If you claim this status, my heart goes out to you. There are so many of us struggling, that I proclaim it an epidemic!
Sleep deprivation is a serious problem in our culture, and it’s time we woke up to the facts.
Chronic sleep loss can add up to some significant challenges in your awake hours, such as a foggy memory, slow reaction time, and low discipline for eating well and moving your body. And the cycle continues. You are feeling too tired to work out or plan and shop and cook healthy meals. You feel horrible when you wake up, and you feel horrible when you go to bed.
Plus, you may be a danger to yourself and others. As we investigate deeper into the causes of medical error and industrial accidents, often sleep deprivation is an underlying factor. Sleepy people are affecting the safety on our roads, in our air spaces, and in our health care system.
I understand. It’s a vicious cycle and it’s hard to break out of it.
But don’t you wonder what your life would be like if you showed up every day with full-on energy?
4 Steps to STOP Being
the Worst Sleeper in the World
When I was ill with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I felt like I was never really awake, and never really asleep! I was fighting through a veil of fog, 24 hours a day. But I am now recovered and thriving. My energy is strong and I have mastered some key sleep skills.
Here are some ideas that I tried. There is lots of advice that may or may not help, but I say, just pick one idea and get started!
What worked best for me was covering my eyes with an eye mask, and doing a bit of journaling before I went to bed. Then, I was more relaxed to fall asleep, and wasn’t disturbed by any slivers of early light.
Step 1 : Love Your Sleep Environment
- Install some black-out blinds to keep the early morning sun at bay.
- Tidy up your bedroom so it is a pleasant place to be.
- Wear an eye mask.
- Turn down your bedroom thermostat just a little for a cooler atmosphere.
- Love your pillow and your partner.
Step 2: Refresh Your Thinking about Sleep
- Tell yourself, “I am taking small steps now and am gradually improving my sleep.”
- Consider your sleep time as sacred and nurturing, not another stressful problem.
- Enjoy your peaceful awake moments during the night.
- Know that even small improvements in sleep length and quality will have a noticeable impact on your health.
Step 3: Consider Some Lifestyle Adjustments
- Switch to de-caffeinated beverages after 2 PM in the afternoon.
- It’s best to stop consuming alcohol by 8 PM.
- Add in two or three more servings of veggies every day.
- Find time for a spiritual practice that calms you.
Step 4: Learn 3 Skills to Get to Sleep and Stay Asleep
- Do a bit of writing before bed. Try writing stems such as, “The things I am doing right to take care of my health are….” Or “What was great about today was….”
- Do a series of deep breaths once you are comfortably in bed. Feel your body tension soften.
- Scan your body slowly and methodically, just with an easy awareness, and notice each muscle group sink into the bed. Ahhh!
You CAN gradually remove yourself from the ranks of the Worst Sleepers in the World.
I challenge you to start today.
For extra inspiration on what small actions you take today to improve your sleep as early as tonight, download my free Guide, The 4 Fundamentals that Overcome Insomnia and Conquer Fatigue.
Let me know what works for you.
Dr. Chris Carruthers is a sleep health champion providing individuals with the information and skills they need to take smart action to overcome insomnia and conquer fatigue for good.
With a lifetime career in healthcare and recovered after 7.5 years of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia, Chris shares her sleep strategies through speaking, coaching and her signature program, The Sleep Well Tonight Method.