Do you ever get in to bed straight after sending that urgent, last minute email? Or do you feel sleepy, only to lie in bed wide awake thinking about all the things you have going on for the rest of the week?
Why sleep matters
Sleep is so important for our overall health. In fact, it’s vital. Without enough sleep the body can’t replenish its energy stores, regenerate tissue or produce the proteins we need. Essentially, we cannot function!
Sleep deprivation has been shown to increase blood pressure, increase consumption of fatty and sugary foods, and can even lead to insulin resistance. This means increased risk of weight gain, lack of concentration and focus (hello car accidents!), and even the onset of mental illnesses like depression.
Some interesting statistics; as the length of time we spend sitting daily, and the time we spend on electronic devises has gone up, sleep has gone down. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 15% of adults between 19-64 say they sleep less than 6 hours on weeknights. And I believe that number is only going one way – up!
So what can we do about it?
Surely, worrying about our lack of sleep is only giving us another reason not to be able to sleep?! Well I’m here to help you worry less and sleep more! As a health coach, one of my important roles is to help ensure you are getting enough rest, and to give you easily implementable strategies to make this happen. Today, I’m sharing just one simple practice with you, that will help to lower cortisol, get you off your phone, and get you into the zone of all things sleepy.
The Gratitude Practice
Ah no, you were interested, and then I said the words gratitude and practice together, and all of a sudden I lost you. Too airy fairy? Not something you can eat, drink or watch?! Nope. But it works! Preparing your mind for rest with a gratitude practice can be a great way to refocus your thoughts, look upon the day with joy and ease into sleep in a calm manner.
My practice is the 3 Ps.
This fabulous practice is based around a strategy I learnt from Dr Chatterjee in his book, The Stress Solution. As an advocate for Health Coaches, Dr Chatterjee understands the importance of self care practices that you can turn into daily habits, just like this one.
Get yourself ready for bed. Wash, brush, de-robe… whatever it is you do before bed. Now grab a notebook and pen, and write down bullet points of what’s on your mind, or what you need to do tomorrow, or whatever it is that’s consuming your brain. Keep it short. Now close the book.
Get into bed, get comfy. Close your eyes. And you are now going to go through the 3 Ps of gratitude:
A Pop Up
That is, feel gratitude for one person you encountered today; either because of how they interacted with you, or because you just think it would be nice to send some positive thoughts their way.
Then, think of one pleasure in your day that you can be truly grateful for. An experience that you really enjoyed, a quote you read that made you smile, or maybe even completing a piece of work that was hanging over you!
And finally, think of something that just popped up in your day that you can be grateful for. It may not have been planned, it could have been completely unexpected, it could be an experience that you will learn from. Feel the gratitude throughout your whole body, understanding that these things were sent here to help you grow, develop and fulfil your purpose.
Then, thinking of these things, slowly drift of into a happy state of calm that can stay with you for the night, until you awake feeling refreshed the next morning.
Ready to try it and see how it works?
Or is a gratitude practice not enough for you? Do you need they heavy stuff? Blue light blockers, charging stations downstairs, a bedtime concoction of glucose that can fuel your brain overnight, a melatonin boost? If you need a deeper self-care prescription in order to get back on your healthy track, then book in for a FREE Health History Consultation with me.