When did you last Sleep Well?

Did you know that what you do during the day will affect your sleep pattern? In turn your lack of sleep will affect your day and for most people with sleep problems this forms a vicious cycle. This is affecting how people work, makes them slovenly with what they eat and how they look after themselves. When you are under stress you are less likely to exercise or to even have a good sex life. Often people become withdrawn from family, go out less and even socialise less at work. So sleep becomes an important factor in your health.

One study in 2009 showed that 27% of the people surveyed had disturbed sleep because of issues in the past month, being worried about job security and the economy. It showed that worries about money seem to outweigh such issues as global warming or terrorism. To add to this almost 10% of adults suffer from a syndrome called Restless Leg Syndrome which is a neurological condition consisting of irritating movements in the legs which keep people awake. It makes sleep difficult and relief is brought about usually only by constant movement of the legs. So numbers have decreased rapidly as to how many people are actually getting a good 8 hours sleep a night.

Recent studies show that the sleep you miss out on cannot be caught up on the next night and that it may actually affect the number of years you live. This is serious stuff. It’s not just a couple of hours of missed shut eye.

It is important to recognise though that as you age your sleep patterns change and you may actually just need to sleep less instead of struggling and tossing for hours. This 2009 study showed that 89% of people reported general problems getting to sleep, 46% of people felt they didn’t sleep properly, 35% had less than 6 hours a night, 41% have driven a car whilst sleepy and a third admitted it caused issues in their life. And that was back then. How many more world issues have arisen since that time?

So what are you doing about your lack of sleep?

A study in Pittsburgh USA showed that Valerian (a herb that induces sleep) helped with restless leg syndrome as well as reduced the tiredness in people during the day as compared to other sleep inducing preparations. People in the study were given 800 milligrams of Valerian nightly for 8 weeks.

There are many natural supplements like Valerian and Melatonin to help you sleep but my suggestion is that you get a good guided meditation tape and pop in the ear buds. Even if you don’t meditate to it but use it to fall asleep it will get you into a natural rhythm even better than the herbals. It is important to not lie in bed and toss and turn. Bed is not the place to plan your day tomorrow or think about the meeting you had with the boss. Bed is for rest and a few other things consisting of light recreation…..

If you can’t sleep get up, have a cup of chamomile tea, turn on the television to the most boring show you can find and sit on the couch…don’t just lie there. However my favourite remedy is the meditation cd.

You will notice I have not mentioned sleeping tablets. This is because you may become reliant on them and be unable to sleep without them. So as time goes on you need higher and higher doses. Recent research shows that sleeping tablets only realistically add 20 minutes to your sleep cycle anyway so why not take something natural? Also what happens when they stop working because your body is used to them?

So if you are having problems sleeping consult a practitioner who can teach you to relax or a counsellor/ hypnotherapist to help you let go of those worries and get you on the path to a more restful, healthy life.

Do you sleep well?

Jenetta Haim

Jenetta Haim

Jenetta Haim runs Stressfree Management at 36 Gipps Road, Greystanes, and specialises in assisting your health and lifestyle in all areas by developing programs on either a corporate or personal level to suit your needs. Jenetta has just published a book called Stress-Free Health Management, A Natural Solution for Your Health available from your favourite bookstore or online. For more information and to get in touch, visit her website at Stressfree Management.

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