2 Four pre-mid­night sleeps per week

Essentials - - Good Health -

EVER HEARD

THE OLD-FASH­IONED SAY­ING THAT AN HOUR BE­FORE MID­NIGHT IS WORTH TWO AF­TER? There’s a lot of sense in this as your best qual­ity of sleep is ob­tained when your cir­ca­dian rhythm is at its low­est point

(this is usu­ally be­tween 10pm and 5am). There­fore, even if you get seven to nine hours sleep, go­ing to bed late is likely to lead to a large amount of your sleep be­ing highly in­ef­fi­cient.

The phase be­fore mid­night is the one when lev­els of stress hormones start to drop off and we get a sub­stan­tial hit of deep sleep and our short­est phase of REM (rapid eye move­ment) sleep. This phase is deeply nour­ish­ing and restora­tive, plus the good news is it can also be anti-age­ing. If you strug­gle with this one be­cause you’re a bit of a night owl, start to get into the habit of re­duc­ing stim­u­la­tion and be­com­ing quiet and rest­ful dur­ing this time. You don’t have to be fast asleep by 10pm, but just head up to bed a bit ear­lier, start to power down and get ready to rest. Over time you will start to no­tice that you’re feel­ing re­laxed, drowsy and ac­tu­ally look­ing for­ward to get­ting into bed. This is a strat­egy that I rec­om­mend even for clients with a long­stand­ing his­tory of in­som­nia and they of­ten start to see a dif­fer­ence within seven to ten days.

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