When I don’t get good sleep, I’m short with anyone standing between me and the coffee pot in the morning. I’m not able to problem-solve at work and I feel overwhelmed by challenges or even the normal daily demands. And, I drive home, rubbing my head, counting the hours to bedtime, vowing to get sleep tonight.
Without sleep, emotions run high, regular tasks feel hard and headaches become common. Without sleep, problem solving skills are reduced, patience is lacking, and relationships become strained. Without sleep, life is harder and your body breaks down.
Without sleep I am no fun. And life is no fun.
And, the most common reason for poor sleep is an inability to fall or stay asleep due to a difficulty in quieting the mind and entering into rest. Setting aside the work and worries of the day, or shutting off your brain, can be a difficult task.
An article by Psych Central outlines a number of ways to quiet your mind before bed, so I’ve borrowed some of them to come up with these Top 3 Ways to Actually Get To Sleep Tonight:
1. Value Sleep — sleep is often the first thing we sacrifice if we’re pressed for time. But, lack of sleep leads to all of the symptoms aforementioned: emotions running high, regular tasks feeling hard and relational breakdown. So, the very first step to getting good sleep is making it a priority and sacrificing other parts of your day when time is pressed. In fact, take a minute right now to think about one thing that needs to go so you can have more time for rest today. (And it probably shouldn’t be exercise!)
2. Have a Pre-Sleep Routine — your body craves routine. Performing consistent activities like reading, taking a warm bath or reading stories with your children signifies to your brain that it’s time to wind down and shift into sleep mode. It’s important for there to be a clear distinction between awake and sleep time. Turn down the lights! And turn off the t.v., ipad and phone — the glow of the screen actually tricks your brain into daytime mode. Yep, time to get a library card or Kindle — no more backlit screens at night!
3. Write Down Your Worries — Earlier in the day. Take time at the beginning of the day to bring to mind the things that usually keep your mind calculating at night. And then, write down what you’re doing about it. This allows your brain’s subconscious processing system to reconcile the concern that is triggering the stress mechanism. Or, in other words, it signals to your brain that the problem is resolved (or being resolved) so it isn’t rehearsing it and continually bringing it to mind.
I’ve found that as I make sleep a priority, developed a nightly ritual and actively set aside the worries of the day, sleep has come more consistently. And, as a Christian, I pray! I bless my body, soul and spirit and ask the Lord to bring them into alignment with the perfect peace of heaven.
And, I pray that you’ll find peace as you make sleep a priority and develop a night time routine that works for you. And that you’ll be able to put those worries aside, trusting that the Lord has a greater plan and is actively working on your behalf to provide for your finances, relationships and physical needs. May the Lord of all peace lead you in sweet slumber tonight.
If you’d like more helpful tips, you can access the complete article here.
Oh, and once you’re sleeping better, these might be helpful to increase your productivity during the day:
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