We spend a third of our lives asleep but, although we are coming to…
Understand just how integral sleep is when it comes to living a healthy life, there are still a lot of myths and misunderstanding surrounding the subject. I believe that unhelpful beliefs can significantly hinder our ability to get good sleep. Rethinking some of these beliefs should instantly change your relationship with sleep for the better.
People feel they shouldn’t be waking up during the night and this belief itself, creates anxiety which stops them from sleeping. In fact it often leads to at least two sleep-disrupting behaviors: checking the time throughout the night and measuring your sleep. If you are a sensitive sleeper, checking the time and measuring your sleep with so-called ‘smart’ devices will actually perpetuate the cycle of insomnia. It is completely normal to wake during the night. In fact, an adult can wake 8-10 times per night (although not always coming into full consciousness). When you wake up, try to stay as relaxed as possible, focus on breathing deeply into the belly and allow yourself to rest.
Too many people take slices off their sleep – going to bed late and waking extra early during the week – in the mistaken belief that they can catch up at the weekend. But over-sleeping at the weekend – lying in late or napping for hours during the day – can actually disrupt your week-time sleep routine. Do you avoid napping because you worry that it will stop you sleeping at night? This only really happens if you’re napping the wrong way. The best way to nap is to do so at some point between 2 and 4pm for a 10-20 minute power nap. Simply try to relax, close your eyes and get comfortable but not too comfortable (so no lying in bed under a duvet!). Focusing on deep, abdominal breathing will help calm your mind and body. This type of napping isn’t actually sleeping, but a form of deep rest from which you emerge with improved concentration and focus.
Alcohol affects sleep detrimentally – in excess, it stops you getting deep sleep and the vital dreaming process of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep is also disrupted. So it’s not sleep, but passing out!
Article credit: House Beautiful
Photo credit: National magazine company