Besides a few physiological functions crucial to survival… really nothing. Even eating and drinking has to be initiated. Think of a newborn and you’ll see that sleep is one of the essential functions to life and SHOULD not be a chore.
Meaning that if you are not sleeping well, this means you have a serious problem.
Hopefully that won’t stress you out further and make you sleep less, but I want you to know how serious this problem is.
I often ask if people have a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep and working from there, but realize that perhaps you and I need to have that conversation.
Neurologically, there is a lot that I can do to help influence your body. From comfort issues or even getting your body out of a flight or fight response that could be preventing you from entering deep sleep.
We could really dive deep in this conversation but I want to leave a few tips to make sure you do some of the cheap and easy ways to improve your sleep before you even come talk to me. It’s called proper sleep hygiene and here’s what you need to do.
- From now on, your bed is for one of two activities. No more reading, no more watching TV, nothing but sleep or sex (bow chika bow wow). That way your body and brain will be programmed to be tired when you lay down. Think Pavlov’s dogs, it’s a learned response.
- Curfew bedtimes and wake up times. This will take two weeks for you to really feel the benefits or waking up refreshed, but it will be worth it! Again, you’re reprogramming your brain and body to expect to sleep and wake up. For more information, you can google “conditioning”.
- Remove all electronics. No ambient light if you’re able as well. Our brain registers any light sources as we sleep. Ideally, you’re removing all clocks, your charging phone, everything.
- Stop looking at your phone before bed. The bright light messes with your circadian rhythm and your body’s sleep hormone levels.
- Advanced: set up a rhythm and ritual before bed. Meaning, have a cool down for the day. Not thinking about the next day, but perhaps an exercise in listing all you are grateful for, or perhaps meditation. But the last 30 minutes before bed is the most important for setting the tone for your sleep.
These are the no-brainers for better sleep. Try it for two weeks and if you’re still struggling, let’s chat about getting you more comfortable or getting your nervous system in check.