You really need one – A Good Sleep
Sleep is essential for many reasons, and honestly, who doesn’t want to sleep like a baby? I, for one, certainly would! Without enough sleep, our internal batteries deplete due to lack of proper recharge.
Life loses some of its sparkle, and it becomes dull and boring. At the hint of a chore, your morale drops a level or two, and you tend to drag your feet, while molehills suddenly become mountains.
Eyeing the clock regularly to see how many hours are left before you slide back into your comfortable bed once more, only to spend yet another sleepless night tossing and turning the night away. When you do finally nod off, the morning after will feel like you’ve only slept for a few minutes, and your time among the living will be one full of stress, and most probably be with a bad mood which lasts for hours.
Can you relate to this?
When counting sheep just doesn’t do it for you, even if you’ve counted over a thousand, you really need something a bit more tangible. When you count sheep, it’s not the sheep themselves that send you to sleep, for these can be hippos, or even elephants. These animals simply take your mind off whatever it is that doesn’t allow you to switch off, or at least try to.
We all know we need quality sleep, as this is what keeps both our body and mind healthy, however, it’s not always so straightforward. Lack of proper sleep can upset our body quite drastically, which can easily lead to high blood pressure, and other negative consequences to follow.
Many things hinder us from going to sleep, and we remain awake through the night worrying about this, that, and the other. If only we were like a machine, that at the flick of a switch, our mind stops thinking. If it were that easy, life, and sleep, would be wonderful.
In my case, while I’m restlessly looking for elusive sleep, the more I glance at the clock, the more I become anxious as the time to ‘wake up’ gets closer and closer with each second that goes by. The sad thing about it is that I’m not even asleep yet, and there is no telling when this will happen! Such a situation will only make me feel even worse, and with such thoughts hammering away in my mind, a good sleep seems so distant, even next to impossible.
It seems like the more I want to go to sleep, the more this simple luxury eludes me.
Finding a comfortable position in the first place proves to be a lost battle in itself, let alone getting some real sleep, and once dormant, how deep will it be?
There are nights when I do turn off, and slumber, but then I wake up after just a couple of hours feeling all anxious about something which I have no idea what it could be. I might be subconsciously worried I won’t hear the alarm clock go, but waking up hours before it strikes is not an ideal scenario.
Thank goodness, there are ways to help in getting a good sleep
- Reading in bed, or doing a puzzle, anything which lets your mind turn off from the day’s hassle.
- Having a good mattress and a decent pillow help immensely.
- Listening to your favourite music.
- Practising Yoga.
- Taking a bath.
- A nice cup of warm milk.
- Nibble on something like cheese, but not chocolate, even though this tastes better than cheese.
- A gentle evening walk works wonders, especially in the fresh air.
- A pleasant smell assists us in sleeping better, and for this, there exist scented pillows.
- In an ideal world, you should, as much as possible, stick to a sleeping-time schedule. This includes what time you go to sleep, and at what time you wake up as it helps to keep your body-clock in sync.
- Breathing properly will help you greatly when trying to get to sleep. The method, pioneered by Harvard-trained Dr Andrew Weill, is described as a ‘natural tranquilizer for the nervous system’ helping to quickly reduce tension and allowing the body to relax.
When I’m out of ideas of how to get to sleep, applying this method has always helped me personally. The problem I find in this is that it usually annoys my wife, who’s asleep next to me, so I try and do this either before I go to bed, or if I’m in bed first.
No-Nos before you go to bed
- Drinking alcohol.
- No unnecessary physical exertions (this will hype you up).
- Stay away from caffeine related products, like tea and coffee. Caffeine is a stimulant and it doesn’t assist your mind to relax.
- This also includes chocolate.
- It’s not suggested that you spend the last few moments awake playing with electronics as this does nothing but interfere with your attempts to get a good sleep. Something which you read, or watch, could stress you out during the vital moments of trying to relax enough to drop off.
- Move anything away from your face which transmits light, and this includes your alarm clock.
Your surroundings play a vital role when trying to get some sleep
I can’t imagine myself trying to get any sleep with music playing in the distance, or a member of the family is watching a thriller in the next room. Being in a too hot or too cold environment doesn’t help either, and ideally, the room has to be in next to total darkness, and in silence.
It doesn’t get any easier this hunt for a good sleep.
Thank goodness, there are solutions for ALL the above, some of which I’ve actually used, and they really do work wonders.
If the room is noisy, simple Earplugs do the job quite nicely. This type comes in highly recommended.
If the room has too much light, a Sleep Mask turns out the light easily. This particular one comes with earplugs, if you so wish. Again, there is quite a variety to choose from, ranging from different colours, to shapes.
Being in total silence can have a negative side-effect as my mind will only wander, and stop me going to sleep once more. This product might sound to be counter-productive, but it’s not in the least. It’s a ‘White Noise Generator‘, which simply generates a soothing noise in the background, as opposed to TOTAL silence, and it also masks disturbing noises to allow you to have a better and richer sleep. I’ve never actually tried this in itself. I used something quite crude, but similar, with the same result.
Scented Pillows also help to get a better sleep. There are a ton of pillows to choose from, ranging from different colours, shapes, and scents, depending on your tastes.
I sincerely hope that what I have gathered here helps you, like it has helped me, in one way or another with your sleeping, which is after all, so very essential for every living thing.
The above can be collectively referred to as ‘Sleep Hygiene’, but it’s not to be confused with any other type of hygiene, like washing and bathing.
Sleep Hygiene is really a set of habits which can be easily applied every time you prepare to get to sleep, and these will optimize your sleep a hundred-fold.
The beauty about this is that it can be applied by anybody, anywhere, and at any time of the night or day.
May your journey into the ‘Land of Nod’ be swift, pleasant, and refreshing.