Se­crets to sleep, rest and re­fu­elling

Central and North Rural Weekly - - NEWS - DEN­NIS J HOIBERG The Re­silience Whis­perer

WHAT does 35% of Aus­tralia’s pop­u­la­tion have in com­mon? Prob­lems sleep­ing on a daily ba­sis.

If you have ever ex­pe­ri­enced a pe­riod of poor sleep, then you know the chal­lenges of main­tain­ing your well-be­ing. Lit­tle things an­noy you – the things you nor­mally do au­to­mat­i­cally be­come a chore and you cer­tainly can’t be in­no­va­tive, fo­cused, or pro­duc­tive. What’s worse though is that you may be putting your­self and oth­ers in your world in dan­ger as you are seven times more likely to be in­volved in an ac­ci­dent if you are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing sleep chal­lenges. Sleep be­hav­iour is one of the most reg­u­lar top­ics of dis­cus­sion I have with my clients. These dis­cus­sions range from not be­ing able to get to sleep, wak­ing up af­ter a sleep but still not feel­ing re­freshed or wak­ing up around 3am and not be­ing able to get back to sleep.

Sleep is the fuel of your re­silience and well-be­ing. If you can’t get restora­tive sleep, then lit­tle else mat­ters.

Re­cently I had a fe­male client tell me that while she falls asleep “as soon as my head hits the pil­low”, she’s awake again within 90 minutes and pro­ceeds to toss and turn for the rest of the night – then the be­hav­iour re­peats it­self.

She falls asleep through ex­haus­tion – but that doesn’t mean this sleep is restora­tive. In fact, it is any­thing but as she prob­a­bly fol­lows a slow-wave nap with very lit­tle long-term ben­e­fit.

For restora­tive sleep, we must de­velop and ap­ply good sleep habits. Like most other things in life, sleep is a skill we need to de­velop, prac­tise and ap­ply. If only it was that easy to fall into bed and get seven to nine hours of qual­ity, restora­tive sleep.

My be­lief is that a per­son who lives their val­ues has a clear re­al­is­tic view of their world and a clear mind will, in the ma­jor­ity, al­ways sleep well. Un­for­tu­nately, our minds aren’t like me­dia chan­nels – we can’t turn them off. So, we must man­age them.

My ad­vice is to fol­low an every­day sleep prepa­ra­tion rou­tine start­ing with an au­dit of the day. Just as we are ad­vised to never go to bed an­gry with our part­ner, I reckon we should never go to bed an­gry at our­selves.

I also rec­om­mend rest­ing your mind. It helps to prac­tise mind­ful­ness, med­i­ta­tion or say mantras/lit­tle prayers that help you be­lieve in your­self and the good­ness of the world. De­velop the rou­tine of hav­ing our brain at peace, with a sense of con­trol and then re­lax, drift away and sleep well.

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