Back

Things That Go BLOG in the Night

January 25, 2008 | Health and Fitness, Motivation, Planning, Relaxing, Systemizing | Sandye

 [display_podcast]Thoughts from Sandye Linnetz, Systems Goddess, Process ProdigyHaving trouble sleeping? Most of us do at one time or another. Just had a thought that since sleep deprivation effects so much about how we are at work and play, this might be the perfect place to discuss sleep; how to get it, enjoy it and benefit from it.I found a great website set up by the National Sleep Foundation (http://www.sleepfoundation.org) which was full of interesting sleep factoids. I have shamelessly "borrowed" some of theirs and a few from other sites, friends and family below:

  • Before the invention of the light bulb (thank you, Tom Edison), people slept an average of 10 hours a night. Presently we're down to under 7 hours/night on weekdays and about 7.5/night hours on weekends.
  • Over 70 million of us Americans currently have sleep "problems" costing our general economy over $100 billion a year. We're talking about everything from lost time at work to auto accidents!
  • Sleep "needs" are individual. Seven to nine hours per night seems to be about the average. And these numbers even vary for the same person depending on the circumstances.
  • Most of us know that lack of sleep can make us tired, cranky, low energy, unable to focus and cause an increased risk of "accidents" (from tripping to crashing). Interestingly, a prolonged lack of sleep can also lead to diabetes, heart issues, memory problems, depression and substance abuse. Now we're getting serious.
  • Most experts seem to agree that when you wake up in the middle of the night - and if you don't just naturally fall back asleep within 15-20 minutes, you'd be better off getting out of bed and going to another room for a little relaxing music or reading until you feel sleepy again.

And to get to sleep and fall back asleep I have compiled a list of tips and suggestions for you to try. Feel free to add more ideas to the list...BEFORE BED TAKE A WARM BATHDRINK WARM MILK (maybe with honey) OR HERBAL TEA (I love Sleepy Time Tea)... and brush your teeth so that the sugar doesn't rot your teeth or dry you out during the nightWEAR LOOSELY FITTING PJS... or nothing; and find a very comfortable positionDARKEN AND SOUNDPROOF YOUR BEDROOM You might consider a white noise machine or a softly whirring fan to drown out extraneous sounds, and blackout shades and/or eye mask. FYI: red wavelengths of light are generally less disruptive to sleep than either blue or green...LISTEN TO VERY QUIET, SOOTHING MUSIC AS YOU LAY IN BED (try New Age... it certainly works for me)READ preferably something light, as opposed to a scary thriller.COOLER TEMPERATURES ARE MORE CONDUCIVE TO A GOOD SLEEP (not cold... cooler) Add or remove blankets as necessary.MAKE SURE THAT YOU HAVE A DECENT MATTRESS AND PILLOW You spend a lot of time in bed... take care of yourself.CLEAN UP YOUR BEDROOM - preferably before you get into bed. Apparently, not having to worry about the state of your room can relax you. Besides, making your bed everyday will look good and keep you from having to untangle your blankets at sleep time. A messy bedroom may be an indicator of a messy life... calm down both!RELAX your whole body... a massage would be great! May sound crazy, but even your tongue needs to relax and unclench your jaw. Concentrate on one part of your body at a time. Tense it and then relax it. Repeat 5 -10 times.PRACTICE DEEP BREATHING EXERCISES AT BEDTIMEFor example: lie on your back in bed with your eyes closed and concentrate on "breathe in... breathe out". See if you can "connect" the in and out... so that your breathing has the feel of breathing in a circle. Concentrate on the breathing and you'll probably never get past 5 minutes!GO FOR THE BRAIN EXERCISE you may even bore yourself to sleep! Count sheep in a field (that's original, huh?), think of a flower or place or person for each letter of the alphabet; count as high as you can by 7's or do mathematical calculations.GO TO YOUR "SPECIAL PLACE" in your head, of course... whether that would be a deserted island or a tropical paradise, a water spot is generally most relaxing. Waterfalls, fountains, streams and floating... they all work.MEDITATE, VISUALIZE OR PRAY Meditate with a calming mantra repeated to relax yourself, or visualize yourself sleeping peacefully. With your eyes closed... listen to and feel your surroundings. Silently describe what you feel, hear and smell. Release each thought as you think of it. Make a mental list of all the things you could be grateful for today. Gratitude is an amazing relaxer! Hand over whatever is on your mind to the deity of your choice. You will lower your heart rate and relax your body which makes sleep much easier to come by.CONSIDER AN OVER-THE-COUNTER SLEEP AID like a form of melatonin, valerian root, chamomile, hops, kava kava or lemon balm. Maybe you ould find some "turkey pills"... doesn't the tryptophan always make you sleepy on Thanksgiving? Just be careful here...DON'T EAT OR DRINK... TAKE A MINI FAST... FOR TWO TO THREE HOURS BEFORE GOING TO BED(This is also a great tip for those of you who are dieting!) OR...JUST BEFORE BED TRY ONE OF THESE SLEEP INDUCING AND/OR CALMING FOODS:BANANASCHEESEMUSTARDPICKLESLETTUCETURKEYNUTS OR TRAIL MIXAVOID WATCHING THE CLOCK and turn off the TV... it can actually wake you up! And no internet playing!THINK OF WEIRD, IMPOSSIBLE THINGS THAT MAKE NO SENSE cuz "nonsense" will lower your level of consciousness. Or, simply close your eyes and focus on the blackness. See what you see when your eyes are closed. FOCUS on the "no"thingness.SLEEP WITH A PET OR A STUFFED ANIMALEXERCISE but not just before bed... that will get your adrenaline going, and speed up both your heart and breathing. Instead, get your work out in the late afternoon.Okay, happy sleepers... you probably knew that this was coming...

CREATE A PROCESS FOR YOUR SLEEPING

Experiment with some of these ideas until you figure out what works for YOU. Then develop your personal SLEEP SYSTEM; a process for falling asleep and staying asleep. Know ahead of time what you will do to get ready for bed, in bed and when there is a glitch in the planned pattern, a process to get yourself back to sleep.

HAPPY SLEEP TIME, Prodigies!

© 2007 Beth Schneider, Process Prodigy, Inc. Want to reprint this article? Feel free as long as you include the following: Beth Schneider, President of Process Prodigy Inc., www.processprodigy.com, along with her team of highly sought after operations consultants, reveals the insider secrets billion-dollar corporations pay thousands of dollars for. Specializing in process creation, the Process Prodigy tools and techniques have helped entrepreneurs increase productivity by as much as 600% and revenues by as much as 250%. Visit www.processprodigy.com and sign up to receive the Process Prodigy Ezine, "Your Tips" and the FREE Report "How to Save Yourself Time Energy and Money".


Leave a comment