know that these will stimulate your mind, adrenaline and heart rate.  Surely these can wait for the morning!
  • Try to get into a routine of relaxation before you want to sleep – maybe a hot bath, meditation or reading a book.
  • Go to sleep when you are tired.  This sounds silly but if you are rubbing your eyes are yawning this will be a good time to go to sleep.  You will be tapping into you natural circadian rhythm.
  • Stop checking your clock!  If you wake up try to avoid checking the time and worrying that you have to be awake in three hours!  Just roll over and trust your alarm will wake you for work!
  • If you are tossing and turning then maybe get up.  Go and have a glass of water, listen to some relaxing music or read.  When you notice you are sleepy again go back to bed.
  • Avoid high suspense/action tv before bed!  Think about what this will do to your adrenaline levels.

There are lots of different things you can try to help.  Try a few of these or think of things that work for you.  We always love to get more ideas so if you have your own, why not email us and let us know – contact us.

Happy sleeping.

There are lots of interesting articles online but here are a few link is you want some further reading.

Sleepcouncil – Get a Good Nights Sleep booklet 

NHS – sleep

Sleep foundation

 

Jenny Chancellor

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