A subtle but powerful shift in our mind-set could help us get a better night’s sleep. Research data tells us that about 30% of us get less than six hours sleep every night. This is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity.
Now many people don’t give themselves enough opportunity to sleep. You can be the best sleeper in the world, but if you have to be up early and don’t get to bed on time, then you won’t get enough sleep. Many people just need to get to bed earlier.
But, some people have poor sleep because they get really stressed out by not sleeping enough. We all recognise that feeling; lying awake at night can be really frustrating. Herein lies an answer. A really important tool in dealing with sleep loss is that you must stop trying to sleep! Sleep isn’t something that you do by putting effort into it. It happens by itself when we our body and mind are in the right place. So, sometimes we get in our own way. Getting stressed, going over problems and trying to force sleep will not work.
So, if you are going to try to improve your sleep, you need to change your mind-set. Firstly, if you are lying awake then just enjoy the opportunity to rest and do nothing. No-one is hassling you and you are recharging your energy. If you can’t sleep, then rest. Secondly, just notice what your mind is doing. (This is where learning to meditate can pay dividends). Notice when you start getting worried about not sleeping, smile a little inside, and bring your attention back to resting. Try it. But don’t worry if you fall asleep in the process!
For NHS funded therapy for stress, anxiety or depression, phone (01208) 871905 (between 9 and 1) or register online [HERE]