When we're tired, our systems are stressed. We often get into arguments with our friends and loved ones more easily. We are usually cranky and tend to eat food that we wouldn't necessarily choose to eat when we are energized, happy and can tap into our will power. We begin discussions on sensitive issues with our partners, which turn into fights at midnight on a Wednesday night before a big meeting or presentation early in the AM.
THIS is why sleep is necessary. So how do you get a good night's sleep you may ask? Several simple things you can do will help:
1) exercise more- getting regular exercise will help boost your mood, lower anxiety and regulate sleep patterns. Easier said than done but its worth a shot.
2) reduce the caffeine- some sleep experts I have spoken with recommend no caffeine after noon time.
3) limit screen time- no computers, iphone, ipads, tv's or other well-lit screens two hours prior to bedtime.
4) cope with anger well before bed- when your blood is boiling while your attempting to fall asleep, its a recipe for a disasterous night of sleep.
5) try to limit other exhilirating activities- if you get really hyped up about your favorite sports team, record the game and watch it another time. Again, getting yourself too heated or excited before bed can really inhibit sleep.
6) meditate- by this, I don't necessarily mean sitting up chanting like the Buddha. Its simple really, concentrate on you breathing and relaxing your muscles. While attempting this, know that your mind will wander off- sounds may pop in and out of your awareness or thoughts (what you did that day, what coming up tomorrow, etc.) may come up. Just try and bring your mind back to the thought of relaxing your body into your comfortable bed and relaxing your breathing into a calmer space. Keep practicing and it will help...Sleep well!