When was the last time you felt really well-rested? Did you get up fresh, and maybe even jump out of bed – roaring like a lion ready to take the world on?
Not sure? Then this article is for you.
Quality of sleep is quality of life
Being well-rested can change everything and is the best self care.
Good quality sleep translates into a great life. With sufficient sleep, we are not only more emotionally balanced, more mentally relaxed, but also significantly more productive throughout the day.
All of this has been scientifically proven, when our energy levels are vibrating at a higher frequency, we have fewer physical stress reactions, and our immune system is more hardy and resilient.
We actually look more beautiful when we look into the mirror – the term “sleeping beauty” is no coincidence.
Too little sleep has big consequences
When we get more sleep our life expectancy is longer, the tendency to have accidents, for example in traffic, is much lower, and even the risk of a whole range of sickness from viruses and chronic ailments such as depression is significantly reduced.
The mood is more relaxed and balanced, and it’s easier to deal with difficult emotions and life situations, plus we’re actually more socially outgoing.
We can also think, concentrate and remember much better. We can learn more fluidly, and are much more creative, and have better problem-solving capacities.
We can also think and recall better, make better decisions, and focus on what is truly important to us.
That all sounds good, doesn’t it? And yet many of us still sleep far too little. It’s even fashionable to get by on little sleep, at least in certain performance-oriented groups.
A large segment of the population is permanently sleep-deprived, many doctors even speak of an “epidemic of sleep deprivation”.
And there are solid figures, nowadays, we sleep one or two hours less than we did 60 years ago. But of course, we don’t need less sleep than we did then.
Almost all of us need around a good seven-eight hours to really get a good restful night’s sleep (I know I do).
Let’s see if we can make sleep the highest priority on your self-care checklist.
Sleep deficit check
Since most people don’t even know that they are sleep deficient because they are so used to being tired, experiencing the afternoon crash, and covering it up with coffee, you can do a sleep deficit check.
Take the following test to see whether you are getting too little sleep with a few simple questions:
- Do you feel sleepy and not well-rested when you wake up?
- If you can sleep during the day – do you need a maximum of ten minutes to fall asleep, or even only five minutes?
- Can you get through the day, or are you crashing by noon?
- If you are bored, in a meeting, or watching a boring movie do you start to yawn? Do your eyelids get heavy? Does your head drop down like a heroin addict nodding out?
Did you answer yes to some of the questions? These are a few symptoms of sleep deficity and chronic fatigue.
Regarding the last question: If you had had a good night’s rest, then you would normally get restless if you were bored, jump up and walk around or do something more exciting with your time.
What can you do?
The particular challenge when sleeping is that sleep does not come when you absolutely have to, but just when you let go. So it’s essential to establish a sleep positive environment.
On the other hand to let go of the firm will to have to sleep now. This only creates pressure and makes it harder to sleep.
Just the act of wanting to sleep can prevent you from crossing over into the dream state.
Instead of putting yourself under pressure, you can do something to help you sleep more peacefully. Here are some suggestions – just see what works for you:
Sleep begins before sleep
- Reflect on the experiences of the day and let go, try to become grateful for the moments.
- Switch off mobile devices and or reduce the proportion of blue light in your devices – turn on the “Night Shift” function on your smartphone and screen.
- Eat no more than 3 hours before drifting off.
- Drink a small cup of Valerian tea
- Meditate before bed.
- Avoid alcohol and coffee in the evening if possible.
Writing as an evening ritual
If you enjoy writing then this can be a powerful tool to help you relax and review the day by jotting down what you’re grateful for. It brings a sense of closure to the day.
You become peaceful and quiet, and you’re in good contact with yourself and you are also creative.
You can use a notebook or a more dedicated self-care journal, you can write about the following:
- Thank you: What am I thankful for today? At this moment? Looking back over the day, over the past week, over the year? Looking at my whole life? – Aim for at least three things.
- Learning: What did I learn today?
- Letting go: What do I want to let go of and release out of my life?
- What was an important lesson that I learned today?
Next, let go
Then, let go of your thoughts and memories of the day. Collect in your imagination everything that concerns you, worries you, binds you mentally and put these ideas in a small box or even inside a folder underneath the bed. Then close the lid and slide it under the bed.
The lid stays closed at least until the next morning. In the morning you can decide whether the contents of the box are still relevant.
You will see that you no longer need to bring out a lot of things, other things have become irrelevant and easier to handle, or ideas for a solution have emerged overnight.
There are many other ways to sleep better. Try to find what works best for you.