One of the most frustrating things is to have time to sleep and to lie awake in bed, starring at the ceiling. Look around you if you are in a crowded room – the person on your left sleeps well. The person on your right has trouble sleeping. Sometimes, it is the demands of work, school, or children that keep us from getting enough sleep to feel rested and alert.
Before the electric light was invented in 1879, most people slept 10 hours a night. People in countries free from demands of modern industrialized society, typically sleep 10 hours a night. Americans on average sleep just 6 hours and 24 minutes sleep at night. Successful people sleep 8 hours and 24 minutes a night.
Good sleep energizes the body and enables our brains to think and remember better. Thirty percent of high school and college students fall asleep in class at least once a week. Without enough sleep for long periods of time, we can become physically ill with health problems such as diabetes. Most mental health problems are related to sleep. We can become so deprived of sleep that we do not know what it feels like to be wide awake.
Here are some suggestions to improve sleep:
*Keep a regular schedule for going to bed and getting up
*Don’t drink or eat caffeine (coffee, caffeinated tea, or chocolate)
*Don’t smoke, especially near bedtime or if you are awake in the middle of the night
*Avoid alcohol and heavy meals before going to bed
*Get regular aerobic exercise (not to close to bedtime)
*Minimize noise and light where you sleep (quiet and dark help)
*Keep temperatures moderate-not too hot or cold
*Spend the time 30 to 60 minutes before be relaxing (quiet music, meditation, pray, stretching)
Using simple movements, natural to us as children that we have been taught to suppress as grown-ups, Laura Lund offers us ways to fall asleep and stay asleep. Laura Lund is certified as a Somatic Counselor and Educator with Zapchen Somatics. In this video, Laura Lund demonstrates techniques to help us sleep.