Sleep is one of the most natural processes the human body goes through. It is needed for relaxation, regeneration, and serves as a reset before the next day’s activities begin.
Much is known about sleep, yet much more is still regarded as knowledge yet to be conquered and understood, especially in relation to dreams. The main reason is due to the fact that we can’t really tell what’s going on in a person’s mind during this quiet time; we can only measure brain activity and learn about the experiences that people can share, which mostly comes up to not so much.
There are some people who can enter a state of lucid dreaming, but even this magnificent and mystical experience can’t tell us what’s happening in the states of deep sleep. And maybe it is for the best, so we can go to sleep blessed by our ignorance of the process.
But if sleep is such a normal thing, why do so many people have trouble achieving it? Some experts say the modern lifestyle, filled with screens, fluorescent light, excess of work, and a bad nutrition might be the answer, with stress as the the number one reason.
Modern lifestyle, filled with screens, excess of work, and a bad nutrition might be the cause for sleep disturbances, with stress as the the number one reason.
If you suffer from any kind of insomnia or sleep issue, keep on reading. If not, keep on reading as well, as you might be able to help someone close to you who does. What can we do to avoid it? Here are 4 activities and practices which might help you:
1. Make A To-Do List
How many times have you been in bed, ready to sleep, and you suddenly remember of that things you can’t forget to do the next day? And suddenly you remember of other things you have pending to do, and your mind starts wandering, and suddenly you think of an idea about that project you are working on, and you can’t stop. Surely many!
To avoid it, there are two options. Either keep a piece of paper and a pen in your bedside table, so when the ideas come you can get rid of them immediately by writing them down, or prepare a small list comprised of all the things you need to do the next day(s).
2. Visualize The Day’s Events
This practice is known as The Mind’s Screen. How do we perform it? Easy. Right before going to sleep, take 5 minutes, close your eyes and run through the day’s events. What you want to do is close your eyes and imagine a screen theater made especially for you. On this screen, you’ll see what happened since the moment you opened your eyes, in fast forward. If you feel you get stuck on an event, just move forward, or try to see a good side of it and then move forward. The important thing is to try and detach yourself from this “movie”, to be a viewer of this “film” instead of an actor, director or producer.
This practice helps you to process the day, instead of just going through it then stressing about it at night. It will also help you to learn from your own experience by viewing your actions in a brighter, less involved manner, thus creating a great mental environment for sleep.
3. Disconnect from any responsibility
Read a book, write, draw, paint (have you seen the amazing variety of art therapy and colouring books for adults?) or anything that can make all your trouble seem far away. These could be done after you finish your work day, or before you go to bed.
4. Create a bedtime ritual.
Prepare your body to sleep. Relaxing activities can promote a better sleep quality. Do the same each night to tell your body it is time to wind down, and follow some practicals tips we’ve mentioned in our previous article “Mindful Living: Sleeping Less But Better”.
What not to do?
Watch TV, especially a show or movie featuring violence, sex or flickering lights such as anime etc.,
Be on your phone/computer/tablet. Try to avoid any screen for at least 1 hour prior to sleep,
Eat. Make sure you have at least 2 hours between dinner and bedtime,
Work out late. Physical activity is great for sleep, but avoid it at night because it can stimulate you rather than relax you,
Have an Argument. Try to fall asleep when all is well in your world.
And most important – don’t panic if you can’t fall asleep – you will only push your sleep away. Do some breathing exercises, get up and read or have a glass of milk until you feel ready to sleep.
Let us know in the comment section below how did those practices worked for you. And don’t forget to track the quality of your sleep with analyze.life!
Have a good night 🙂