Wholesome Life Blog

10/06/2018

Dear friends

Sleep ( Step 6 : Do Not Obsess Over Sleep )

Today, we will continue with Step 6 of  Peter Litchfield’s book ” Six Steps To Sleep” about not obsess over sleep.

Constantly telling ourselves and others that we aren’t sleeping properly can easily become a permanent reality.  Such statements spiral into increasingly negative thought processes, such as ” I must sleep well tonight or I will get ill or ” My work will suffer and my boss will sack me”.

It is quite natural to want to tell people when we are feeling tired and down. We want to tell others that we are not sleeping well in case people notice we look tired but in reality most people won’t see the difference. Where possible, avoid negative conversations like, “Oh, I am so tired. I didn’t sleep well again”.

There is nothing wrong to say that we are a little tired, but don’t dwell on the subject matter and certainly don’t make it the focal point of conversations. Try to be as positive as possible and continue with social interaction as normal.

When we experience a bad night’s sleep, get up and get on with our day as usual, ignoring the tiredness as best we can. If we find ourselves caught in negative thinking, try switching our focus to positive affirmations such as ” I will sleep well tonight” or ” It’s only one bad night’s sleep, I will be fine”.

If we find ourselves caught in a cycle of worry over our sleep, remember that once sleep is lost, it is gone forever. This simple fact renders the worry a pointless endeavour, leaving us with only one choice. That is to be positive in the present moment, to let bad sleep go and create a mindset conducive to sleep for the next bedtime.

*********************************************************************

29/05/2018

Dear friends

Sleep ( Step 5 : Do Not Look At The Time )

Today, we will continue with Step 5 of  Peter Litchfield’s book ” Six Steps To Sleep” about not looking at the time.

When we become frustrated at not being able to sleep, we usually begin focusing on the time. We begin stressing over the following day, constantly checking the time and imagining how shattered we will be in the morning.

The reality is that regularly looking at the time only decreases our ability to fall asleep. The visual reminder that precious sleeping hours are slipping away will cause us further frustration and keep us awake. Knowing what time is will not help us to  fall asleep;  we  are awake, regardless of the time.

No matter what time we stay awake in the bedroom,  even if it is light outside, do not look at the time. When we clock watch, we make mental calculations, working out how many hours of sleep we could get if we can just fall asleep.

*********************************************************************

13/05/2018

Dear friends

Sleep ( Steps 4 : Wake Up At The Same Time Each Day )

Today, we will continue with Step 4 of  Peter Litchfield’s book ” Six Steps To Sleep” about waking up at the same time each day.

Regardless of whether we have a day off work, we must wake up at the same time each day. Doing so will help to reset our sleep-wake cycle, reprogramming our body to sleep and wake up at the same time each day. When our brain begins to realize that this is the daily waking time, it will regularly want to sleep at least 6-8 hours prior to when it needs to wake up. Once the brain begins to reprogram, we will notice a drastic increase in tiredness before our desired sleep time. To begin with, we will need to make use of an alarm clock.

Going to bed and getting up at varying times is a massive contributor to the development of insomnia. This is because the brain is confused as to when it is to sleep and to wake up. Lying in bed in the morning, falling in and out of sleep, trying to catch up on sleep missed during the night  contribute to this confusion.

Once we have been awaken by the alarm clock, we must get out of bed and begin our day. Even if we have slept badly, we must get out of the bed. This physical behaviour will create a habit that triggers the brain to sleep and wake up at the same time each day.

******************************************************************* 

06/05/2018

Dear friends

Sleep ( Steps 3 : Do Not Lie Awake for more than 30 minutes )

Today, we will continue with Step 3 of  Peter Litchfield’s book ” Six Steps To Sleep” about not  lying awake for more than 30 minutes.

According to the book, there is nothing worse than lying in bed not being able to sleep, becoming increasingly stressed and frustrated. Thoughts surrounding not able to sleep take a foothold in our mind. Our chances of falling asleep decrease the longer we lie awake.

The 30 minutes rule is just the suggested time guideline for falling asleep. Do not break a state of falling asleep just because we think we have reached the 30 minutes mark.  If we feel sleepy and calm, but are taking a little while to doze off, don’t feel we need to get up, simply remain as we are and embrace that feeling. However, if we are uncomfortable, stressed and feel too awake to sleep, then we must get up and leave the bedroom.

