There are so many things going on in our lives these days. We are constantly busy, rushing around, keeping “to do lists” in our heads and racing through life at 100 miles an hour.
Phew.. is it any wonder we have trouble sleeping?
It doesn’t help that other people constantly pressure us, and that we feel guilty if we do take a little time for ourselves. The thing we often lose sight of is that unless we look after ourselves, we cannot be there for everyone else.
So what can we do about it?
Often, we cannot change our lives – kids still have to be taken to hockey games, we have to prepare meals, and workplaces all sorts of demands on us, add to that the need to fit some exercise in somewhere and that makes for a full day every day.
If we want to improve our sleep, we need to allow our minds to slow down, and to be restful. The only way most of us will ever get the time to unwind and relax a little is if we schedule it into our days. Just 20 – 30min can make a world of difference.
Try getting up 20minutes early, before anyone else, practice being still and quiet. Enjoy the sound of the silence.
During the day
Allow yourself to take lunch, get out of the office, go for a walk, or to a coffee shop, or, even better, sit outside in a park or by the canal. Breathe, watch the world go by and taste your lunch.
In the evening
Schedule some me time before bed. Turn off the electronic devices, dim the lights, be quiet and still, maybe listen to music or have a bath.
Meditation – try a mindfulness practice – even 10minutes in the morning and at night can bring real improvements in your sleep.
One simple way to be more mindful is to use your breathing. This could be done in bed, when you wake up, sitting in a chair before you go to bed at night.
Focus on your breathing, just watch and notice whether you breath only in your upper chest or lower down, and how long it takes for each breath in and out.
Then slow the breath down, count the breath in and count it out, make sure that the in is as long as the out and that you breathe all the way down into your belly, not just into your ribs. If your mind wanders, simply bring the focus back to the breathing – the more you practice, the easier it gets.
Some therapies that can help:
Massage – regular sessions relax your body, lower blood pressure and provide you with time dedicated just to YOU.
Reiki, Chakra Balancing and Energy Healing will also calm the body, release emotions and stress and bring a deep sense of calm. So often we are stuck in our heads, with our busy minds – be more grounded and connnected to the rest of your body.
Acupuncture, acupressure and reflexology all balance the whole body, improving circulation, and lowering
Book yourself for a session every few weeks, or as often as you can afford. Health plans usually cover some of these therapies, but if not its worth investing in yourself!
Remember, there is no judgement and no guilt if you cannot commit to a regular time to slow down.. whatever you manage to fit in, however little or irregular, it is all better than nothing!
This article in not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Now I would like to hear from you. Do you suffer from sleep problems? What have you tried to help your symptoms? Let us know in the comments below.