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Three Smart Sleep Strategies

Posted by Brenda Doherty on August 22, 2016 at 12:59 pm
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Addiction to always ‘being on the go’ will cause great difficulties when we need to ‘stop’ and get some sleep.  Bring these three smart sleep strategies in to your lifestyle and start to sleep better, feel better, think better and even look better.

1. Mid afternoon do a Relaxation Practice or have a short nap.

A short relaxation practice or nap of about 20-30 mins can do wonders in helping you feel more refreshed during that afternoon slump.

The afternoon slump in energy is perfectly normal.  The neurotransmitter, adenosine, has been steadily increasing during daytime hours causing growing drowsiness.  This build-up of adenosine eventually makes us feel drowsy, leading us to the feeling of wanting a nap in the afternoon.

Having a short nap or doing a relaxation practice mid-afternoon diminishes the adenosine and we feel refreshed again.

Also by deliberately stopping for a short while from all the other activities of the day we gain a valuable opportunity to crack the insidious habit of always ‘being on the go’ during the day and  crashing in to bed at night  expecting to sleep.

Addiction to always ‘being on the go’ will cause great difficulties for us when we need to ‘stop’ and get some sleep.

2. Make a commitment to yourself to deliberately slow down as dusk falls.

One of the significant reasons for poor sleep is our disconnection from nature’s rhythms and cycles.  We develop a lifestyle that overlays thepowerful cycles of nature.  For example, we eat when we should be fasting (constantly snacking); fasting when we should be eating (not having breakfast or lunch); working or doing exercise when we should be resting; and, of course, awake when we should be asleep and wanting to sleep when we should be awake.

We go about life not giving serious consideration to the underlying tremendous power of nature’s cycles that are there all the time offering each of us superb support to experience a healthy, vibrant experience of life.  Especially a healthy experience of sleep.

Commit to honoring the cycling of dusk by deliberately slowing down.  Nature is wanting us to slow down as dusk falls.  It is the early lead-in to sleep time to come.  Body, mind and spirit are being supported to slow down, draw inward and allow us to steadily head in the direction of sleep in a few hours time.

So, let go of all those after work drinks and parties (well, most of them); turn off the internet; burrow in at home by dimming those bright lights, change in to comfy clothing, perhaps some calming, soft music, if you have kids it is a great time to gather together for story-telling, enjoy looking at the dusky sky from your veranda.

Thoughts will begin to slow, emotion settle from the day’s busyness and you will find yourself yawning from natural tiredness and looking forward to snuggling down under the covers for a good night’s sleep.

3.  Melatonin / Serotonin

The rhythmical ebb and flow of the neurotransmitter serotonin and hormone melatonin play a vital role in our sleep/wake cycling.

Plenty of darkness from dusk onwards supports the increase in our sleep hormone melatonin in preparation for sleep in a few hours time.  Melatonin is synthesised from serotonin.

Plenty of sunlight in the morning supports the production of serotonin, curbs the production of melatonin during daytime and supports melatonin for evening time.  So here we have the perfect partnership between dark and light, supporting primary biochemical processes that support good sleep.

Simply put – get plenty of light in the morning, and plenty of darkness at night.

Why is morning light different from other daylight?  As the sun heats the earth during daylight hours, convection currents of warm air stir dust particles in to the atmosphere.  This dust filters certain wavelengths out of the natural light spectrum resulting in the increased redness we sometimes see at sunset.

During the night, however, the earth cools, allowing this atmospheric dust to settle to the ground.  By morning, the sun rises in a refreshed, clarified sky.  First morning light offers a natural, safe, full-spectrum light support for our body, mind and spirit.

Three great strategies that you can start to integrate in to your lifestyle today… for a better sleep tonight.

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