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HAVING TROUBLE SLEEPING? HOW DO YOU FIX IT?

I am sure you have stumbled upon at some point of your life problems with sleep. We have now created categories or labels for people where you are either a 'morning person' or a 'night owl'. Basically a morning person is someone that wakes up earlier in the morning full of energy ready to kick their day but is found to be wacked and burnt out in the afternoon/night. The opposite is true for a night owl who is more effective or efficient at night whereas may take a while to kick the gears in the morning.


Now both of these people will have their own problems with sleep even though they are on opposite sides of the spectrum.

If that morning person encountered a week, weekend or a holiday that entailed periods of night time activities they will experience a shock or difference to their normal routine. This may create more trouble when it comes to sleep creating increased lethargy during the day or overall lack of energy throughout the days to come.


The night owl if put in a position to rise early for a period of time may stumble upon lack of energy that would usually be found at night. But what is actually happening in these two cases??


  1. Your brain is telling you that you are usually awake at a certain time and if this changes it takes time to recalibrate

  2. The human mind is built to work best on a routine or norm, when this is broken sleep is one aspect that must work against the change to create normality


There are many factors that will have an impact upon your sleep schedule but this is one of the most common which I have seen in this space. Think of 'jet lag' and the reasoning for it. You are in another part of the world for a period of time and adjust to a new time zone. Your body becomes acclimatised to sleeping and waking at differing hours of the day to your norm. It is normal for your body to fight this with increased lethargy, broken sleep and an overall shift in your mood/behaviour. After some time your body will create a new set point and your sleep will balance out.


There are many other factors that will impact upon your sleep also such as:

  • physical pain

  • stress

  • sleep environment

  • light

  • medications/drugs

  • mental health issues


Sleeping schedule while it is the main cause should not be regarded as the only cause that will affect your sleep. However assessing your routine and working closely to manage your sleep and wake times will help you create a better environment for positive sleep and overall positive energy out of sleep hours.


Now what is something to look out for when assessing your sleep?


What Is REM Sleep?


REM sleep is known as rapid eye movement sleep or your dream sleep state. This is the period of your sleep where you are known to have dreams. REM should make up around 25% of your total sleep time however in recent times with the technological age studies are finding that there is a decrease in REM sleep time. This has an impact upon your sleep quality and the way you feel as you wake.


There are many ways to improve your REM sleep and this can be seen by decreased screen time before bed, improving your sleep environment and performing a sleep assessment.


How Do You Assess Your Sleep?


There are many ways you can assess your sleep but here are my top tips to ensure you get on top of your sleep!


  1. Timing/scheduling - writing down the times you lay down for sleep and the times you wake up. I would assess this over a period of 2 weeks but this is something you can always continue on with as part of a weekly routine.

  2. Feeling scale - Getting a scale created with how you feel everyday as you wake up in the morning, 0 = lethargic, no energy, 10 = full of energy, fully recovered

  3. Sleep quality - Writing down if you had a dream (positive or negative), if you woke during the night (how long, how many times)

  4. Equipment - You can also use smart watches these days which will give you more of an insight into your sleep quality and timings. Be weary as most devices are not fully accurate as of yet and will not be as effective in as you creating your own physical assessment.

  5. Improve your sleep environment - Create a space in your room that is reserved just for sleep, if you use your room for other purposes then this will disrupt your mind. Make sure your bed is reserved for only sleep and your mind will always view it as your sleep space.


Now there is a lot that you can do to ensure you get a higher quality sleep however without action you will not receive the rewards. Action creates results.


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