Archive of ‘Sleep Tips’ category

SLEEP IS MORE IMPORTANT TO HAPPINESS THAN MONEY

 

Ever wondered what’s the key to happiness? It turns out you don’t need more money, you just need more sleep!

The Living Well happiness index, developed by Oxford Economics and the National Centre for Social Research in the UK, has found that sleep has the strongest association with a person’s happiness and wellbeing – well above money.

Researchers asked thousands of people across the country questions about their relationships, finances, and lifestyle with the goal of uncovering what it truly means to live well.

What they found was somewhat surprising: that being more rested is more beneficial to wellbeing than if your disposable income was increased five-fold.
[WATCH THE VIDEO HERE]

In short: getting a better night’s rest will have a far more profound impact on your happiness, than that pay rise you want!

For us at The Sleep Expert, this study highlights the need for a cultural shift in the way we perceive and prioritize the size of our bank account vs. the quality of our ZZZ’s.

The fast-paced, competitive world of our Western society where the hard working and constantly striving are rewarded and often glamorized, has conditioned us to believe that sacrificing our rest for the pursuit of material success is the way to a more fulfilled life. We are seldom taught to reflect on the consequences that this ‘sleep less, work harder’ mentality has on the things that really matter – like our productivity, health and interpersonal relationships. And, unfortunately, we often don’t learn the value of sleep until chronic insomnia, disease and burnout set in.

The results from the Living Well study offer crucial insights for us all and invite us to look at how we prioritize sleep in our everyday lives. All-in-all they are a simple and welcome reminder that, sometimes, all we need to feel better is just a little more sleep!

NEED MORE HELP?
Would you love a free 1:1 session with ME to get better sleep now?
Click here now

7 Natural Alternatives to Sleeping Tablets

my-sleep-coach-success

When you wake up in the morning, your tone for the day is already set. The mood you wake up in will typically determine the quality of your day.

But what determines the mood you wake up in? It’s the quality of your sleep. We spend so much time and money enhancing our diet and fitness, but improving our sleep can be the single most important thing we do. Optimizing our sleep can revolutionize the quality of our life.

Improving your sleep can involve a number of steps, but here are 7 simple tips to a better night’s sleep – drug-free.

Change your values around sleep

In the west, we place a very high value on doing (rather than being). We often consider sleep to be a waste of time. However, it is during sleep that we heal and rejuvenate. Of course, while we are asleep we are not conscious to know what is going on. If we were, we would probably put sleep up as our number one priority.

While we sleep, we produce human growth hormone which keeps us young, as well as an array of hormones that make us feel happy and motivated the next day. Our brains are also effectively “cleaned out”, so we are on the top of our game cognitively the following day.

If we truly understood this, we would probably place quality sleep at the top of our list. By valuing sleep, we begin to prioritize it, and we do things better when we prioritize them.
Start to value sleep, rather than seeing it as a time burner.

Learn to read your stress signals

I have so many clients coming to me saying that they don’t believe their sleep struggles are stress-related, but when we look at their physiology, all of the signs of stress are there. If we have elevated stress levels every day, we may feel normal, even though our nervous system is saying something else.

We need to personally be aware of how stress manifests in our physiology so that we know when you are stressed.

Do you have short shallow breaths into your upper chest, or do you have long slow deep breaths into your lower abdomen? Do you have tight muscles, or loose, relaxed muscles? Do you hunch over or do you have a flexible and upright posture?

If you answered the former rather than the later to any of these questions, chances are you have elevated stress or anxiety levels. Lowering your stress and/or anxiety levels will help you to sleep better. But the first step in this process is knowing when you are stressed or anxious, so:

Learn to read your physiology so you are actually aware of when you are stressed or anxious.

Step into your Feminine

The daytime is more closely tied to our masculine energy – doing and achieving. It is the time we activate our sympathetic nervous system. At night, in order to sleep, we need to activate our parasympathetic nervous system – which is associated with the feminine (relaxation, simply being, etc)

The parasympathetic nervous system is connected to our “rest, digest and reproduce” functions. If we are still in fight or flight, we cannot drift off into a peaceful rejuvenating sleep. Regardless of whether we are male or female, we need to step into the softer feminine energy at night, in order to succumb to sleep.
Learn to let go and surrender, especially before bedtime.

Connect to Yourself

When mind, body, and spirit are out of alignment, it is very difficult to fall asleep. Connecting to yourself and living in alignment with your truth will help you not only to sleep more easily but will help you to achieve a better quality sleep.
Take a moment to be still, reflect on your day, and release any tension you are holding onto.  Where in your life are you living in misalignment with your higher purpose and values?

Get into a Whole Brain State

It is much easier to fall asleep when our left and right hemispheres of the brain are integrated. Most of us have a dominant left brain so we need to do more activities to activate the right hemisphere of the brain as well. This includes getting out of our routine and doing new activities, as well as activities which utilise the imagination. Children drift off to sleep with a nice bed time story.  They can be very creative, and it truly helps.
Try activating the right hemisphere of your brain by doing something creative before bed.

