Secrets to sleep, rest and refuelling
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.