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Don’t You Deserve Sweet Dreams Too?

November 11, 2011

Do you have problems falling asleep or staying asleep? Does your mind keep you up at night when you know you desperately need rest? Have you ever found yourself staring at the clock in the middle of the night, frustrated that you are not able to fall asleep, knowing you have to get up in just a few short hours? If you have ever experienced insomnia, this article is for you.

According to the National Institutes of Health at least 70 million people suffer from insomnia. The costs of insomnia are personal to you, but they are also at a record high of almost $20 billion to employers and the government in terms of absenteeism, lost productivity, accidents related to sleep deprivation and health care

The toll insomnia is taking on us and others around us is only getting worse. We live in an increasingly fast-paced world with more stresses, more responsibilities and more expectations of us than ever before. We want to be better, to work harder and to make more money to live in bigger houses to then turn around and spend more time taking care of bigger properties.

This issue is very near and dear to my heart as I, too, have suffered from insomnia for the past five years. I sympathize with those of you who feel frustrated and depressed as well as exhausted each day. Because of my own struggles with insomnia, I have made it my personal crusade to ‘tirelessly’ research this topic, including ways to help busy professionals get a good night’s sleep. I have consulted with top sleep specialists around the world to be able to help so many of my coaching clients who also struggle with sleep issues.

Here are top tips for insomnia sufferers:

1.Talk to your doctor about your sleep issues. You could have a medical condition that requires immediate treatment.

2.Take a deeper look at the root cause of your insomnia. For me, sleep was actually not the primary problem like I first thought, but the presenting one. The real issue for me was that I was too busy in my life, doing too much late at night and then putting pressure on myself to sleep because I didn’t want to fail at anything, including sleep. Pretty heavy thoughts going on, no wonder I couldn’t sleep! A lot of the clients I work with who have trouble sleeping are really surprised to find out through our work together that sleep itself is really not the main problem!

3.Put your mobile phone and computer out of your bedroom at night. This is a MUST! I would also recommend giving yourself a cut off time to use technology. By 8:30 p.m., I put my Blackberry in a closet at the front of my home and shut the door.

4.Learn to meditate. I have personally found meditation to be so powerful in my life. So much so, that I actually offer meditation services to individuals and corporations through Potential Unlimited.

5.Exercise regularly. You need to be tired in all regards when your head hits the pillow. Exercise is a great way to give your body the work out it needs. I would suggest avoiding intense cardio right before bed, but if you can’t do it at another time, then I would still go for it.

6. Avoid eating food or drinking too much (especially alcohol) at least 3 hours before bedtime.

7. Ensure you pick bedding that is not too heavy or too light so you can maintain a comfortable temperature while sleeping.

8. Have a warm bath two hours before bedtime. This will bring your body to optimal sleep temperature when you are ready for some shut-eye.

9. Warm milk or chamomile tea really does work to help you relax. Just don’t drink too much as you’ll be running into the bathroom at night.

10. Turn your clock away from you. Set the alarm and don’t look at the clock again or worry about the time for the rest of the night.

11. Cut yourself some slack. It is easy to get frustrated when you want to get a good night’s sleep. But remind yourself it really is no big deal and the next night or the night after that will be better.

12. Find a relaxing (non-suspenseful) book to read right before bed.

13. If you can avoid any ‘serious’ conversations or phone calls after 9 p.m., that will help your mind to unwind.

14. Try listening to some soft classical music or a meditation CD while you are in bed.

I would encourage you to share any of your tips here on getting a restful night’s sleep, and also to send this story to anyone you know who suffers from insomnia. One of the common themes I hear from my clients who have troubles sleeping is that they feel so alone at night. The reality is that you are not alone.

Click here
to find out more about my coaching programs that are helping people to sleep through the night.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Elaine Cruise Smith permalink
    November 24, 2011 9:59 am

    Great advice! And timely – I was up at 3am this morning thinking about organizational issues. I’ll take your suggestions to heart.

    • November 24, 2011 10:18 am

      You and I should have been together Elaine as I was actually up until 3 a.m. with my baby who has a cold!! Better night’s sleep tonight for us both!

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