Recently I bought myself a fitness tracker (the Jawbone Up3 in the photo) which tracks, amongst other things, the quantity and quality of sleep. The sleep results have been particularly fascinating and very revealing. They've certainly made me realise that I don't prioritise my sleep as much would be good for me
I’ve also been reading a lot of articles and news about sleep and I came across an article about our average sleep times. It seems that most of us rarely get the sleep we need to be functioning at our best – physically or mentally. The article got me thinking about how our attitude to sleep often varies dramatically during the day In the morning, most people say they would give anything to have more time asleep, hating the sound of the alarm. However, later in the day, when we could get an early nightand have that much-longed for extra hour, we choose to stay up instead
The lure of TV or our online activities seems to wipe out that memory of how tired we’ll feel again the next morning. Consequently, few people give sleep the priority it deserves in the evening – viewing almost anything else as more interesting.
Turns out this can be a very unhealthy thing to do. Although sleep seems like a passive activity, it’s actually a very active process. During sleep mood-boosting chemicals are replenished, the hormone regulating appetite is released, the immune system is boosted and soft tissues are repaired. Good sleep – in quantity and quality - aids good heart health and enables learning and memory. No wonder we end up cranky, fatigued, overweight and unfit when we repeatedly have less sleep than we need.
Of course, not all lack of sleep is due to our habits in an evening. A particularly common cause of insomnia is anxiety and the over-thinking that accompanies it. I see this a lot in many of my clients.
Other causes can be chronic pain, illness or perimenopausal night sweats. Whatever its cause, insomnia is a long-term and exhausting problem for many people. Fortunately, most insomnia responds very well to hypnotherapy and very often it can soon be a thing of the past.
Since tracking my sleep, I’ve become much more aware of how my sleep habits might not be as healthy as I thought, and it has led me to set better goals for a minimum amount of sleep each night. The results also indicate that I often don't get an optimal amount of deep sleep - another factor linked to lifestyle and evening habits. In time, I hope that this awareness will help me develop new habits which become quite natural for me.
It’s worth knowing that better sleep is generally a side-effect of any hypnotherapy as you learn to allow your mind to relax deeply. Why not try out self-hypnosis at home to experience how such complete relaxation feels? There’s a free recording to download from our website, or you could get our app for your phone from iTunes. Either way, give it a go – you might not get to love the sound of your alarm, but you might find that you feel and function better mentally and physically as a result.
You can download our app by clicking on the logos below:
The Jawbone UP3 is available from Amazon, Curry's and other retailers.