Happy New Year to you all and hello 2014! We hope you will be kind to us all.
Whilst most of us don't bother with setting resolutions (or keeping them) I would like to take this opportunity to ponder some ways to sleep better in 2014. This is a time for reflection and so here is some from the Sleep Expert.
1. How can we all worry less? The majority of sleep disorders have a strong link to anxiety. Worrying about what has happened or what could happen tomorrow releases stress hormones which sends sleep packing. And we know that good sleep helps improve mood and increase your ability to problem-solve the next day so in essence the more you worry, the less you sleep, the more you will worry and the less chance you will have of actually solving the problem.... so how do you break the cycle? Try some simple self-talk the next time you are caught in a negative spiral - You have survived thus far. Most of the things you worried about last year may not have even have come about. Worrying is not going to help. Sleep will. Write it down and let it go till the morning.
2. Why do we fight sleep? How can something so wonderful be fought by so many? Fighting sleep used to be the work of children but many sleep-deprived adults seem to have joined the cause. When I see adults throwing tantrums in the traffic or bickering at work I think... needs a good nap. Perhaps our culture's mantra of "work more, do more, have more" is to blame. So what can we do? A helpful place to start is to recognize that sleep is good and necessary and we need to make it a priority in our busy lives. How can you up your sleep tally from 5 or 6 hours a night to reach the target of 7.5 hours? Try cutting down on TV time or prepping meals in advance. Every hour you save towards sleep is an investment in your health and longevity not to mention your interpersonal relationships and career.
3. What keeps us from getting help? Most people enjoy helping others. It makes us feel great if we can solve someone else's problems BUT often we run from solving our own. What is it we are avoiding? In 2014, why not tackle some of your sleep challenges head on. Set up your room for sleep. Visit the doctor if you feel tired every morning. Get rid of that old, uncomfy mattress. Wear earplugs if you need to. Be your own best friend and sort yourself out.
Here is a link to a fascinating TED talk by Russell Foster. I think it sends the message home. Sleep is GOOD!