There is a growing body of evidence that suggests that sleeping well is vitally important to our well-being and health. It seems to be so important that some would posit it should be the number 1 priority in our life if we are looking to improve the quality of our well-being. Personally, I am making this more of a priority with my psychotherapy clients encouraging them to develop healthier sleeping patterns.
Suffering from sleep apnea (currently untreated, long story in itself) I can also relate to the above in a personal fashion. I can sometimes sleep for 10+ hours, but still be incredibly tired through the day. So much so, that I can be so tired that I nod off here and there for a few minutes. As you may well imagine, this does not go well for my day to day routines.
As such I was looking into natural ways to improve the quality of my sleep. I can say that I have found a couple of things thus far that have helped in this regard:
- Make your bedroom as dark as possible. Cover the windows of the bedroom so that no natural light gets in. Ideally, we want the room to be as light free as possible.
- Make sure the bedroom is only for sleeping or sex. Do not bring your laptop, mobile phone into the room. Ensure there is no TV in the room.
- Install Flux or some similar application on computers. This small application helps remove the blue light from computer screens and adjusts it to red light. Why is this important? Blue light tends to be closer to daylight. As such, it fools our brains into thinking night time is day time and consequently can affect the quality of our sleep. Red light mimics the effects of indoor lighting – consequently queuing the brain into believing it is night. When I first starting using the application the red lighting seemed a little strange and out of place. But after a couple of days using it, I no longer noticed it nearly as much.
- In the modern age, most people are vitamin D deficient (often due to a lack of sunlight exposure). Please ask for a blood test on your next doctors visit to check whether this is the case. If so, they are likely to recommend to taking some Vitamin D supplements. Take the supplements in the morning. The reason for doing so is to replicate the day/night cycles as best as we can. If we take the vitamin D in the morning, it matches when we ordinarily get vitamin D from sunlight. Of course, it also is in people’s best interest to get outside more and get their vitamin D intake from the sun. Skin that is exposed to sunshine indoors through a window will not produce vitamin D.
- Habit, Habit, Habit… Go to sleep at the same time every night. Our brains love routine and familiarity. Going to bed at the same time every night breeds familiarity.
What we are trying to achieve by implementing these changes is to get our bodies back into synch with the natural day/night sleeping pattern. I have found that doing so can make a difference in the quality of sleep. If I find more useful tips, I will definitely be sharing them here. I would also encourage people to share any sleep tips that may have (and no zonking out on alcohol or drugs doesn’t count for the tips I am looking for).