Sleeping well is a fundamental aspect of a healthy lifestyle. It’s as important as breathing, drinking enough water, eating well and exercising.
However, more and more people complain about their sleep, whether it is because they can’t get enough sleep or because they don’t benefit from a good quality night’s sleep.
So if you’re looking to learn how to sleep better, then you’re in the right place.
THE IMPORTANCE OF SLEEP: A MUST FOR PEAK PERFORMANCE!
Sleeping is essential. It is because we sleep that we can do what we have to do during the day. Sleeping allows us to be active and creative during the day, but also alert and efficient when needed.
Sleeping is absolutely fundamental to recuperate after each day and make sure our body and our brain function well. Many people tend to forget that a good night’s sleep is actually a must for peak performance!
For some people it can even be seen as a waste of time. However, not sleeping well and being tired can have consequences on our lives. It can affect the quality of our relationships, the quality of our work, our energy levels, our concentration and memory, or our resilience.
Sleep can be a more complex matter than it seems. It’s a beautiful and sophisticated physiological process involving several of our hormones including melatonin. When we sleep we produce growth hormones and that’s how our body literally repairs itself.
Another important element to understand is about sleep cycles. During the time we are asleep, there is a succession of different cycles, each with specific functions. When trying to find solutions for better sleep, it is important to understand these different cycles in order to find the right solution.
It is also when we sleep that we process what happened during the day. We digest our emotions, and we tidy up all the information that flew through our brain during the day. Sleeping plays a major part in our mental wellbeing and the way we learn, create and memorise – all of these are good reasons to nurture and cherish the time we spend sleeping!
We are all different when it comes to sleep. Some people need a lot of sleep, some don’t. Some can sleep anywhere and are fine with a little amount of sleep whilst others go to bed early and wake up late or some are night owls…
There are also many different sleep disorders, from an occasional difficulty to fall asleep, waking up at night repetitively, waking up too early or tired, and of course insomnia.
Additionally, many different factors can challenge a good night sleep. Some will come from the environment, such as noise, temperature, quality of the mattress etc. And some can come from ourselves, such as ruminations, muscular tensions, aches and pains, or pathologies such as sleep apnoea and so on. When trying to implement solutions for better sleep, all these elements should be looked at and considered.
When it comes to increasing sleep time and improving quality of sleep, it’s all about understanding your own body clock and your own needs; Sleep is very personal and will vary from person to person.
Our metabolism is designed to function according to the circadian rhythm (i,e our body clock based on 24 hours a day) and it’s essential to respect the process as much as possible in order to function at our best. However, in modern life, our biological rhythm can be easily challenged.
SOPHROLOGY FOR SLEEP
Working with a Sophrologist can be very useful for people to understand their personal “sleep profile”, what their needs are and the Sophrology techniques that they can learn to restore good sleep in their life.
Indeed, with simple Sophrology tools and combinations of exercises specifically adapted to sleep disorders, Sophrology will help to:
• Clear the mind
• Reduce stress and anxiety
• Reduce muscular tensions
• Learn specific breathing techniques
• Learn how to relax and let go
• Understand the physiology of sleep and maximise recuperation
• Cope better with stress and fatigue during the day
• Project positively the time spent sleeping and restore good sleeping patterns
QUICK AND EASY WAYS ON HOW TO SLEEP BETTER
In this section, you will find some basic tips to start your journey to better sleep. It might seem very simple and basic, but so essential!
Have a de-stress routine and create rituals
To ease your nights, take the time to gently slow down in the evening. Maybe take a bath, lower the lights (it considerably helps the production of melatonin), light a candle, use essential oils or meditate. By paying attention to your routine, you will create a favourable environment to gently go into sleep mode.
Watch your food
A light meal in the evening is preferable. Indeed, digestion requires a lot of energy and therefore tends to keep your metabolism awake. And of course, try to avoid things like tea and coffee after 3pm if it tends to keep you awake at night. Having said that, the best thing to do is to always to listen to yourself! Forget rigid rules, and listen to your body. It is also worthwhile checking you have a sufficient amount of magnesium which helps support the nervous system.
If you have to work in the evening, try to stop at least 45 minutes before you go to bed.
And remember that screens can be our best “frenemies”! If they allow us to be entertained, they also produce blue light, which can block the production of melatonin. Don’t forget night shift mode and give yourself a break by turning off your TV, computer and social media. Alternatively I swear by my blue light filter glasses which I wear after 7pm if I have to work late.
Regular exercise is very important in maintaining a balanced wellbeing routine. It helps the body function well and when it comes to sleep, it plays a part in encouraging the right production of hormones such as melatonin. However, be aware that exercising at night could impact your sleep and activate your metabolism too much. It will take a while to slow down and therefore it’s not encouraged to exercise at least 4 hours before bedtime.
At BeSophro, we are trained to use specific Sophrology techniques for sleep and recuperation. For more information, please visit www.be-sophro.com