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Do your daytime problems disturb your sleep at night?
Does your lack of sleep cause your daytime problems?
This is the chicken and egg kind of question that I often discuss with my clients.
We start with how their sleep currently is, and then dive deeper into where and how their sleep problems took root. This is where my clients and I have been finding some golden nuggets of truth.
I always work with my clients holistically because I believe what happens to you during the day will directly influence the quality of your sleep. And if you don’t sleep well, it will in turn directly influence how you feel, live and behave during the day.
Although at first you might think the answer to the chicken and egg question above is simply that your daytime problems disturb your sleep; I want to suggest that there is an argument for both sides. Living in permanent sleep deficit affects our decision making and our approach to problem solving. So with that in mind, I’m sure you can see how rather that simply chicken OR egg, it’s more of a viscous cycle.
Lets talk about breaking this cycle by finding the root of your problem.
Keeping a Sleep Diary
Without figuring out what causes your sleep problems, we can’t possibly make a plan to change it and move forward.
So I invite you to write down everything that affects your sleep; and these are just a few things that you can note down daily:
- The time you went to bed and woke up (this doesn’t have to exact, an estimate is good enough).
- What happened during the day that keeps playing in your thoughts in the evening – a presentation due tomorrow, an argument with a loved one, an exciting project that you started, an accident that you didn’t expect, a deadline that is closing in…
- Meals and drinks you had during the day – have you been drinking enough water? Did you skip any meals? Note down how many units of alcohol you drank…
- How you feel today – anxious, nervous, excited, happy, sad, exhausted and so on…
- The temperature both in your bedroom, and outside too.
- You can also use this diary to write down any achievements that you had that day.
Over my years of research, what I found is that often it is a combination of these things that cause our sleep to be disturbed. For an example, not drinking enough water during the day ends up causing you a headache, that in turn makes you more agitated, which then makes you feel drained and less productive, and then you make a mistake. You then get home in the evening and you feel drained, upset and once you are in bed, you start thinking about how bad you feel.
This is of course just one scenario, and there are endless variations and possibilities. But my point here is that we need to look at the big picture. ‘Holistic’ is the magic word here. You are a whole entity, and your sleep doesn’t exist in isolation from the rest of your life. It is all connected.
So adding this daily information to your sleep diary will help you to build a ‘big picture’ view. Then we can get to work on making you a plan.
Wishing you sweet dreams and good health!
She immediately put me at ease and gave me lifelong skills to help with my sleep patterns and helped me to overcome my insomnia.
How can I help you to sleep better at night and wake up rested and recharged?