I have been having a lot of conversations with my clients lately about sleep, or that lack thereof. Many of them have said the current times are making it hard for them to sleep. Others are saying they feel like they need much more sleep than normal.
As a mom with four children, a child with an autism diagnosis, and a personal narcolepsy diagnosis … I am no stranger to sleep struggles. I have had to do a lot of experimentation with sleep habits and better sleep strategies to come off medication to assist me with getting a better-quality night’s sleep. It was difficult, and many individuals with sleeping disorders might not be able to come off mediation. However, it is possible that many of you are struggling for lifestyle reasons, and those are ones we can apply strategy toward.
There are many common challenges that can interrupt a good night’s sleep. Some of those challenges include struggling to fall asleep and some include struggling to stay asleep. These are two of the more common struggles that may be easier than others to overcome. The goal is to support you with some new possible strategies that will reduce the amount of poor-quality sleep you are getting and possibly allow you to enjoy bedtime again.
While it is unlikely you are not aware of the common barriers to sleep, here is a short list to jog what might be a super tired memory:
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Feeling anxious or worried
- Feeling like you are a light sleeper
Of course, these are not the only reasons people do not get enough sleep; however, they do account for a large percentage of people who suffer from crappy sleep. In an effort to take a little of the crappiness out of your sleep, below are a few strategies on how to tackle these barriers and overcome them.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, you might have to start by tackling that overwhelm and getting back in control. Overwhelm is very often a mix of things you both can and can’t control. So, the first step is to determine what is in your control and what isn’t. Then … begin by tackling what is under your control.
One thing you can control is part of your schedule. So, try to reduce your schedule to what you can handle. This might mean cutting back on responsibilities and extra activities. However, it is important to cut back to help eliminate some of the rumination over all the things you have not yet finished that are on your schedule.
You can consider delegating when possible. You could also hand over important tasks that are not essential for you to personally complete. Allow or require someone else to manage them until you are not overwhelmed.
Next, tackle the things you can’t control. You might say what? How in the heaven do I do that? Well first you put your focus and energy on solving any problems that are causing you overwhelm. Even if you can’t control the situation, you can control your reaction to it. Once you control the reactions to the things you cannot control, you will make some room for a better night sleep.
Feeling Anxious or Worried
If you are feeling anxious or worried and it is making it hard to fall asleep, that’s normal. Falling asleep when your mind is racing a million miles a minute is really hard to do. Sometimes bedtime is the only time you cannot distract yourself from what you are truly anxious and worried about. That can make bedtime stressful.
If you suffer from acute anxiety, you might benefit from outside help. Your physician or counselor can help you with treatments that can help alleviate anxiety and worries when they are too intense to manage other ways.
Simple activities like drinking chamomile tea, taking an aroma-therapy bath, or unwinding with a good book can help reduce worries and stress before bedtime.
Feeling like you are a light sleeper
What if you are a light sleeper? Tackling sleep distractions and staying sound asleep can be hard if you a light sleeper. The distractions can make staying asleep hard. Finding the best ways to eliminate sound and other stimulating activities can help.
You can also use exercise to help you sleep better. Physical exertion is an excellent way to combat sleeping lightly. Regularly physical activity including cardio and weights can help tire your body out and make you more likely to sleep deeply at night.
Make sure your environment is set up for sleeping. Your bedroom can be a safe place for great sleep or possibly a hell. Make sure your room is free from noise, light, and other distractions. Ensure your sleeping attire and your bedding are soft and non-irritating. Making sure all of your senses are comfortable and able to rest during sleep will help light sleepers stay asleep.
There are many distractions that cause poor sleep. Overcoming the ones that affect you most can help you sleep better, longer, and deeper.
If you are looking for better sleep hygiene habits, consider a sleep coach from Coach.me. https://www.coach.me/PressPlay_Lifestyle?ref=135Kp