How to sleep better

How to sleep better - 7 Sleeping Tips for a restful night’s sleep

Does your head go into overdrive when you get into bed at night?

Is your anxiety keeping you awake?

Do you find you can go to bed tired but when you get into bed you cannot settle the mind to get to sleep?

Do you wake up feeling tired?

Getting a good night's sleep is essential for our body's repair and regeneration. The amount of sleep you need each night is a much-discussed and debated topic, but what is agreed upon is the quality of the sleep.  With the general consensus stipulation that we benefit greatly from a good, restful sleep.

Therefore, it is important to create the conditions for a restful sleep, including having a clear mind when we go to bed.  Although our conscious mind switches off while we sleep, our subconscious mind will continue with the last thoughts that we were consciously thinking.  The subconscious mind becomes most active when the conscious mind goes to sleep, and it searches out the information and details of your last conscious thoughts. For that reason, it is essential that your last conscious thoughts are on something that is uplifting or relaxing or even something that you would like to achieve.

7 Sleeping Tips

1. Avoid caffeine and alcohol late in the evening

We all know that caffeine is a stimulant and helps keep us awake so by reducing the amount of caffeine you take, even in tea, close to your bedtime will help you get into asleep. And although alcohol might help you get to sleep it does not produce a restful sleep, and therefore is undoing the good that it may have done to help you to get to sleep in the first place.

2. Create a relaxing space in your bedroom.

By removing all gadgets, televisions and especially the phone from your bedroom you have no distractions. Quite often it is too easy just to lift the phone and scroll through messages, emails or social media.  You are stimulating the mind at this time you maybe even causing yourself to worry or strain in relation to something that you can do nothing about because of the hour of the day. Removing all gadgets from the bedroom will remove the temptation to look.

3. Develop the habit of going to bed at the same time. 

Develop the habit of going to bed at the same time each day, as far as possible.  The body and mind will get used the routine and so they will get into the state for rest and sleep at that particular time each day.  This is the same as getting into the habit of waking each morning at a certain time, often we wake before the alarm goes off – especially when we have a day off work!

4. Do a brain dump. 

Earlier in the evening take a piece of paper and write down all the things that you have to do, all the things that are on your mind and anything that is worrying you.  Then follow this up immediately by doing something that you really love to do to take the mind off all those things and those activities that you have listed.  A brain dump like this means you can create a list that you can go back to in the morning and start to take action.  By following up with doing something you love to do you're completely distracting yourself from all those things that were on your mind your lifting your spirit and you’re moving on.

5. Be physically tired.

While many of us go to bed exhausted, this may be mental or emotional exhaustion which leaves us feeling drained and is very different from being physically exhausted.  We need to expend physical energy throughout the day to tire ourselves out physically.  Many of our jobs and activates today are mentally stimulating and the stress and anxiety of everyday life drain us emotionally.  It is, therefore, a good idea to undertake some kind of physical exercise or physical work throughout the day that will use up this physical energy so that when you do go to bed you are body tired as well as mind tired and then you will fall into much better sleep.

6. Guided meditation. 

Listening to a guided meditation when you get into bed may be easier than just listening to music or relaxing sounds because when you have someone guiding you down a path, or along a beach, or guiding you to relax every muscle in your body, you will find that your mind may still wonder at times but you can come back to the person's voice and pick up with them at that point and resume the meditation. With practice over a few nights, you will be able to get into the habit of relaxing and sleeping to this and thus fall into better sleep.

7. Daydream yourself into sleep

Your subconscious is most alert when your conscious mind falls asleep and it is at this point that the subconscious mind will work to find ways to get you to what you were last thinking about. So be careful about your last thoughts at night. This is why daydreaming is so important. If you are going over all your worries at night in bed, this is what your subconscious will latch on to and this why you have a night of disturbed or agitated sleep.

If you get into the habit of daydreaming during the day, so for example if you want a promotion daydream yourself in that new position, daydream how it would feel to actually do that job, daydream who you would be with and how it actually would change your life. The more you do this during the day, then when you get into bed it is much easier to slip into that daydream again.  By slipping into this feel-good thought pattern you can fall asleep in this feel-good state. The subconscious mind will then kick in when the conscious mind goes to sleep, and it will find you ways to get this. 

As you fall asleep with good thoughts and feelings you will have a much more restful sleep. Not only that, when you awaken in the morning your first thoughts tend to be those that were your last before you went to sleep and so, in this case, but your first thoughts also will be in terms of feeling good in relation to your work.

With these seven tips, you can choose to use one of them some of them. You could take one for each day of the week try them out for a few weeks and see which works best for you. You might find a combination of these tips really help you get into a very food restful night sleep.

If you're feeling anxious then please don't hesitate to contact us for a FREE consultation with our mental health specialist at our Belfast clinic in Northern Ireland.

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