March 31st and It’s that time of year again when the clocks go forward and British summer time begins- this can cause our natural circadian rhythms to alter slightly and temporarily and we lose an hours sleep! But we soon settle in to the new time and the following few nights our intelligent bodies readjust to restore natural rhythms.
However, for some people, getting a good night;s sleep can be a problem all year round-particularity those in chronic pain,leading sedentary lifestyles or under stress.Achieving a good night’s sleep begins from the moment we get up each morning.
Sleep is an essential component to our survival and physical and emotional well-being. It is natures’ way of replenishing, rejuvenating, and re energising the mind and body- for recharging our physical and emotional batteries.
Sleep is for rest and recovery.
It is a very necessary and vital part of our life and yet can be disturbed, either at particular times of change and stress in our lives or for more prolonged periods following illness – so it will be welcome to know that you can get back into the natural rhythms of sleep.
Our bodies will take the necessary rest and recovery, which is why if you have not slept during the night you may find yourself catnapping in the afternoon. The body works in 24 hour cycles- known as circadian rhythms, so any time given to napping in the afternoon will be deducted from the night time – this is why if we have fallen out of our regular routine it is important to try and stay awake the following day.
As we get older our body clocks are more affected by various internal and external factors. We do not need as much sleep as our metabolism slows down lessening the need for rest and recovery.
At night we produce a sleep regulating hormone -Melatonin – the lack of light at night sends a signal to the pineal gland in our brain, which releases this hormone- hence why we sleep at night. According to research- we also have sleep and waking controllers in our brain-these are near to other controllers for temperature, metabolism, and appetite- all of which can affect our ability to sleep, as these can be affected by stress, room temperature.
Fear can keep us awake- fear that we will never get a good night’s sleep again- thus giving our brain a problem to solve and making it active, and so keeping us awake. Refocus attention with mindfulness or deep relaxation practice.
Some myths and fears put to rest and tips.
- Our body will take the necessary rest it requires, whenever it can. So at some point, we will sleep.
- We do not all need 8 hours sleep- we all have a different biological make up and upbringing- for some 4-5 hours is plenty- for others 9 may be required- the average is 8.
- We can get back into a natural rhythm by practicing sleep hygiene techniques. The pale green leaflet I have brought details these for you.
- A sedentary lifestyle affects sleep as we have not used up natural energy for the body to require a certain amount of rest and recovery- so exercise is good- a brisk walk daily?
If you cannot exercise regularly due to ill health or physical constraints then the relaxation technique will provide plenty of replenishment.
- Clock watching will not help you get to sleep, so avoid looking at the clock.
- Cut off time for preparing the body for sleep
- No late night heavy discussion, meals or arguments, or problem solving!
- Going over the days problems in bed is not good for winding down- instead acknowledge the day’s achievements, what made you smile, and then go through a deep relaxation technique/mindfulness practice.
Drinking alcohol to help you sleep- that extra night cap will cost- it lessens our ability to reach deep sleep, wakes us early, depresses the central nervous system, and lowers mood, so any perceived benefit is very short lived!
Also cut down on nicotine and caffeine at night time, as these are stimulants that keep us awake- that can include hot chocolate as chocolate has caffeine in.
A warm milky drink however is best as warmed milk contains tryptophan which is a sleep aiding chemical
- Prepare for sleep, wind down- this lets your body know each night it is time for sleep- if bed time 11.00pm then prepare from about 9.00pm
- Prepare your bedroom- not too stuffy, just the right temperature- no TV in bed! The bedroom is just for sleep and nuptials.
- Aromatherapy baths or a couple of drops of aromatherapy oil on your bed beside your pillow will also send a positive signal to your body to relax and sleep.
- If you wake up- don’t just lie there clock watching- either get up, and make a drink, or do the relaxation technique that you used to help you get to sleep.
If you would like to learn how to ‘sleep really well’ why not come along to one of my experiential workshops.
The next ‘sleeping well workshop is Wednesday April 3 at Sett valley medical centre New Mills
Do you suffer from long sleepless nights? Find that you can get off to sleep but wake through the night and have difficulty getting back to sleep? Do you feel exhausted when you get up in the morning and feel like you have not slept at all?
By attending this workshop you will:
- Learn how to get back into a natural rhythm of quality sleep to replenish and rejuvenate
- Pick up tips for sleeping better, getting off to sleep and staying asleep
- And learn a deep relaxation technique that will change your sleep patterns for the better.
If you would like to be kept up to date via my monthly newsletter when the / and which workshops take place and for all my courses and workshops – please contact me here and include in the subject “Sett Valley monthly workshops”tick courses and request further information/book your place/ and to be included on my newsletter mailing list.
Please be assured that I have a privacy and retention policy in place which can be viewed here and your information is not given to any third party.
Time: 6.00pm -7.30pm .Limited places so early booking advised.
Where: This workshop will be held in the library upstairs at Sett Valley medical centre ,Hyde Bank Road, New Mills. Please report to reception on arrival and take a seat in the waiting room. I will collect everyone just before 6.00pm so please arrive by 5.55pm if you can.
Cost: £15 payable prior to the session either via bacs -contact me on 07753 957371 for details or by cash and note with name and which workshop and date in sealed envelope fao Annette Boden up to 4pm on the day of the workshop.
How to book: To book your place and for further information please Telephone 01663 743483 and select ‘option 6’ to speak to Corrine Dale and book your place.
Places are limited to 8 each month so early booking is advised.
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