We all want a good night’s sleep. But for many, sleeping the whole night through is a thing of the past.
Here’s an acronym that can help you begin to get your sleeping back on track. Remember though, if you’re really struggling, contact a health professional who specialises in helping people sleep better.
S STOP what you’re doing! If you’re lying awake at night, tell yourself this is not the time to sort your problems out. Instead, set some “worry time” aside during the day, so that at night, when you wake up, you can tell yourself: “Now is sleep time. I’m going to gently breathe into my tummy and relax.”
L LET GO of your thoughts and bring your attention back to your breath. If worries keep coming at you, like stealth bombers, keep breathing deep down into your tummy, and do a gentle body scan, starting with your toes and slowly scanning up your body, allowing everything to relax as you go.
E EASE INTO SLEEP. At least an hour before bed, get yourself off technology, including television and YouTube. Have a wind down routine before bed. Dim the lights in your bedroom, make sure your room is calm, tidy and clean, and even do some gentle wind-down yoga.
E EAT AND DRINK MINDFULLY BEFORE BED. Stay off caffeinated drinks after midday. If you need to drink alcohol in the evening, just have one drink, and sip it slowly. If your bladder can handle it, slowly sip chamomile tea before bed. Try not to eat heavy, rich food for your evening meal.
P PROCEED with the knowledge that you can do this. Try to go to bed the same time each night, and get up at the same time each morning. This will help your brain get into a new positive sleeping pattern.