Do you sleep well?

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image (21)Sleep. It’s such a vast and fascinating subject that we could discuss it for days on end. But you’d probably nod off from boredom or from lack of…sleep! But let’s be serious for a moment and get to the heart of the subject: Do you sleep well? The question’s important because most people rarely enjoy a really good night’s rest. How can you tell?
There are lots of clues from how you feel when you wake up. If waking up is a struggle requiring a real effort to drag yourself out of bed and you have a feeling that you could really use a little more sleep, then you probably haven’t slept well enough or long enough. The surprising thing is that the quality of your sleep can be as important as the quantity. Research has recently revealed that we tend to sleep in segments lasting roughly ninety minutes. At the end of each of these intervals, we approach a state of wakefulness and then usually slip back into another ninety minute segment of deeper sleep.
So if we know when we would like to wake up, we can count back in ninety minute blocks and work out when we should be going to sleep. The wake up time should coincide with the end of the last ninety minute segment. Waking up will then be relatively gentle and you’ll feel more refreshed, ready to get up, alert and energised. By contrast. waking up in the middle of one these ninety minute cycles can leave us feeling tired, irritable, unfocused and far from our best. It’s an incredibly simple technique but very helpful in boosting your chances of waking up feeling naturally rested and refreshed.
What you do before you go to bed can also influence the quality of your sleep. It’s a really good idea to avoid eating after eight in the evening. Cut out the fizzy drinks, tea and coffee to lower caffeine levels and switch off the internet at least half an hour before you plan to get into bed. Switch off the TV too. And no reading for that precious half hour before bedtime.
The idea is to lower the levels of mental stimulation and start to slow everything down as a prelude to meaningful rest. Learn to run a mental scan of your body from toes to head, deliberately relaxing every joint, muscle and limb. Breathe a little more deeply and tell yourself clearly and calmly that you are going to sleep wonderfully well and that you will wake up feeling fabulously refreshed. This is a great way to train the body to relax and let go of the day’s stresses and tensions. Some people spend a few minutes running through the day’s events, evaluating and letting go of every emotional reaction. This saves the brain from having to process the data whilst you’re asleep and allows for a deeper, more relaxing night’s rest. Drink some water before you get into bed and learn to expect a really good night’s sleep.
These methods can train the body and mind to switch off so effectively that you can fall asleep in seconds and start to benefit from the full reapir, recovery and restoration that follows a good night’s sleep. It’s a real game changer. Try it tonight. Try it every night and sleep well!
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