This topic is close to my heart. Very close I iterate :)! More so with ageing I realize the vitality and magical effects of a good night’s sleep. Not many years earlier when life was simpler, sleep was something that just happened somewhere in-between day and night. As time goes by and as my to-do list is increasingly becoming a book, I realize that sleep is not something that just happens… it needs to be managed well.
With the advent of technology and its increasing burden on our time (are you on Facebook by any chance?! Do you have a smartphone?!), we all experience some level of sleep-depravity most days. We assume that a certain lack of sleep will make us more productive. Unfortunately the truth is otherwise. Most of us are more familiar with the debilitating aspects of little sleep: headaches, irritability, lack of patience with colleagues and family, loss of focus and productivity, too much junk food, weight gain or loss, nails bitten to the quick. We all know what we're supposed to take rest and get more sleep amidst exercising regularly; avoiding caffeine and alcohol; setting priorities, working efficiently, planning ahead… And yet we're more sleep-deprived than ever before, and our personal energy is tanking.
Here are a few points which I have tried practicing to help me sleep better. I share this in hope to learn of better techniques for Sleep Management / Therapy.
1. Set a Time / Alarm to clear your mental to-do list.
Leave a bad day at the office at the office. Write a list of unfinished tasks and unresolved issues before getting into bed. Put them down on paper and mule over it for 10-15 minutes so they don't take up mental space when you're set to sleep and dream.
2. Go to bed earlier.
Set yourself a bedtime and stick to it. You may feel like a child, but there's a reason parents badger kids to bed.
3. Follow a “Wind Down” routine.
Give yourself 45 minutes to relax before going to bed. Drink tea, read a book, or listen to music. Do something that soothes the nerves. Calm your frayed nerves by venting, meditating, and/or giving yourself a time out.
4. Manage your online time-or step away from it
Manage time on computer around bedtime. If you are not good at it then AVOID the computer/smartphone after a set time. Especially avoid the social networking sites and checking the mailbox. Accept the truth that browsing the WWW is not something that soothes the nerves. On the contrary it gets us more excited. Take daily vacation from net connectivity and do not feel guilty about it.
5. Take a midday nap or break
This one is a bit tricky unless you can sleep with your eyes open! But there are alternatives since the central idea is to detach and consciously slow down the body-metabolism. Take a walk to the nearest fruit-seller to pick a piece of apple, plug in music for 15 minutes in a remote undiscovered corner of the office, take deep breaths for about 10 minutes, etc.