Friday 18th March is World Sleep Day, and the theme is: Quality sleep, Sound mind, Happy world.
Sleep is super important. I know that. You know that. Yet I don’t get enough of it. Does anyone?
Something happens when you wake in the dead of night. All the thoughts you banish to the very back of your mind resurface. They seem to be bigger and louder. All of your worries, the things you NEED to do, the things you WANT to do – in the dead of night, the list is endless. Rationally I know that worrying is not helpful, it won’t help me fall back to sleep any quicker, and it won’t allow me to get through my to-do list!
At Impact, we firmly believe that to be at our best, we need to carefully consider our health and wellbeing, both at work and in our personal lives – they are not mutually exclusive of each other. We take a holistic approach by developing awareness of our health and wellbeing, which then enables us to manage it ourselves. Quality sleep is a fundamental part of this, contributing to good mental health, improved focus, and physical and emotional wellbeing.
So, if you are like me and wake up in the dead of night, try one of the six tips that have helped me fall back to sleep.
Try a breathing exercise. The Box method, 4-7-8 breathing technique or the Three-part breathing exercise can all calm your mind and body to help you fall asleep.
Think back to a joyful moment. A study in 2019 from the University of Cambridge found that the ability to remember pleasant events in detail is associated with lower cortisol levels and can interrupt negative thoughts and feelings.
Write down your worries or ideas. Keeping a pen and paper by your bed to jot down any concerns or ideas that might come to you in the middle of the night allows you to offload that concern, or at least to put it on pause, for the time being, making it easier for you to fall back to sleep.
Read or listen to something that makes you sleepy, whether it’s music, a story, or even a sleep-inducing meditation. Try a couple of different ones and see what works for you.
Use a calming scent. There are loads of sleep sprays available that can be used on your bedding, or if you have a diffuser, you can experiment with different essential oils. The best oils to promote sleep are lavender, chamomile, cedarwood, jasmine, and basil.
Give yourself some compassion. It is really important not to beat ourselves up for being unable to sleep. So go easy on yourself, take a deep breath, and try one of my top tips next time you need some help drifting off.