Have you ever experienced the 2am rave party happening in your mind? Glow sticks and all. You know, when your brain just doesn’t shut up! You’re lying there thinking to yourself ‘sleep, breathe slowly, relax, empty sky, black space, deep breaths, sleep, you’re tired, just sleep’. Nope, nothing is working.
They call it hyperactive brain. It is very frustrating, annoying and incredibly inconsiderate! I mean, come on brain! Why weren’t you this enthusiastic at 2pm today? I need my beauty sleep.
Getting a good nights sleep not only prevents dark circles, it plays a very important role in our mental and physical health. Sleeping is the time when your body heals and repairs itself to ensure you’re firing on all cylinders the next day.
So, what can we do to help us sleep better?
Rather than fight the 2am rave party happening in my head, I decided to embrace it, listen to it and figure out how to prevent it from rearing its ugly head again!
If you can’t beat it, join it. Right…?! Um, NO. I would rather sleep please. Give me a healthy body and mind over zombie lady any day.
So here are my top four tips on how to have a good night’s sleep, and silence the rave party.
- Give yourself some mental and physical time out before you go to bed. You’re not doing anyone any favours by jumping straight into bed after a busy day/night. Prioritise at least an hour worth of down time for yourself before going to bed. Stay away from household chores, work emails, family and friend phone calls and texting. You’re body needs to get into the state of switching off, and importantly, you want to ‘train’ it to relax at night so it knows it’s time for sleep. The more you can get into a habit of relaxing and unwinding, the more you are conditioning your body to slip into sleeping mode at night.
- Count sheep! I’m serious. The brain loves symbols and images as it helps to distract our minds from whatever is keeping us up. Create mental images that take a little more effort to think about, like sheep jumping over a fence or counting backwards from 100. These repetitive exercises have been proven by research to help keep the constant chatter at bay.
- Write down anything that is worrying you well and truly before you go to bed. Remember that I suggested you get into the habit of winding down at least an hour before turning off the lights. Well, before this time is when you should note down anything that might keep you up. Firstly understand that some worry is productive, meaning that we are worrying because it motivates us into action. Productive worry has its place as it helps us find a solution. Unproductive worry is well, unproductive. Unfortunately you can’t solve some things right now, or perhaps it’s out of your control. In this case, let it go. For everything else, write down all the items that are worrying you (on your mind) and then list the actions you will take tomorrow to solve/address them. Brain dump everything on this paper so that you know, when you get up tomorrow you’ve got a plan in place, ready for action.
- This is my personal favourite. Reduce the use of technology at night. I have to admit, I struggle with this myself some nights. However, I’m a big fan of no phones, emails or ipads after 8pm. Read a book… remember those? Or, have more quality time with your partner. Bliss!
Love, MD x
Note: Please see a doctor if you are loosing sleep regularly or you suffer from sleep deportation.