Sleep Could Be Affected By Your Daytime Routine
If you’ve mastered the art of “sleep hygiene” at bedtime – drawing the black-out blinds, having a hot bath, meditating for 10 minutes and keeping the bedroom for sex and sleep only – yet you’re still plagued by sleepless nights, a new book suggests there may be a little more to it.
Dr Nerina Ramlakhan is a physiologist who has worked with people with sleeping problems for two decades and runs the sleep, energy and health programms at the Nightingale Psychiatric Hospital in London.
Having worked with countless stressed and sleep-deprived professionals, Dr Ramlakhan has concluded that much of how we rest at night is governed by our daytime behavior.
YOU THINK LIKE AN INSOMNIAC
People with sleeping issues often harbor unhelpful beliefs about sleep. For example, during the day they tell themselves how important it is that they rest that night or their performance the next day will suffer. At bedtime, this puts them in a state of anxiety and high alert in which stress hormones such as cortisol are released, making shut eye less likely. Other unhelpful ideas include believing that you shouldn’t wake up during the night, needing to know the time if you do, and thinking anything less than seven or eight hours is sleep failure.
Do this instead: Relax your sleep perfectionism and you’ll relax your mind into sleeping better. Stop worrying about not having slept well or even waking up at night – studies show the average adult wakes ten times a night. Turn your alarm clock away from you so that you don’t see the time the instant your eyes are open. If you do wake at night, lie there and focus on resting and feeling cozy instead of telling yourself your day will be a disaster – it won’t. Moreover, in that relaxed state you’re far more likely to fall back into sleep.
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