Most of us curl up when we go to bed. What we may not realize is that we are putting our body into a fight or flight posture. Studies show that when we are in fear, we automatically go into the fetal position.

If we go to sleep in this position, we may be signaling to our nervous system that we are in fight or flight, and that it is not safe to go to sleep. Starting tonight, try to sleep with an open posture instead. It can take some time to get used to, but in the long term, it helps.
Open up the lung area, so that you can take nice deep breaths.

Take a Smile to Bed

Experiment with different strategies that help you to get to sleep at night. Have one prepared – that you know works – so that you’re not lying there planning the next day. Different strategies work for different people. Find something that helps you switch off from the day and helps you to shift your state to something you find pleasant and relaxing. Whichever strategy you find, do it with a smile.

We are more likely to have positive thoughts if we have a smile on our face. This helps us to nod off faster.
Put a smile on your dial in bed.

There is so much more to sleep than the commonly written about topics of sleep hygiene (ie the sleep habits and “rules”) and the common answer of meditation/mindfulness. The tips in this article are just the tip of the iceberg. We are all unique. In order to create lasting and deep changes to your sleep, you will get the best results by working directly with your own sleep expert. Your sleep expert will work with you one on one to eradicate your sleep issues – so that you feel great and live to your true potential.

NEED MORE HELP?
Would you love a free 1:1 session with ME to get better sleep now?

Click here now

World Sleep Day 2017: Sleep Soundly, Nurture Life

man-person-cute-young

Sleep comes naturally for all of us, so much so that we humans spend one third of our entire life sleeping. That means, if we live to be 75 years old and we’re sleeping at least 8 hours a day, 25 years of that is spent sleeping.

But has sleep really been given much importance or has it taken the sidelines and for some, maybe even considered just an option and no longer a necessity?

We’re past the era when people knew very little about the importance of sleep or what happens during sleep and have gone from thinking sleep was a form of death to actually being able to document different brain cycles during sleep – and yet we’re sleeping lesser or not at all either because of sleep issues or by choice.

Because of the significance of sleep in our physical, mental and emotional well-being, it is important that we don’t let sleep be just a nighttime ritual behind closed doors, but an open subject for all to discuss and celebrate and even share with others.

With people sleeping over an hour less than what we did 100 years ago, we have an epidemic of partial sleep deprivation in western society. This is finally being recognised. People are beginning to understand that sleep health is just as important, if not more important, than diet and exercise.  

Sleep Celebration

World Sleep Day is an annual event, intended to be a celebration of sleep and a call to action on important issues related to sleep, including medicine, education, social aspects and driving. It is organised by the World Sleep Day Committee of World Sleep Society and aims to lessen the burden of sleep problems on society through better prevention and management of sleep disorders. As of 2016, World Sleep Day had a total of 394 delegates in 72 countries around the globe. Source

This year, World Sleep Day will be celebrated on March 17, 2017 (today!) all over the world and will echo the message of “Sleep Soundly, Nurture Life.”

Celebrate Sleep Your Way

You don’t necessarily have to be a delegate to help spread the good message of sleep throughout the world, you can be a Sleep Ambassador in your own simple way and you can start with prioritising and improving your own sleep.

Here’s how you can help celebrate World Sleep Day:

  1. Check the quality of your sleep: are you waking up refreshed and rejuvenated or are you waking up groggy and with low energy? A good night’s sleep is comparable to charging your batteries to make you fully-charged to start another day. If you don’t sleep well, don’t  buy into the myth that there is nothing that you can do, and that you just have to “put up with it”
  2. Become aware of what affects the quality and duration of your sleep.  What does and doesn’t work for you? Don’t just look at your sleep habits – but what are you doing during the day that affects your sleep at night? If you can’t figure it out or need some help it might be time for a trip to a Sleep Coach.
  3. Be a living testament of good sleep: Waking up on the wrong side of the bed is an expression which might be linked to not being able to sleep soundly thereby affecting your mood and quality of life. If you get enough quality sleep, you’re affecting the world around you with your positivity and vibrance. Sleep more so you can smile more and live longer!

World Sleep Day is a celebration every first Friday of March but that doesn’t mean sleep should only be celebrated then. Sleep should be celebrated everyday and you can start now!

Good night and sleep tight! Don’t let the bedbugs bite!

TV interview with Denise Drysdale of Studio 10

Denise and Elina interview smiling

Sleep is an essential part of our daily lives as it helps us rest and recover from the daily grind but unfortunately, not everyone gets a full night’s rest and although a night of sleeplessness might have very little impact, the long-term effects of sleep deprivation could be detrimental to ones over-all health.

What’s even more concerning about the matter of sleep deprivation is the fact that not many people are even aware they have such a problem and how it negatively affects their health and lifestyle.

In this television interview, we talk to Denise Drysdale aka Ding-dong, co-host of the morning show on Studio 10 and two-time winner of the Gold Logie award for Most Popular Female personality on Australian television, while she takes us through her sleeplessness and we share with her some helpful tips on how to combat it.

Here are some helpful key takeaways from the TV interview:

If it takes you more than 20 minutes to go to sleep, that is too long and it means something is out of balance. Awareness is always the first step and if you know this, then you know something needs to be done.

