Without enough sleep, we all become tall two-year-olds.
~ JoJo Jensen
Insomnia is becoming a silent modern-day epidemic. Stress and compromised life rhythms are taking a toll on sleep. According to Dr Mark Wu, sleep expert and professor at John Hopkins, sleep is no longer a passive nice to do process. It not only impacts our day-to-day functioning but also our longevity and quality of life.
Insomnia can present itself in forms such as difficulty falling asleep, waking up in the middle of the night or even poor-quality sleep that leaves you exhausted and foggy in the morning.
The question often I am asked this question in my workshops as a well-being educator, “how can I sleep better?” There is no universal answer to this question. We have different chronotypes. Some are morning larks while others are night owls.
Here are three questions I often ask that tell us a lot about the problem.
1.Do you sleep with your phone? Over 90%of the audience confesses to sleeping with their phones by the bedside. Take the phone out of the bedroom for a better quality of sleep and relationships. When the phone is your alarm, you slip into emails and media first thing. Keep an alarm clock and start your morning more intentionally.
2.Do you have a wind-down routine? Most people pay scant attention to cuing the mind and body to get ready to sleep. Shut off screens, eat two hours before bedtime, listen to some calming music, stretch, meditate, relax and end your day restfully.
3.Do you have adequate physical activity in your day? With the pandemic, people have given up walking, running and gymming. Engage in some physical activities such as climbing stairs, an online exercise, dance or yoga classes. Track your steps on a device and see what the data tells you. Get up and move more often in the day.
Here is one hot tip from sleep scientist Mathew Walker, keep a worry journal by your bedside. Write down all your worries before you go to sleep. If you wake up with worries in the night, write them down. Scientific studies show that this technique helps you sleep better and worry less.
Sleep is essential, not a luxury. Examine your lifestyle and workstyle to make sleep a priority. Sleep tight!