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I remember the days when I used to wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to fall asleep again. I would toss and turn in bed, flipping about like a fish out of water. Then eventually I would give up and switch the lights on; only to realise it was a ridiculous time to be awake, usually around 3am for me.
This was a few years ago but I remember the frustration like it was yesterday.
If this happens to you too, then you will know the frustration all too well. And of course, the more you allow yourself to become frustrated, the worse the problem becomes. It’s a vicious cycle.
Some nights I would just make myself stay in my bed, desperate for sleep, knowing that I had an important work event that I needed to be fresh for. Subsequently, I would wake up again a few hours later to my alarm clock, looking and feeling worse for wear.
Other nights, I would give up on sleep pretty fast, switch the lights on and just do some work. Time would fly by, and before I knew it, I would have worked through the whole night. As it became my official time to get up and go to work, I would be desperate to go back to sleep again.
With my nights being so disrupted, my days were a battle.
I wasn’t rested, I really wasn’t on top of my game, and it absolutely showed.
I could see it when I looked in the mirror, and others could see it too.
I recently talked about this period of my life with Mina Velani for the Clarity Unplugged Podcast – Click here to listen to the reply or download the episode. I know it’s an issue that so many people struggle with, so I wanted to share my story.
I think that sleeplessness has become pandemic in our society. We are all stressed and often struggle to wind down at night.
So then how can we possibly give our absolute best during the day?
Our careers and calendars are demanding, and running on little sleep makes the days feel like something to be ‘survived’, rather than lived.
My work is all about changing that for people.
During my interview with Mina I talked about my Sleep Deep Method. When I begin with a new client, one of the first things I ask them to do is to start keeping a sleep diary. This gives us actual data to work with, rather than guessing the root cause of the problem. This way, we can be sure to move things in the right direction.
Reasons for sleeplessness are personal, and so your action plan needs to be tailored to you.
I encourage my clients to dig much deeper than they think they need to. We need to get to the REAL reason you woke up in the first place.
From my work in this field, here are the top 3 reasons that people struggle to sleep through the night.
1. Your mind is racing
This can be worry, overwhelm, or full-on anxiety. Trying to ignore these feelings doesn’t work, because they bubble to the surface as soon as you try to relax, i.e. when you start to fall asleep.
I shared with Mina some ways to put these thoughts and feeling to bed before you put yourself to bed. If you address these things before you go to sleep, they won’t creep up on you at 3am!
2. Your body is craving something
A lot of people overlook their nutrition during the day, simply because they are so busy. And I’m not judging – I’ve done this myself in the past! So we wake up hungry, thirsty, or even with a nasty dehydration headache.
Taking better care of your physical needs during your waking hours means that your body won’t be shouting for your attention in the middle of the night.
By the way, let me just say once and for all – coffee does not count as part of your daily water intake. Neither does wine or beer…. Sorry!
3. You went to bed too early
Yes, I know, this is a surprising one! This tends to happen to us once we have been sleep deprived for a while. We are so tired that we go to bed really early. Then we wake up early, feeling a bit confused.
If you don’t like getting up with the larks then shift your bedtime later to reset your routine.
To hear all the tips I shared with Mina, download and listen to the full interview here: Clarity Unplugged Podcast – Click here. It’s a 45-minute podcast episode full of golden nuggets for better sleep and wellbeing.
Do you currently wake up in the small hours of the morning?
Leave me a comment.
I’d love to know if you have any tricks or tips of your own.
Wishing you sweet dreams and good health as always!
She immediately put me at ease and gave me lifelong skills to help with my sleep patterns and helped me to overcome my insomnia.
Mental Health Awareness Week & SleepMay 18, 2020
Virtual Masterclass and Q&A – Managing sleep problems in times of increased stress and worryApril 7, 2020
Maximising your sleep and self care: for mothersMarch 23, 2020
How can I help you to sleep better at night and wake up rested and recharged?
This is where you can find all previously recorded videos, interviews, talks and workshops.