For me getting a good night’s sleep has been such an important part of my well-being and self-care. I used to be able to sleep through the night and then some time during 2007 this changed dramatically and I started to suffer from insomnia; I could get to sleep but would only stay asleep for a couple of hours and then be awake on and off for the rest of the night. This went on for years which had an impact on my health. I think I learnt to live with very little sleep to get by at work and do my job but beyond that I had very little energy for anything else.
What helped me to get a good night’s sleep?
After trying out various great suggestions from other people and seeking help from my doctor the following has really helped me to improve my sleep:
- Exercise – a simple walk can re-energise me and improve my wellbeing
- Dealing with the voices in my head – no, I wasn’t going mad but I had a never ending to do list going through my head (a pad by my bed takes care of that if I wake up now) as well as understanding and dealing with my internal limiting self beliefs
- Changing what and how I say no to – I am no longer doing things I don’t need to do which frees up my energy
Are you an early riser?
Do you sleep around your own body’s patterns? What do I mean by that? There are so many articles around about getting up early and doing X,Y,Z before everyone else has woken up. That’s great if you are an early riser, however, I am not, there I have said it, I am not a morning person! I used to think I was but I have discovered that 8.30am is my prime time to get up and between 2 and 6 pm are my optimal working times. Knowing that, I work my sleep and priorities around that and no longer put pressure on myself to get up early.
Some top tips to help you sleep:
Here are some other things you could consider to help you sleep:
- Having a winding down routine at night before you go to bed to help your mind start to switch off and stop thinking about work etc. If my mind is racing a lot before I go to bed I reach for my colouring books. I find this helps to clear my mind.
- Listening to relaxing music
- Does anything you eat or drink affect your sleep, for example, I don’t drink caffeine after 4 pm
- When is the best time for you to go to bed? If you aren’t tired, don’t push it.
- Is your environment right for a good night’s sleep – temperature, light, mattress etc. Getting it right for you is important.
Feel free to come join my Facebook group, Wellbeing Workout at Work, where I have a supportive community talking about well-being at work and we are discussing this month’s theme of self-care.