Not everyone who struggles with sleep has always been a poor sleeper. Sure, some people say they have struggled their whole life. But others are naturally good sleepers who one day just stop being able to sleep. It’s like a switch has flipped, and this switch, which they normally can flip to SLEEP DEEPLY every night, suddenly turns faulty.
Why does this happen? Often it’s age. Plus work or relationship or health or life stress. Maybe it's added to by a health issue or medication. Sometimes it’s just that you've had bad sleep habits for so long that eventually they catch up with you!
If you’re one of these usually well-sleeping people, and you are recently having problems falling or staying asleep, or it happens just occasionally, this is much easier to fix NOW rather than if you wait until your poor sleep becomes a habit. If your sleep is still good even though your habits are all over the place, then lucky you. All the more reason to change your behaviour NOW while it's easy to do so, and thus prevent yourself from having poor sleep down the track.
Anyone who has long-term or chronic insomnia will tell you how much it reduces quality of life and how difficult it is to change. Don’t let yourself get to the point where you need a sleep coach to dig you out of the hole you have dug yourself. Start practicing good habits now and you will most likely keep your good sleep or at least get back to it easily if it goes off track.
To make this as simple as possible, here are my Top 5 Important Good Sleep Habits:
1. Keep a consistent bedtime and wake up time. This applies to meals as well. Our body does best with consistency and routine.
2. Turn off your phone and computer/tablet at least 30 minutes before bedtime and DON’T check your device during the night. Make sure your room is dark and that there light from your computer, phone or from the street (if not, wear a sleep mask).
3. Learn to switch off your mind as well as your devices! Don’t allow yourself to lie in bed and ruminate or worry. Develop a relaxation practice that you enjoy and then do it each night at bedtime.
4. Give yourself enough time in the morning so that you can get up slowly and not have to rush from the moment your alarm goes. A relaxed start to the day can set the pace for a calmer day. Then get outside in the sunlight and move!
5. Take 5-10 minutes at least twice during your work day to relax, just breathe, get outside or meditate. This is important to allow our stress levels to reduce so that we can sleep well at night.
Just these few simple steps can help you to prevent problems in the future. Sleep is the number one factor that affects our health. Make it a priority to get the good quality sleep you want and need!
If you have recently started having sleep problems, or you have them just occasionally, download Wake Up Refreshed, my free 24 Hour Guide to sleeping well. Here’s the link:
If you have chronic or long term struggles with sleep (more than 3 nights per week, for 3 or more months) , email [email protected] and let’s talk about how sleep coaching can help you to get your sleep back on track.