A Guide To Better Sleep
If you have ever suffered from insomnia or simply cannot seem to experience a decent sleep when you head off to bed, hopefully this thread will help
you. I am no expert on sleep deprivation but I have done some research into the subject and used to suffer from insomnia a few years back. These days,
I generally manage to have a decent stable sleep. There is no secret or fail-proof formula, but I believe the following information can assist the
average person overcome their sleep deprivation. I have divided the thread into different sections to make it easier to navigate through. Any
suggestions on how to achieve a better sleep are welcomed.
Probably the hardest aspect of trying to fall asleep. The goal when trying to get to sleep is to keep a clear mind, one that is at ease and not
over-stimulated. This is tough for many people as lots of thoughts and memories seem to run through their minds when they attempt to go to sleep.
Other people struggle because various problems about their lives are running through their mind – problems which they feel cannot be ignored for the
A good method I have found is to be mindful; accept and acknowledge your thoughts but don't let them dominate your mind. If you had an eventful day
and are running through the experiences you had constantly, recognise that your mind is stimulated and try to calm down and relax. If you are worrying
about your family's finances or any debts owing, worrying about them now is not going to fix the problems you face. In fact, depriving yourself of
sleep will only make it harder to cope with the next day.
Most importantly, realise that between the time you are meant to sleep and wake up, it is very unlikely that you will find a solution to the problems
flooding your mind. In fact, you can only benefit yourself by achieving a decent sleep which will allow you to cope and deal with the problems you
face more easily the next day.
The aim here is to have your body feel tired and in need of rest. You should not be physically hurting or struggling to breathe. Nothing excessive is
necessary, just try to do some exercise during the day (at least 30 minutes if you can). Some mild physical work such as rearranging the furniture or
cleaning your room is better than nothing at all. Some people find it tough to find the time or motivate themselves to do physically demanding
activities (I am one of them). My best advice is to convince yourself that some things in life need to be done and this is one of them. When you are
lying in bed and your body takes extreme comfort in the fact that you are currently inactive, you will feel a lot better.
Be aware of your body's processes and functions. Don't eat or drink a lot before heading to bed (I recommend nothing for at least 2 hours before
heading off) as your bladder or bowls might cause you to wake up in the middle of the night, disrupting your sleep. It can be tough, especially in hot
weather, not to drink before you head off to bed, but you are better off consuming a large proportion (but nothing excessive) of water 3-4 hours
before you plan to head off to bed so that your body stays hydrated throughout your rest.
The hardest aspect to control is that of external factors. We cannot control that barking dog next door, or that loud couple across the street, or
that annoying train at the nearby station. What we can do is accept that these things are occurring and not allow them to interfere with our desire to
fall asleep. Part of being kept awake by a noise is actively listening to the stimuli and permitting this stimuli to dominate our thoughts. Rather
acknowledge that an external noise is occurring but concentrate on your own breathing – not the sound of the air coming out of your nose, but rather
the feeling of the air itself passing in and out of your lungs and entering and leaving your body. Take away the power of external stimuli to disrupt
you, and own your right to have a good sleep.
In conclusion (TLDR)
Don't consume food or liquid at least two hours before bedtime if you can help it. When you head off to bed, it is best to be physically as well as
mentally tired. Allow your body to get into a comfortable position where the inactivity feels pleasant and sustainable. Once in bed, acknowledge and
accept your surroundings. Remind yourself that you are aware of the problems going on in your life and the stress they are causing. Convince yourself
that you are deserving of a decent sleep and obtaining this will help you out in many ways the next day. Concentrate on your breathing and allow the
sensations of peace and serenity to resonate throughout your body.
edit on 19/6/2012 by Dark Ghost because: formatting