Updated: Oct 15
So many of us are not getting enough sleep, some people are too busy but it is so good for our physical and mental health that we get a good night's sleep. The ideas below give you things to try that may help you improve your sleep.
1.We need to be aware of EMF’s
The concerns about Wi-Fi in relation to our sleep are not just about the blue light from iPhones, computers iPads, Fitbits, etc but also the Wi-Fi modem itself and the electric field that it creates.
So here are some suggestions to consider.
• Turn off the Wi-Fi at night, then no one can access any devices.
• Also put all phones on aeroplane mode at night time.
• Have the bedroom free of all devices no TV, no phones, no iPads no computers, no fitbits. You will need to get yourself a battery clock, or a windup clock.
• Try to avoid screens for a minimum of one hour before you go to bed, maybe do such things as read a book, write your journal, relax in the bath, read to children, knit, sew, crafts, catch up on family gossip etc.
• Check where the bed head is located and make sure it’s not on a wall adjacent or opposite to your mains electric box. If it is move the bed head so you further away from that electric field around your electric box.
2.Food and Eating
No large meal before bed, make your dinner a minimum of three hours before you want to go to bed. (If you are likely to get hungry which could affect your sleep, a good idea would be an apple or pear or stick of celery if you prefer vegetables, or small piece of cheese)
Try a milky drink if this is something you like, perhaps sit outside in the dark and relax while you drink it, contains tryptophan that your body converts into serotonin to help with sleep and mood.
Regular exercise aids good sleep and promotes good sleeping habits. This means putting regular exercise into everyday life.
But exercise can also be a relaxing walk or stroll after dinner.
Do not have strenuous exercise or a hard workout close to bedtime, as your body needs time to switch off.
If you have pain that keeps you awake at night you need to find some answers, as sleep is a vital component to being healthy. https://www.painanxietystressclinic.nz/exercise-for-pain-relief
Find a relaxing position perhaps one that supports your back or your shoulders or whatever overworked muscles you need to support and be able to relax. You need to promote calm and gentle breathing making an effort to slow your breath down. A good exhale and letting go and stop mind chatter
5.Get to know what doesn’t work for you
This may be reading an exciting book that is a page turner, checking your emails too late at night so it leaves your mind switched on, rather than switched off and ready to go to sleep.
Perhaps you’re someone who doesn’t sleep well if they have a coffee too late in the day or energy drinks that have generally more caffeine than coffee.
6.Never, never go to bed expecting to ‘not have a good night sleep’. Positive self-talk is a must!!
So this brings us back to developing a routine, an evening routine that lets your body know that it needs to prepare itself to go to bed. That means your body initiating the process of making serotonin and melatonin, which is what we need to go to sleep and have a good nights sleep.
7.Notepad by the bed
I find this is particularly helpful as it seems as soon as my head hits the pillow my relaxed brain is just in that frame of mind to start thinking of ideas, things that I need to do tomorrow, things that I need to tell people about, ideas for my new clients or for what I’m going to put in my next newsletter.
For this problem I always keep a notepad by my bedside and if it’s one of those nights where my brain is very active then I put on the light put my thoughts on the notepad so I know that I don’t have to remember that I can let them go.
8.When sleep doesn’t come.
The sleep or our sleep tends to come in waves, and they tend to be about 40 minutes apart, so for those of us who are light sleepers we may be missing the wave and so not be able to get to sleep.
So if it’s getting over 40 minutes or an hour and you feel that you even seem to be less ready to go to sleep then when you came to bed, it’s important not just to lie there and get more and more frustrated and spend most of the night checking on the time giving more attention to the clock than to your pillow.
So the answer to this is to get out of bed, to get up and do some relaxing stuff, sometimes I tidy up, plan a menu, read. It needs to be relaxing, not checking your emails or going anywhere near a blue screen. What you are doing is your waiting for the next sleep cycle, but don’t watch the clock for 40 minutes, just relax, keep yourself occupied or do meditation and wait till you feel some tiredness coming on, then return to bed.
It may be time to get help and find techniques that will help you release these negative thoughts and often the anxiety that comes with them.
9.Negative thoughts or busy thoughts that won’t stop.
This can be a problem for many of us, so some techniques may be useful. Above we have mentioned the idea of writing things down and telling yourself that you’re emptying your brain, give yourself some positive thoughts.Some ideas can be found here
One very basic point to consider is your bedroom. As mentioned above no TV or screens that means everybody’s room. Keep screens and TVs downstairs or in the living area.
Your bedroom needs to be dark, I recently bought some blockout curtains and they are fabulous, bit of a problem when I need to creep out of the room because I fall over everything I can see nothing it is so dark. The bedroom needs to be quiet, as quiet as possible, and it’s best if the room is cool and always consider whether an open window and fresh air will help.
Many people, especially if you are anxious, have muscles tension or are in pain can get improved sleep if they take a regular magnesium supplement. Do search for a good one as many online products tend to be well marketed but may not have the magnesium quality and quantity that would suit you. https://www.painanxietystressclinic.nz/naturopathy
This article expresses the opinion of the author, if sleep problems persist, get professional advice as sleep is important, in the same way that diet and exercise are the foundations to health and wellness and help prevent lifestyle diseases.
Jean is a Natural Pain and Movement specialist in Christchurch, New Zealand. She works with those who have chronic (persistent) pain and movement challenges due to accident, trauma, and her work is of benefit to recovering athletes and people who are in the process of returning to full movement after having a stoke.