Endless Sleepless Nights
Most of the people would not be denied on the importance of quality sleep to our health, even though we may not be lucky enough to have one every night.
Have the following situations happened on you ever?
- "Time has come, but I am not able to fall asleep yet!”
- "I may only be staring at the ceilings if getting on bed too early!”
- "I could not fall back to sleep once awake at midnight!”
If insomnia visits frequently, what could be done to improve the quality of our sleep then?
From the perspective of psychology, we have to establish connection between sleepiness and our bed inside our mind to improve the quality of sleep, so that we would be prepared to fall asleep whenever physically entering bedroom.
- Primarily, any activity that has nothing to do with sleeping should be expelled from the bedroom, such as surfing internet or working, to accustom our body only to having rest in such environment.
- Secondly, if you fail to fall into sleep 30 minutes after lying on bed, stay away from it to avoid memorising the sober status where you were supposed to feel tired, until sleepiness strikes again.
- Finally, develop your personal pre-sleep pattern to inform your body to make preparation and adjustment before sleeping.
In addition, some living habits may also be helpful to enhance our quality of sleep, including not to have exciting activities before bed time, (e.g. playing video games, watching dramas, smoking or any other strenuous exercises). Avoid using electronic devices which release blue ray to retrain the discharge of sleep-aid hormone. A regular tempo biological clock should be set, that is to sleep and wake up at similar time daily. Abandon supplementary sleep in weekend or on day off to keep the biological clock running on time. Try to skip noon snooze if possible, or at least to finish it before 3 p.m. for less than an hour duration to reserve enough sleepiness until bed time.
At the same time, the misunderstandings towards sleeping may affect its quality as well. For instance, we tend to "stay on bed even if it is difficult to fall asleep”.
- However, failure increases our anxiety. Such useless "insistence” destroys the connection between bed and sleepiness which worsens the situation.
- Another misunderstanding is the obsession on "8 hour-sleep”. In fact, such number only represents the average level. Each individual requires different amount of sleeping time, and it changes as the growth of ages, changes of physical conditions, environment and the frequency of activities, etc. Take me for instance, I occasionally sleep for only 4-5 hours the night before and still wake up with sufficient energy to handle work and life the next morning.
In general, the best reference for the amount of sleeping time we actually require is the status when we wake up.
If you wish to learn more about insomnia, you are welcome to download the newlife330 app in which we offer a mindfulness exercise designed to deal with insomnia, and to clarify misunderstandings and myths.
At last, getting rid of insomnia does not happen overnight. So what bad habits have you noticed on yourself in terms of sleep that could be changed immediately from today?
To review related webinar: https://youtu.be/yKNvTrPUMPE