Sleep Well

3000MelbMag Sleep Well Dana Atkin April 2014

Frustrating isn’t it? When you can’t sleep. You’ve had a big day, you’re tired and you can’t wait to get to bed. You snuggle in at 9:30pm; take a few deep breaths and think “Ahhh…yes. Sleep time.” That is until you roll over (for what feels like the one hundredth time) and check the clock. 1:00am – eek!

Research says that getting adequate sleep is good for you for a number of reasons. Some of these reasons are:

  1. Your nervous system: It improves concentration, mood and memory
  2. Your Immune System: When your immune system is well rested, it can defend your body easier and more effectively
  3. Your Cardio Vascular System: Getting adequate sleep may help to reduce heart rate variability and
  4. It’s good for over all body rest & rejuvenation

So, as you can tell from this simple overview, Sleep is pretty important for your health and wellbeing. Here are my top five sleep well (or get back to sleep) tips:

  1. Routine
    Creating a routine around bedtime for yourself teaches your body when you’re nearing sleep time. The best way to do this is to think about children and the way we teach them with a routine that it’s almost bedtime. Find a series of things to do that works for you as a bedtime routine and stick with it.
  2. Deep Breathing
    This one is obvious and we hear it all the time. That’s because it works. Try taking a deep breath in through the nose and out through the mouth. Do this a number of times to calm your nervous system.
  3. Aromatherapy
    Lavender is a lovely essential oil to use for this exact purpose. Be careful with this one though because too much lavender can actually have the opposite effect. Remember: a little to calm, a lot toenergise.Here’s where I get most of my essences and essential oils from: http://www.spiritoflightessences.com
  4. Meditation
    This one is important because often the reason we are unable to get back to sleep is that we have all these thoughts running through our mind. Meditation can help us to control our thoughts rather than letting them run away with us and the right ones can also teach us to simply let those thoughts come and go rather than lingering in the first place.try this one: getsomeheadspace.com
  5. No Electricals
    Yep. That’s no phone, no T.V. and no computer games in the bedroom. This feeds into the routine factor. If your body is used to watching TV in bed, then you cannot expect that it will want to sleep there if you’ve spent all evening teaching it that it’s actually for being wide awake not sleeping.If you must have your phone in the bedroom at night (many people use it as an alarm clock) then put it on to airplane mode to stop the electrical signals from interfering with the electrical signals going on in your body.

The long-term effects of a lack of sleep can have dramatic effects on the body so if you’re not sleeping as well as you would like to be, then give one of the above tips a try – your body will thank you for it.

3 thoughts on “Sleep Well

  1. Hi Dana,

    I happened to find this article (re Sleep well) while checking out your website while looking for a different article, but the website doesn’t seem to have a search option, other than your Archives link….

    I came across you and your articles in the August edition of ‘3000Melbourne’ in which you discuss “what your immune system is trying to tell you” which I found interesting.

    However, it seems that maybe there’s more….recognizing that your articles in such publications, no doubt, are limited by word limits and the like.

    So firstly, is this particular article available on your webpage as yet?

    And secondly, is there more of your wisdom to share about this topic?

    Kind regards, Avi

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