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Sunday, 19 February 2017

Sleep Zone


A lot of writers, myself included are terrible sleepers. We don't get our quota of slumber. Some set their alarms and get up early to put down words, whilst others are still up at midnight scribbling away for hours. Lack of sleep isn't a new phenomena, but it seems to have become a plague.

Why Do We Need Sleep?

Sleep helps you feel your best, and if you get the recommended seven or eight hours, it allows you to wake up feeling refreshed and able to meet the demands of your day. You'll be better able to concentrate on that story idea, that scene you're writing, or that deadline.

Insufficient sleep has an affect on health over time, our immune and cardiovascular systems will feel the impact, and type 2 Diabetes has also been linked to not getting enough sleep. It's vital we get enough rest so we're able to perform well in our busy lives. Or perhaps that is the issue? Are we simply doing too much? Perhaps we need to give more priority to sleeping. I'm re-educating myself on the matter, and have put all my findings here.

  • Set a schedule for going to bed and getting up -  This regulates you body clock. 
  • Slow right down - The last hour before you go to bed should be your power down hour. Warm bath, listening to music, meditation etc
  • Temperature matters - Don't have your bedroom too hot - Open a window.
  • Stay warm - Hang on, that's a little contradictory, but the thing is you won't sleep if you're cold. So wear warm nightwear and socks too! 
  • Read before retiring - It's been proved that reading relaxes the mind, and helps you to drop off to sleep quicker. 
  • Exercise - Experts say the best time is between 4pm-7pm to aid sleep. 
  • Ban all screens an hour before bed - That's the TV, your mobile, your Ipad, and your laptop. I really struggle with this one. 
  • Caffeine - As we age we don't break caffeine down as well, it's much slower to metabolise, so it's more likely to stop us from sleeping.
  • Eat well during the day - Don't skip breakfast which regulates us, and eggs, chicken and fish give us essential amino acid. 
  • Spend a few minutes each night thinking about all the things you are grateful for, that happened in your day.  
We need sleep to feel healthy and be able to continue with our daily lives, it's something all of us should address as 'important' and should be moved up to the top of our 'to do' list. Getting your quota of sleep will help you to perform better.

Do you sleep well? Do you have any tips to share, if so, please share them in the comments.

17 comments:

  1. I don't sleep very well, and I know I don't get enough sleep. But I always wake up far too early. I think I need a daily siesta! In fact I have been known to put my head down on the desk for the odd moment. I sleep much better if I've had some really good exercise and also if I've avoided sugar and haven't eaten since about 6pm. I'm a big fan of a really cold bedroom, I always have the window open. Great tips there, lots of good ideas. CJ xx

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    1. CJ, I always feel better if I have a daytime kip, but if I go over 30 minutes I feel lousy when I wake up. An afternoon sleep gives me a boost!

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  2. I know everyone will hate me but I fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow and thenwake up in the morning. My mum and sister are the same (I know we're lucky).

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    1. I don't hate you Wendy, I'm jealous.

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  3. I struggle with the screen time too! I am usually in front of the telly. I then go to bed and go on my kindle fire, which does have a blue light thing. Blue light is supposedly what keeps our brains awake! I believe journaling is good too? Writing away your worries.

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    1. I used to journal in the morning, and have never tried doing it at the end of the day...perhaps I should give that a go...

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  4. I only have a few very sleepless nights now and then but they're bad enough as I usually have to go downstairs and read a few pages of a magazine. Mostly, however, I switch all electrical devices off by 10pm and after clearing up, I read a paperback for half an hour which makes me calm and sleepy. Once in bed, I read a kindle book as it's easier to hold - but I have the original kindle without any kind of light so it's quite good on the eyes.

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  5. If I can't settle, I count backwards from 150 - and rarely make it to zero. My other top tip is the yoga posture 'legs up the wall' (more properly called viparita karani) and that usually does the trick.

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    1. I don't know that one, will have to look it up. Thanks for sharing.

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  6. I usually sleep well, but occasionally I'll have all my insomnia in one night and not sleep at all - it's like suffering the worst jet-lag, especially if I have to work the next day! I mis-read a little, and thought you said the best time to sleep was 4 - 7pm :-)

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    1. I have had nights like that, thankfully not very often though...and I usually end up zonking out!

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  7. I don't sleep as well as I used to, Maria, so I'm trying to cut down my screen time in the late evening. Only trouble is, if I start reading a book I don't want to put it down until I finish it, so I still don't get to bed! :)

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    1. I know that one...I think we are all just too curious about stuff.

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  8. My sleep has been all over the place lately. I actually had a sleep test done and they said I have sleep apnea. That surprised me because I didn't think I had any of the symptoms (and neither did the pulmonary specialist who I went to see). Sleep is usually not restful for me because I have such vivid dreams - they generally wake me up. It's gotten worse as I've aged.

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    1. Argh, a friend of mine was diagnosed with the same a few years ago - he has it all sorted out now, and is like a different person, he used to constantly fall asleep at his desk! Hope you get some relief soon.

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  9. I'm very lucky and grateful that I don't have sleep issues and sleep 8 hours straight. (don't throw your alarm clock at me!) This is very helpful for my husband, though, and if I should become wakeful in the future. HRT is my magic potion. I stopped aching and started sleeping within days of taking it! Ange x

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I really appreciate you taking the time to leave me a comment, and I try to reply to every one. Many thanks!