You’ve had a wonderfully productive day and now you feel quite exhausted and ready for bed. Taking one last look at you phone, relived there are no messages, you notice it’s 11.35pm and you switch the phone to flight mode…. sliding into bed, you feel your body sigh as you take the horizontal position of sleep.. then, you wait… and wait and wait…
‘Put this on ebay’ I announced one morning as I emerged from the bedroom of our family holiday home. I’ll never forget the look on my mothers’ face as she took the ‘item’ from my hands and walked away in the opposite direction. I am not proud of that moment, in fact it was without a trace of doubt, one of my lowest. The ‘item’ at hand, was my gorgeous blue eyed 4 month old baby boy, yet in that moment I did not think he was gorgeous, heck, I’d even told my mother, his grandmother to put him on ebay. Yep, definite low point. So what had caused this outburst, why outburst… I can out it down to 3 simple words…
LACK OF SLEEP.
That particular night, aforementioned gorgeous baby had awoken almost hourly with teething troubles, to add to that I had other problems feeding him and the frustration and sheer exhaustion in the moment led to more stress, which obviously led to less sleep
If you’ve ever had a similar experience, or you’ve tried putting a baby to bed when they’re not tired you will know what I’m talking about. There is nothing more frustrating than collapsing into bed only to find that the magical sleep fairies seems to have run out of magic dust, that or they’ve taken off on holidays and don’t seem to be returning anytime soon…
Contained in this story, are the two main causes of the ‘viscous cycle of no sleep’ and they are:
- ‘not getting enough sleep, which adds to becoming stressed
- and being stressed, which makes it harder to sleep.
Ahh the sweet irony of it all… but, enough of the ‘bad news’ let’s move on to understand why sleep is so important, then we can go straight to the ‘good news’ like, how to get more of it…
Why is sleep so important?
- You need sleep, you will die without it, even fruit flies do.
- Your brain consumes phenomenal amounts of energy to do what you do all day, so in order to restock and recharge these energy supplies, some good quality sleep is needed.
- Sleep plays an important role in cognition, facilitating problem solving, hence the saying ‘I’ll sleep on it’ and suddenly ‘discovering’ the solution to the problem the next morning.
- Recent studies show that sleep plays an important role in the formation of new memories.
- When our stress response is activated the sympathetic nervous system activates the ‘fright-flight’ response flooding the body with the stress hormone cortisol, which is great for running away from lions and tigers, not so great for snuggling down for a good nights’ zzzzzzzzzz.
- Sleep can occur more readily, when the bodies relaxation response is activated.
So, what can we do???
One thing we can do is learn to activate the relaxation response more readily. Something I wish I had known a long time ago!
Here is a ‘gentle movement and breath technique’ to release any physical or mental tension, created throughout the day… Try it and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
- Sit on the edge of the bed, and let every thing soften and fold forward.
- From here take a nice big inhale and along the length of the spine, as you come to sit nice and tall, you can also raise the arms over head.
- As, you exhale fold forward again over the legs inviting all the muscles to soften, and slow down.
- Allow the inhale to flow in naturally as you come to sit up… and repeat 2 or 3 times, or as needed extending the exhale and allowing everything to melt away.
- Notice how you feel.
If you liked this, we will be going through it together along with other tips and techniques to ensure you get more good quality sleep : in my next online masterclass
‘DESIGN YOUR SLEEP FOR SUCCESS’
Join us to create your perfect ritual for a peaceful night full of zzzz’s
Lots of Love
****p.s. You’ll be happy to know, the previously mentioned ‘baby’ is now nearly 9 and very much a lively fun member of our family. Sometimes if he is upset and even if he is not, we sit together and do our “respiro morbido” our “soften breathing” before bed. It is the best “slower downerer”, sending him off into a peaceful sleep and gifting me a special moment to ‘be’ with him 🙂