Adrenaline is a stress hormone and something that stops you from sleeping. So if you’re an active person and have an active mind, you need to start training your body and mind to start winding down so it is easier for you to fall asleep. When your body is in the “fight or flight”, your body doesn’t feel it is safe to drift off to sleep.  Even if the adrenaline pumping through your veins is from excitement, the message being sent to your body is “it is time to do more” rather than sleep.

Whilst some people’s sleep can be affected by excessive worry, there is another category of people whose sleep is affected by excessive excitement and the need for constant stimulation. I work with these people to remove the need for excitement. The trick is to learn to replace the excitement with the bliss hormones. Once you know how, It is well worth it!

Here are some quick sleep tips:

– Dim the lights a couple of hours before going to bed.

– If watching TV before bed, watch it from a screen that has an app that blocks out the blue light. Blue light acts like the sun does and our eyes recognize that and it suppresses the melatonin production. Melatonin is a hormone that is produced by the pineal gland, which relaxes us and helps us to fall asleep.

– If snoring is a problem, sleep on your side but if you still snore, you can try wearing acupressure rings that work on the meridian of the muscles which cause snoring at night.

– Download an app that records your sleep – measure how long it takes you to sleep, how many times you’re waking up, how deep your sleep is and how much you’re snoring during the night – the app records the sound so it knows how much you snore. By monitoring your sleep patterns, it is easier for you to pinpoint the specific problem and how to solve it.

Thanks for joining me today and sleep tight my lovelies.. Don’t let the bed bugs bite! 🙂

If you or anyone you know has sleep problems and need some help, feel free to send a note to elina@mysleepcoach.com.au so we can get you or your friend on your way to restful nights. 

Tips For Sleeping On A Plane

Heading off to some far-off land on a long haul flight? Don’t sacrifice a good night’s sleep just because you won’t be horizontal.

Here are our best tips for how to sleep on a plane:

Choose a good seat

Be sure to select your seat as soon as possible. Some airlines let you choose your seat upon booking, while others open up seat selection once online check-in begins. Either way, pick your seat as soon as you can.

Now, which seats are best for sleeping on a plane? Assuming you’re flying economy class, your best bet is a seat in the emergency exit row: that way you’ll be able to stretch out your legs and won’t be disturbed by your seatmates moving in and out of their seats. Otherwise, try for a window seat: you’re less likely to be bothered, and you’ll be oh-so-thankful for being able to lean on the side of the plane for a little extra sleep room. Whatever you do, avoid booking seats that can’t recline (e.g. the last row of the plane)!

Bonus tip: Check out SeatGuru.com to examine the seating chart for your flight. It has notes marking which seats are more/less desirable, so you can see which seats are the best for sleeping on the plane!

seatguru plane seating map

Don’t drink

Thinking about knocking yourself out with a glass of wine on the flight? Think again – you may be regretting that decision when you wake up a few hours later needing to use the toilet. You’ll also feel the effects of dehydration more quickly while in a pressurized cabin, and that certainly won’t help you sleep. What’s more dehydration is one of the main causes of jetlag, so it won’t help you at the other end either.

Invest in some sleep accessories

Let’s face it: you’re not going to get the most comfortable night’s sleep on a plane. But you can make it much more bearable by bringing a few sleep aids on the flight with you:

  • Eye mask or baseball cap – If you have trouble falling asleep without total darkness, then covering your eyes on a plane is an absolute must! A comfortable eye mask should do the trick. Or alternatively, try wearing a baseball cap with the brim pulled all the way down over your eyes.
  • Earplugs or ear buds – It’s easy to be jarred awake by sudden noises in the cabin, from conversations to passenger movement to the overhead compartments slamming shut. If you’re a light sleeper, block out the noise with some earplugs. Or if you’re the kind of person who sleeps well with music on, pop in those ear buds and turn a sleep-friendly playlist on repeat. We recommend theta or delta brainwave music.
  • Neck pillow – These things may look borderline ridiculous, but they work some serious magic when it comes to falling asleep on a plane. They provide much-needed neck support so that you’re not suddenly jolted awake when your neck cramps up from being bent at an odd angle. Try wearing the neck pillow backwards so that your chin is supported from the front. And if bulkiness is a concern, look for an inflatable neck pillow that folds up small when packed in your carry-on bag.

sleep on a plane
(Photo source)

Dress for comfort

Rather than dressing to impress, board the plane wearing what you’d normally wear to bed (presuming you wear something to bed!). Comfortable loose bottoms and wooly socks. Make sure you have a blanket or shawl to wrap yourself up in. It gives us a nice feeling of being nurtured, which always helps with falling asleep.

Practice brainwave flexibility

Once you have learned how to increase your brainwave flexibility, it becomes much easier to sleep on a plane, because it is much easier for you to access the slow brainwave states at will. The noises won’t bother you as much, you will be able to relax more easily, and you may even begin to enjoy the challenge of getting a good night’s sleep on a plane. For tips on increasing your brainwave flexibility before your overnight flight, be sure to check out our post on brainwaves!

1 2