Sleep is the last thing we normally think about when establishing our life goals, and yet, if we consistently fail to obtain adequate sleep, it will undermine any goal, as we try to operate at less than our best.
We already know that good sleep aids our ability to learn, our health and safety. We easily see how even the short-term lack of adequate sleep affects our judgment, mood and ability to take in and retain information. In the longer term, chronic sleep deprivation puts us at greater risk of a number of diseases, accidents, and health problems.
Whilst scientist doesn’t yet know the secrets of sleep, our own experience tells us that we are able to access our most creative selves when we are in a place of relaxation. Think how many times you have left off a problem, saying “I’ll sleep on it”, and sure enough the next morning or day, you get an insight into how to resolve the problem, one that seems so obvious, you don’t know how you missed it.
If you are a person who meditates regularly, especially using techniques such as transcendental meditation, then I don’t need to tell you how this helps you to perform and function at a higher level, for longer and. more consistently. For now, we’ll leave the scientists to come up with explanations, we’ll just take the benefits.
Sleep and achieving your goals
So what is going on when we are at sleep? What is happening during our seemingly most inactive and vulnerable state? How does this state contribute to or hinder us achieving our goals?
Here is what we do know and can apply, if you have based achieving your goals (such as dieting and smoking) on ‘sheer force of will’ e.g. resisting temptation, then lack of sleep will lower your will. There is a good reason why extreme sleep deprivation is used as a means of interrogation.
If you plan to improve your fitness by jogging in the morning or going to the gym after work, if don’t wake early feeling refreshed and revitalized, it will affect your motivation at the start of the day. There is a good chance that at the end of the day you are likely to feel too fatigued to face the gym. Your body may even interpret the fatigue as a need for a boost of energy. You may choose something sweet for an energy boost or coffee to raise your alertness. Whatever you do in the short-term, should be just that, a short term fix. Neither is beneficial to your body as a long-term well-being strategy
So assessing your current sleep is essential in setting you up for successfully achieving your 2019 goals, but first, it helps to understand where and how sleep fits into your natural body cycle.
Sleep and your body’s Natural Cycle
Below is the standard cycle our bodies go through. Bear in mind we have the ability to adjust this cycle to our environment or based on our society. If you have ever been “jetlagged”, you will know exactly what I mean.
- 1)Appropriation 12 pm – 8 pm: Our body is at its peak metabolism. Restricting your intake of complex carbs and proteins to within this window is ideal for maintaining a healthy and managing weight.
- 2) Assimilation 8 pm – 4 am: Your metabolism drops as the body absorbs the nutrients from your day’s diet. Avoid carbohydrates at this time. Water, green tea, or money lemon water is suggested as the best fluid intake.
- 3) Elimination Cycle 4 am to 12 noon: During this time your body transports any waste material for elimination. There are four channels of elimination@ bowels, bladder, lung, and skin. This cycle can also be referred to as the cleansing cycle. It is worth remembering that as soon as you ingest heavy foods, it halts the cleansing, elimination cycle.
Assessing the quality of your Sleep
Assess the quality of your sleep from these three aspects. Score each on a scale of 1-10.
- Your ability get to sleep within a reasonable time (once in bed)
- Your sleep is restful and undisturbed.
- You wake to feel refreshed and recharged
Five Areas to improving your Sleep
There is a whole host of information from specialists on improving your sleep. If I had to recommend a site it would be https://sleepcouncil.org.uk/. Below are what I consider the top 5 areas to consider if you need to improve your sleep
- Have a regular bedtime regime at the same time each night. Start the routine 90 minutes before getting into bed.
- Diet: Avoid eating heavy or complex foods after 8 pm. Consider a vitamin supplement with B5.
- Ensure you will be sleeping in a comfortable bed, with suitable pillows and bedding.
- Keep bedroom environment conducive to sleep e.g. dark, quiet, tidy, room temperature 16.1. (Consider removing electronic gadgets (or put them in a drawer.)
- Sleep assisting techniques, try to engage at least three senses e.g. Smell – Naturra SleepAssist essential Oil blend, Imagination – Relaxation techniques, breathing Exercise, hearing: Relaxing music (on appropriate alpha waves), Reading A book, jotting down activities for the next day
So if your New Year’s or life goals ever feel shaky, take a look at your sleep pattern to make sure it is not undermining your plans and resolve.
Associated Essential Oil Products by Naturra.
SleepAssist diffuser blend to help you get to sleep more quickly and to have a more restful sleep.
Sleep Serene blend available in a roller bottle.
5 Shower Gel blends to help the Refresh,Revive, Revitalise, Invigorate and Energize you in the mornings.