The following 2 exercises are designed to help us to break sleep anxiety and fall asleep faster.

Exercise 1

If we can’s sleep and think we have been in bed for more than 30 minutes, go to another room.  Switch on a lamp or a torch and engage in light activity that doesn’t require much brainpower. Watch a program on  TV  such as a silly game show, a nice movie or a documentary film on nature etc. for a while.  Light reading is also ideal.  After about 15 minutes or when we feel fully relaxed and ready to sleep again, go back to our bedroom to sleep.

Exercise 2

Sit on the edge of our bed and let our arms flop down by our sides. Let our shoulders stoop forward and hang our head slightly so that our chin is pointing towards our chest. Breathe in deeply through our nose and hold our breath for 5 seconds, and then breathe out slowly through our mouth. Focus on the breath as it enters and leaves our body. Close our eyes and visualise the breath working its way to every corner of our body, and then watch it leaves up through our lungs and out through our mouth. Repeat this process for  few minutes, until we feel light-bodied and sleepy.

This exercise will help empty our mind of unhelpful thought processes, detaching us from the day and bringing us to a place of deep relaxation. The breathing will slow our brainwave activity, taking us out of the Beta ( high activity brainwaves ) state and into the Theta ( low activity brainwaves ) state.

*******************************************************************************

29/04/2018

Dear friends

Sleep ( Steps 2 : Isolate the bedroom for sleep)

Last week we talked about letting our body know is time for bed. This week we shall focus on step 2, that is isolating the bedroom for sleep. Peter Litchfield’s book ” Six Steps To Sleep” talked about  creating an environment that is conducive to sleep and sleep alone.  The bedroom should be clean and tidy with the appropriate curtains and lighting and suitable room temperature. The bedroom must be a place the body can associate with sleep, not with brain stimulating activities such as watching television or working on a computer.

We should limit our bedroom to light reading and light conversation with our partner under dim light. Do not play on Facebook or Twitter on our tablet or get into lengthy conversation on the phone or  involve in other brain stimulating activities.  Although reading in bed for 15 to 20 minutes is permitted before sleep, refrain from reading in bed in the morning or in the afternoon. If we  have to, then we should do it in another room.

During the day, working, watching television or playing games on a computer should all be confined to our living room or other bedrooms not meant for sleeping at night. We must create a permanent rule that the bedroom is not a place for playing, eating or staying for long periods of time. Time in the bedroom should be limited to sleep and sexual intimacy.

****************************************************************************

22/04/2018

Dear friends

Today, I would  like to share with you some practical steps on sleep to keep us in good mood &  stay happy.

Sleep (Step 1 : Let your body know it’s time for bed)

It is such an important aspect of our life yet we do not really take steps to ensure that we sleep well every night.

A good night sleep will help to make our day and keep us joyful & upbeat.

Peter Litchfield in his book “Six Steps To Sleep” gives the natural insomnia cure that gets to work fast.

The 6 steps are:

  • Let your body knows it’s time for bed.

  • Isolate the bedroom for sleep.

  • Do not Lie awake for more than 30 minutes.

  • Wake up at the same time each day.

  • Do not look at the time.

  • Do not obsess over sleep.

Let your body knows it’s time for bed

We have to develop a bedtime ritual that our brain can associate with preparing for sleep such as:

  • washing the dishes

  • putting the dog out in the garden for 5 minutes

  • a brief tidying of thins we have been using during the day

  • shutting doors

  • brushing our teeth

  • washing our face and taking a warm shower

  • changing into our bedclothes

  • tuning off the lights

According to the book, maintaining a bedtime routine provides a series of important signals to the brain that we are preparing for sleep. When practiced consistently, this routine encourages the brain to move into “sleep mode”, releasing melatonin and reducing brainwave activity for relaxation.

We should take our time & not rush through the routine. Be methodical and enjoy the winding down of the last minutes of our day.

Our  body needs an adequate period of time to wind down and prepare for sleep, so make sure we stop brain stimulating activity at least 2 hours before we attempt to sleep. Start our preparation routine at least 30 minutes before going to bed.

 

Be Sociable, Share!

Comments are closed.