Working on ways to improve your sleep, can make a significant difference to your wellbeing. It’s not easy to keep a calm head or make good decisions when you’re feeling sleep deprived! Good sleep can maximise problem-solving skills and enhance memory. Poor sleep has been shown to impair brain function. If you’re having trouble getting enough sleep, you’re certainly not alone. Inadequate sleep can hinder your health and wellbeing, affecting both our your immune system and emotional state.
Sleep deprivation may reduce your social skills and ability to recognise other people’s emotional expressions. Our body enters its ‘rest and repair’ phase during sleep, so if we’re struggling to get 7 – 8 hours a night, it’s definitely worth working on ways to improve your sleep.
Making ‘getting more sleep’ a priority for positive change.
It can take 2-3 weeks until something may start to work for you. After a day or 2 of trying one of these tips, don’t give up. It may simply take some time for your body to adjust.
First, start with setting an intention of when you want to be in bed. If you want 8 hours of sleep and you need to wake up at 6:00 am, plan to be ready for sleep by 10:00 pm. This means you’ll want to start getting ready for bed by 9:30 pm.
Try a couple of strategies at a time and note which ones seem helpful.
- Find a relaxing bedtime ritual and wind down before bed for example reading
- Stick to a sleep schedule. When our routines are altered, it’s easy to fall into late nights and different patterns
- Eliminate/reduce caffeine and alcohol (these increase urination and can cause restless sleep) and can be hard work for your liver to process
- Don’t consume chocolate (or caffeine) within 7-8 hours of bedtime
- Be mindful of eating spicy, stimulating foods or foods you are intolerant to
- Turn off electronic devices 1-2 hours before bed, get off social media
- Remove electrical devices (including TV) from your bedroom – unplug!
- Finish dinner 3-4 hours before bedtime
- Drink a calming tea like Chamomile in the evening
- Sleep on a comfortable bed and pillows
- Sleep in a cool, dark, quiet, distraction-free room
- Exercise daily in the morning, afternoon or early evening (not late at night)
- Take a soothing bath at night, incorporate relaxing bath soaks and essential oils into your routine
- Listen to soft music before bed to help wind down
- Use relaxing breathing techniques or meditation, get grounded
- White noise at bedtime – a fountain or fan can help
- Yoga, Tai Chi or stretching at night to de-stress
- Write down a list of things you want to get done tomorrow or put it on your calendar (dump your brain of details so you can relax)
- Try colouring in as part of your wind down routine or as a meditation
- Journal and write down three things you are grateful for and why.
Tried all of these (and more!) – still not sleeping?
A lack of sleep may be the symptom that is showing up for you, but what is really going on below the surface for you? This is when a deeper dive can help uncover what’s really keeping you awake at night. Often we know the answer ourselves, but having someone to help you unravel that and map a way forward can help. That’s where health and wellness coaching comes in. It is future focused and is based on the belief that ‘you are your own best expert’ .
- Takes you through a process that explores your goals and aspirations, current circumstances and identifies actions and steps to go forward providing accountability
- It provides a quality thinking space for reflection that through conversation and powerful questions facilitates insights, clarity, new thinking, and/or new strategies for meeting specific challenges and identifying steps to go forward
- Supports you to transform learning into desired outcomes
- Enhances the likelihood of achieving your goals or areas for change
Get yourself checked out.
It also pays to check there are no underlying medical conditions lurking around, affecting your sleep, by having a consult with your doctor or health professional. Life stages such as menopause can affect your sleep quality and sleep patterns and duration also change as we age.
When sleep is elusive, it can negatively impact our resilience in all aspect of our lives – at work and at home.
If you’re curious and want to know more about coaching and building resilience for individuals, leaders and teams, please do get in touch today.
We use the scientifically researched Resilience at Work ™ toolkit which is validated and specifically designed for the workplace.
Live well, work well, stay well
We want our information to be helpful for you, while recognising everyone and their situation is different.
All material and information presented by Robin Wilson, Workplace Wellness Limited is intended to be used for educational purposes and is not intended as personalised advice.