Understanding Sleep And How To Overcome Insomnia

sleepYou’ll spend approximately one-third of your life sleeping. With that said, do you know what actually happens to your body when you sleep? Do you know how much sleep you need, or the conditions that can help you make the most of the hours you spend sleeping each night? Understanding sleep is crucial to your well-being. The following are some common misconceptions about sleep:

1. “I should get as much sleep as possible.”
A lot of people overindulge in sleep on a regular basis. Why? Because so often we don’t get enough sleep. We try to compensate by sleeping for long stretches of time when we can. However, that’s not necessarily a healthy way to go about recharging. Sleeping can be compared to eating. We all know that both eating too much and eating too little on a regular basis are unhealthy habits. In a similar way, not getting enough sleep or getting too much sleep can both have negative effects on your health. Instead, you should try to get a moderate amount of sleep each night in order to feel energetic, alert, and awake. It’s okay to sleep in once in a while, but sleeping too much in general will leave you feeling lethargic and sluggish.

2. “I need caffeine to not be tired.”
Caffeine doesn’t take away tiredness; it prevents you from sleeping. When you drink coffee or another type of caffeinated beverage, your body cannot shut down – you’re forced to remain awake. This means that you may very well still feel tired, but you’re not sleepy. People who claim that they can’t start their day without one or two cups of coffee are biologically addicted to the effects of caffeine. When they don’t get their fix they experience withdrawal symptoms, including fatigue. Caffeine has also been found to reduce sleep quality, making a person more tired in the long run. Finally, since caffeine prevents you from sleeping, people who drink caffeine late in the evening or frequently during the day can have difficulty falling asleep at night.

3. “There are two states of consciousness: sleeping and being awake.”
Actually, this isn’t true; consciousness should be viewed on a continuum. That is, there are varying levels of consciousness or awareness. When you’re in a state of deep sleep, you don’t experience consciousness at all. While dreaming and while awake, you experience partial consciousness. The only way to experience pure or total consciousness is through meditation.

4. “I feel tired when I wake up because I didn’t get enough sleep.”
The amount of time you spend sleeping is only one factor contributing to how you feel when you get up in the morning. Sometimes, not sleeping enough can make you feel tired. But other times, you might suffer from poor quality sleep. If you wake up at frequent intervals during the night, if you have troublesome dreams, or if you are uncomfortable as you sleep, you might wake up feeling tired. In addition, if your alarm goes while you’re in a state of deep sleep you’re more likely to feel sleepy than if you wake up in the midst of a dream.

5. “Everyone needs 8 hours of sleep per night.”
It’s a commonly-held belief that everyone needs at least eight hours of sleep per night. However, that’s not necessarily the case – in fact, people have different requirements when it comes to sleep. According to the National Institute of Health, the average adult needs approximately 7 – 9 hours of sleep per night. You need to learn from experience in order to understand how much sleep you need. But if you feel like you could sleep forever without waking up feeling well-rested, you should focus on the quality of the sleep you’re getting.

By understanding sleep, you can learn to optimize the amount and quality of the rest you get. For more tips on how to optimize the time you spend sleeping, the Founder of The Stillness Project, Tom Cronin, has written a step by step guide on how to overcome insomnia and sleep soundly every night! Find out my by clicking below:

 

Faster Deeper Sleep 3D Cover_315BuyNow-Button

Sources:
“How Much Sleep Do You Need?”
http://www.helpguide.org/life/sleeping.htm

Do You Need Help Sleeping?

What happens when you lay your head down on your pillow each night? Do you struggle to fall asleep, tossing and turning in your bed and wondering what could be preventing you from sleeping? Perhaps you get up several times each night, feeling wide awake. Or maybe the slightest noise rouses you, to the point where you feel as though you’re not actually getting rest. Don’t you wish you could close your eyes and fall into a blissful sleep quickly all night long, then wake up feeling well-rested and rejuvenated in the morning? If you need help sleeping, you’re not alone.

Insomnia is a big problem in today’s society and it can occur for a short period of time (acute) or in repeated episodes throughout your life (chronic). Surprisingly enough, not being able to get sleep has nothing to do with whether or not you’re tired. In fact, insomnia can occur for no reason at all or it can result from mental and physical health problems such as:

• Stress
• Depression
• Anxiety
• Pain
• Cancer
• Arthritis
• Substance use/abuse
• Heartburn.

Life events can also have a profound impact on your body’s ability to get rest. Significant stressors including job loss, the breakup of a significant relationship, death, or even pressure to perform at college or in a job can cause acute insomnia, which can develop into a more serious, long-term problem if it persists for longer than three weeks. The cycle of insomnia is debilitating, often resulting in extreme fatigue during the day, as well as irritability, frustration, and mental disorganization when sleep does not come. The problem comes full circle when you feel additional stress in knowing that you won’t be able to fully rest.

Your mind can sometimes be the most significant roadblock in the way of your getting sleep. When your mind is stuck in this pattern of worry and anxiety, or over thinking, your body stops producing the hormones you need to rest and focuses instead on promoting hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, which serve to keep you awake.

If you want to learn to overcome your brain’s natural response to stress in order to ensure a better night’s rest, you need to learn how to fully quiet your mind. This can be achieved through the practice of Stillness-centered meditation. When you strive for mental Stillness, you learn how to effectively filter out the many defeating or anxiety-inducing thoughts that enter your brain. You’re able to rise above to a level of calm that is blissful, and when you lie your head down on your pillow you’ll fall asleep within minutes.

Tips for a Better Night’s Sleep
Achieving adequate rest can be a difficult. If you need help sleeping the following tips can help you to get to sleep and stay asleep on a nightly basis.

• Keep a regular sleep schedule. Your body will naturally gravitate towards a regular cycle of between 6-9 hours of sleep per night. If you go to bed around the same time each night and set your alarm for the same time each morning you’re more likely to feel tired when it’s time to sleep and awake when it’s time to wake up. I’d recommend Getting to bed by 9.30pm, reading for 30 mins and then lights out by 10pm.

• Get enough exercise. Spending all day on a computer or sitting can leave you feeling restless and prevent you from getting sleep. When your body feels tired, you’re more likely to feel ready to rest – just remember not to exercise before bed.

• Avoid Caffeine. Caffeine doesn’t take away tiredness; it prevents you from sleeping. When you drink coffee or another type of caffeinated beverage, your body cannot shut down – you’re forced to remain awake. This means that you may very well still feel tired, but you’re not sleepy. People who claim that they can’t start their day without one or two cups of coffee are biologically addicted to the effects of caffeine. When they don’t get their fix they experience withdrawal symptoms, including fatigue. Caffeine has also been found to reduce sleep quality, making a person more tired in the long run.

• Reduce Technology. It’s hard to separate us from our phones and computers these days. It’s almost they have become an extra limb. However the use of technology especially prior to sleep time will have a stimulating effect on your nervous system and prevent a good night sleep. Shutting down the phones, computers and turning off the wifi around 9.30pm will improve your sleep.

• Practice Stillness. If you need help sleeping, the most significant thing you can do for yourself is learn how to actively quiet your mind. Stillness Sessions or meditation can enable you to overcome whatever stress you may be experiencing by calming your thoughts. When your mind gravitates away from worry, stress, and anxiety, you can experience the bodily restoration that only sleep can give you.

All these tips are spelt out in my book Faster Deeper Sleep which you can get sent straight to your email by clicking here.

Faster Deeper Sleep 3D Cover_315TSP_Learn More button