Troubled sleep can be considered trouble for the person in question, from waking up frequently during the night to suffering from total sleepless nights. No matter what the problem, any sort of sleeplessness can be very hard for a person to conduct a normal life. After a bad nights sleep, apart from feeling fatigued, concentration and process of thought can be affected, making normal every day things harder to do. It is hard when ones sleep pattern has been thrown off to get it back on track. This article is an attempt to put your sleepless nights to rest, whether it is just telling you things you have heard before but have not acted upon, suggesting new exciting tips that may work for you, or giving you an idea to inspire or encourage you to sleep better. The mental effects of sleep deprivation are often underestimated.
As well as being physically exhausting, a sleepless night is mentally challenging during the night and the next day. I am sure every troubled sleeper has at one time or another heard people say: "Oh you must doze off at one point of the night and you're not aware of it" after watching every hour pass by, is the last thing one wants to hear. The classic survival hour that saves must night creatures is that hour or two just before the alarm clock goes off.
If you at least get that hour, you feel you are saved to make it through the next working day. This is not good for you or your health. Everyone is individual and don't need the same amount of sleep, but no matter what, we need more than two hours sleep to stay healthy.
We have different body clocks, and sometimes we change them, for example taking on a night shift job, having a new baby, travel, study, etc. Throughout life we change our sleeping patterns, and even age is a huge factor to how much sleep our body needs. Sleep and lack of it is such a wide subject that we have to try and focus on topics that are very common. All the advice given may not suit everyone, considering different lifestyles, individual sleeping needs and patterns, but there are two general sayings to go by. Firstly "Prevention is better than cure!" Try to avoid bad habits that make a routine of sleepless nights. For example: Worry, late phone calls, staying up past 12 am, thinking you won't sleep well before even getting into bed, etc.
Find the root of the problem! The most important thing to do is find the cause of the problem. Why are you experiencing sleeplessness? When did this start? Find out what's bothering you, and put a stop to it! To answer these questions you can look at events in your life, maybe you have gotten a new job, moved home, experiencing personal stress, etc. Try to deal with it whatever it is, although it is not always easy! What if nothing has changed? You are not worried about anything, or worry is too hard to put a stop to right now. Then we can try to encourage sleep.
Encourage sleep! There are many ways to encourage sleep and things we can avoid to make sure we don't keep our selves awake. The following recommended things to avoid will seem like things you have heard a million times before, but have you really tried them? The following advice covers issues from simple corrective habits, such as drinking caffeine, to harder life occurrences like stress. Things to avoid! It is always advisable not to drink tea and coffee or any caffeine after 6pm, or if you like to drink or smoke, try to avoid it near bed time. If you like to work out try to exercise early rather than late in the day. Your body will wake up if you are exercising later and it will take some time for your body to get naturally tired again. Make sure to get your recommended daily intake of water supply early in the day and evening as drinking too much water at night will lead to trips to the toilet, and this can affect your sleep pattern.
Things to try! Try to think positive! Believe you will have a good sleep. Relax and don't talk on the phone after 9pm if possible. Try to go to bed before 12am. Going to bed later than 12 can be bad for your sleep pattern, you can get a second awake and it is hard to switch off again.
Listen to your environment and surroundings and cut out any unnecessary buzzing noise, for example a fish tank filter, computer, fan, etc. Sunday nights can be the worst nights to switch off and get a good night's sleep if you are thinking of work or school the next day, so plan an early night with TV or a good book to take your mind off things. If you find watching TV relaxes you enough to send you to sleep it would be a good idea to get a TV for your bedroom.
It is important to brush your teeth before watching late TV or lying down to read, as getting up to wash your teeth after snoozing off may wake you and it will be hard to get back to sleep. Make sure to have your bedroom a nice cool temperature. If you are too hot it may be hard to sleep, but cold feet will keep you awake. As we are all different it is hard to give a set temperature, so try to find the right temperature for your bedroom.
Try to keep stress level down, find something that relaxes you, and stay that way at night to encourage sleep. It may not always be easy to stop stress or worry but one can try a form of meditation to switch off. There are many good books on how to meditate and it might be worth investing in one. When someone is suffering from stress and lack of sleep even having to read a book might be too much to concentrate on. So if you feel this is too much effort and you cannot wait to read a book to find out how to meditate, try the following simple method.
A very simple way to do this would be to try one of Zen meditation practices recommended for peace of mind, and how to stop a stressful thought process. This type of thought process has been referred to as a nattering monkey jumping from one branch to another or clouds that pass in the sky continually! To stop this, close your eyes and relax, listen to your breathing pattern and try to visualize a place that you were most happy and relaxed in. Maybe it could be a tree you used to sit by on a warm summer evening. Find your safe place and go there when you settle down at night. You do not need anything but your mind for this solution so no matter where you lay your head down at night it will be waiting to send you off to a peaceful sleep! If you feel you just cannot switch off and maybe you need a scent to encourage drowsiness, then it is very good to use lavender. You can buy lavender plants for your home (rub the leaves), lavender sprays, shower gels, massage creams, etc.
One way to encourage drowsiness from your bed as you lie down would be to massage lavender cream into your temples, wrist and chest so you can breathe in the scent while you are settling down to sleep. It will make you drowsy and hopefully send you off to slumber land. It is said that sleep is something we spend a third of our lives doing, repaying our body and mind for its hard work, or just getting a good sleep after a lovely day.
Since we don't all feel like we get our fair share of this estimated sleeping time, it is important to sort out sleepless nights as quickly as possible for a healthy, happy and long life. Here's hoping the above advice has helped you in some way to get a rest, peace for mind for future sleeps and continue to encourage you to sleep soundly. Good night and sleep well tonight!.
Chris Grinde writes for http://www.dreamairbeds.com - A website dedicated to air beds. It also covers more tips on sleeping, benefits of air beds, washing tips, and good books on sleep. Read more here: http://www.dreamairbeds.com/sleepingbooks.html