Getting a Good Night's Sleep
Sleep is one of the most important things we can do for our health. Physically this is when our body rests, replenishes and heals. Mentally, we process the information obtained in a wakeful state, through our dreams when we’re asleep.
So why then do so many people struggle with getting a good night’s sleep?
This can be due to a variety of reasons. Either you’re not allowing enough time for sleep, struggle to fall asleep or you wake repeatedly throughout the night. Perhaps you’re awakened by an outside sound or a nightmare and are unable to fall back asleep.
Just the other night I experienced my own sleeplessness. I fell asleep easily but then was suddenly awakened at 2:30am. Immediately, all of my muscles and tendons seized up leading to pain, tightness and frustration. The more frustrated I became, the more my body ached. The more my body ached the worse my frustration became. It became a vicious cycle.
It got me to thinking, “How can I find peacefulness in this moment and get back to sleep?” My educational background taught me that I just experienced a cortisol spike forcing me into a fight or flight state. My Chinese Medical background led me to understand that I was awakened during “liver” time (between 1-3am), causing feelings of anger, frustration and pain. Regardless, I knew I had to face the challenge to get back to sleep and feel restful upon awakening the following morning.
For the pain, I decided to get up, stretch and have a glass of water. This was the only way to relax my muscles. For the mental anguish, I chose to come back to bed and implement some deep breathing exercises to calm my nerves, followed by a gentle meditation. Finally, I had to let go of the anxiety of not getting enough sleep and forgive my body for being awake. Once I was able to let go, I drifted back to sleep.
Ever experienced this? If so, how can you improve your own sleep?
1. Cut yourself some slack. Insomnia can feel overwhelming. Stressing about it will only worsen the problem.
2. Take it one night at a time.
3. Implement some sleep hygiene techniques:
a. Exercise daily
b. Take a gentle evening walk each night
c. Eliminate caffeine if not altogether, at least after 12pm
d. Incorporate daily meditation. This could be morning, noon or night. Or all three!
e. Journal. Writing our thoughts and feelings down can help release them from our minds
f. Take a warm bath or shower before bed
Finally, accept that sometimes your body may need extra care. This is where I come in. Acupuncture, herbs, supplements, NET, nutrition or lifestyle management can help you create a new sleep routine. Together we can get to the root cause of your sleep concerns and create the balance your body is needing for restful sleep.
Ultimately, a good night's sleep leads to improved energy, immunity, metabolism and happiness.
For more information reach out to me by either phone or email.