Monday, September 28, 2009

How to get a good night's sleep.

Post 334 - Several of the people who are dear to me have trouble sleeping. I've also discovered that as many as 70-million Americans (about one-quarter of the population) have difficulty sleeping, and half this group have chronic sleep problems. A good night's sleep is as important to survival as food and water. With too little, we don't function well. We run a higher risk of accidents, we sometimes perform poorly at work, and our moods can turn sour.

Some of the reasons that people can't sleep:
* Because of lifestyles or work schedules, sleep just isn't a priority for some people. Stress from hectic schedules can make it difficult to relax and fall asleep.
* The body's internal clock programs people to feel sleepy at night and to be active during the day. When that clock is upset, sleeping becomes difficult. For example, travelers who fly across multiple time zones often get "jet lag" because they can’t maintain a regular sleep-wake schedule.
* People who work at night and try to sleep during the day are constantly fighting their internal clocks. Without adequate rest, they’re more likely to make errors or have accidents at work.
* Sleep disorders often occur in people who have a chronic disease that involves pain or infection, a neurological or psychiatric disorder, or an alcohol or substance abuse disorder. For these individuals, as sleep becomes difficult, it potentially worsens their medical conditions.

Here are some of the more common recommendations for dealing with sleeplessness:
* Go to sleep and wake up at the same times as much as possible, even on weekends.
* Exercise at a regular time each day, at least 3-hours before bedtime.
* Get some natural, outdoor light each day.
* Avoid caffeine late in the day and don't drink alcohol to help you sleep.
* Create a quiet, dark, warm, and well ventilated place to sleep.
* Develop a nighttime routine that helps you slow down and relax before you go to bed.
* If you're having trouble falling asleep after about 15 minutes, get up, do a quiet activity, and return to bed when you’re sleepy.

In addition, I recommend you also try the following:

Learn to separate the majors from the minors. A lot of people can't quiet their mind to sleep simply because they major in minor things. Every evening, write down the three or four most important things you want to accomplish the next day. Then, while you sleep, your subconscious will work on finding the best ways for you to accomplish them. The following day should go much more smoothly as a result.

Say your affirmations as soon as you go to bed. This is a good practice because while you sleep, your brain will work on how to make your affirmations come true.

A Good Night Affirmation – "I’m the master of my mind. I have a powerful plan that will let me sleep peacefully every night."

A Goal-Setting Affirmation - "I’ve written down an important three-year goal and I’m taking steps to get started."

A Focusing Affirmation - "I’m paying attention to the opportunities that surround me every day."

If you're not sleeping because you have a problem related to work - the "XYZ issue," ask yourself, in your mind, the following question: "How can I resolve the XYZ issue?" Keep asking that question, in your mind, until you fall asleep. If your mind wanders, get back to the question and keep focusing on it.

Each morning when you wake up, while you’re still lying in bed, mentally start going through a list of things you’re grateful for and I’ll bet you’ll soon begin to feel blessed and appreciative! That way, you’ll start each day from a much better perspective.

And remind yourself how special and unique you are. If you believe in yourself, you’re destined for greatness. When you’re one of the few who get things done, you’re the envy of the many who only watch.

Have a powerful day! Make it a really great week...and sleep well.


Ray Davis said...

Hello, John

I really enjoyed your article. Many people have affirmations pigeon-holed into certain life situations. In fact, they can be used for just about anything. Using them to help someone sleep is one such application.

Have a fantastic week!

Ray Davis
Founder, The Affirmation Spot

john cotter said...

Thanks Ray - seems like we're on the same wavelength here.