Friday, 2 September 2011

Sleeping Problems?

A client visited me for the first time today and during discussions he revealed that he had not been sleeping properly for some time.

Why is not sleeping properly such an issue?

Whilst we may suffer little negative consequence from the odd sleepless night, over a period of time the negative consequences of sleeplessness will become apparent.

We all know people who are able to function well on less than the generally recommended average of 8 hours per night.

I think you'll agree that the gold test is whether you are able to function well during waking life after a lack of sleep. If not, you may need to take action.

Why is sleeping so important and what can I do to improve it?

In summation good sleep involves two types of sleep that alternate throughout the sleep period:
  • Regenerative Sleep
  • REM (Rapid Eye Movement) Sleep

During Regenerative Sleep we rest and restore so that we awake with energy to expend during our waking life.

During the REM Sleep we deal with problems through mataphors i.e. dreaming and resolve them so that 'we have the answers in the morning'. Hence the old addage 'sleep on it' i.e. the issue, problem or decision.

You do dream even if you do not remember them. However, some drugs will restrict or stop REM completely.

If we do not get enough sleep - your sleep needs are unique so apply the gold test above - both types of sleep will be impacted. If this goes on for some time you can run into difficulties.

What stops us from getting good sleep?

You may already know that caffeine in the afternoon / evening, eating a heavy meal or using technology before bed, being too hot or cold may impact your sleeping in a negative way.

Therefore, having a routine such as, going to bed at the same time and avoiding some or all of the above can help.

Other than the above key reasons, you may not be sleeping enough due to worries, problems, unresolved issues, fears, anxiety, stress, anger or depression.

If you are suffering from any one or more of the above your sleep may be negatively impacted to a greater or lesser degree.

If you are suffering from one or more of the above your 'stress bucket' is not being emptied and - left unaddressed - your performance during the day (e.g your productivity at work, relationships with others and your level of self-care) will all be impacted.

One of the best things you can do to restore your sleep is to relax immediately before bed (don't use the TV or work as this actually raises your stress levels) with a hot bath or listening to a relaxation CD.

If you have found this blog useful please leave a comment.

If you would like one of our relaxation CDs and for all of your coaching and counselling needs please visit our website West of England Coaching and Counselling.

1 comment:

  1. While some sleep disorders may require a visit to the sleep doctor, you can improve many sleeping problems on your own. The first step to overcoming a sleep problem is identifying and carefully tracking your symptoms and sleep patterns.