Are You Getting Enough Sleep

Sleeping is one of the most important aspects to physical well-being.  And it’s one of my most favorite things to do.  Ask anyone who knows me and they will testify to the fact that I value sleep above more than most anything else.

Image from:
Pixabay

Many things go into getting a restful
night’s sleep.

–Exercise.
Meditate an hour before bed.
–Make sure you have proper bedding.
–Consistency.

 

 

–The amount of caffeine you consume per day and when you stop drinking it.
–How much stress you have.
–What you do to relax before going to bed.

 

–What you do in your bedroom.
–Is it just for sleep?
–Do you read in bed?
–Is there a television in your bedroom?

 

Exercise
has been shown to improve your sleep patterns when done consistently,  In fact, some studies have even shown that exercise can reduce the possibilities of getting
sleep apnea.  The more you maintain a regular schedule of walking, aerobic activity, running or biking, the better you will sleep at night.  I understand that for those of us who live in the Northern Hemisphere it can sometimes be a challenge walk, bike, hike during the dead of winter.  However, you have to weigh the benefits of sleep vs the hindrances of dealing with the colder weather.  Dress warm and use the concept of layers.  Instead of ONE winter coat, use several layers, a shirt, a long sleeve cotton shirt, a sweatshirt, THEN your coat.  Make sure you wear a scarf to protect your neck from wind and cold getting into your body and ear muffs if like me, you don’t like wearing a hat.  If you’re consistent with the amount of activity you pursue, you will see a positive change in your sleep patterns.

 

Meditation
is one activity where you won’t have to wait to see results.  If you turn off all electronic screens at LEAST one hour before going to bed and sit in darkness with soft instrumental music playing in the background and simply let your mind drift away, by the time you crawl into your bed, all the work of relaxing will be complete and you’ll find yourself falling asleep much quicker than before.  This practice takes adherence, and again here comes that word:

 

Consistency
You can’t expect to meditate once a week and think that you’ll sleep well every night.  This must become part of who you are.  Meditate every night for a week and you’ll see a direct positive result.  You’ll fall asleep faster and you will wake feeling more refreshed.  Once you see the results, I believe you will continue to do this every night.

 

Do you have a comfortable sleeping arrangement?
How old is your mattress?

 

Speaking of Proper Bedding.  It is important that you have a bedding that fits your sleep patterns.  By bedding I mean not just your mattress but your pillow as well.  In December 2012, I wrote a column here about selecting the proper pillow for the way you sleep.  It is definitely worth a read through again.  As I wrote in that column:

 

I used a soft down pillow for YEARS. It wasn’t until I experienced neck pain that I realized I used the wrong pillow.  Read the column linked above to discover why.  The other important factor to consider in the proper bedding category is this:
Your bedroom should be used for ONE THING and ONE THING ONLY:
Sleep.

 

All other activities should be done outside your bedroom.  Your unconscious will be trained by what you do in your bedroom.  And your body will follow suit.  If you read or watch television in your bedroom, your unconscious will begin attributing your bedroom to those activities and you will find it more challenging to fall asleep.

 

What position do you sleep in?
–Are you a side sleeper?
–Do you sleep on your back?  On your stomach?

How old is your pillow?
And did you know the pillow you choose can determine how well you sleep?  
I’m using a Tempur-Pedic Side Pillow.  If you visit the preceding link you’ll see what caused me to begin using the Tempur-Pedic pillow.  I’ll never use another pillow again.

 

How old is your mattress?
Now we get into why this column came about today.  
In October on Columbus Day Weekend I FINALLY bit the bullet and purchased a new mattress after having my previous one for over sixteen years.  The first thing I noticed after sleeping on the new mattress for a week, is that I no longer wake up in the middle of the night.  Previously, I’d wake as many as three times a night as I shifted in bed attempting to find my sweet spot.  I didn’t realize how badly I needed a new mattress until about month before I made the purchase.  Once I slept for the first week on the new one it became clear that I was well overdue.

 

My advice is if your mattress is over ten years old, it’s probably due for a replacement.  I’m sure you’ve heard it said that we spend a quarter of our lives in bed.  Isn’t it important to be comfortable?

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

 

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