Sleep resilience

Sleep Resilience

Introduction to Sleep Resilience

Fatigue can develop from attempting to be motivated, positive and strong for a prolonged period without self care and restorative sleep. This results in lowered positivity; becoming less connected with peers and leaders; and ultimately, being less engaged and productive.
You may have noticed that issues which seem overwhelming at nighttime, become easier to understand and overcome in the morning after a good night’s rest. When we are in a constant state of fatigue, from living in a way that depletes our body systems of health and healing, we can reach a constant state of fatigue, with feelings of being overwhelmed. Negative thoughts stemming from the fatigue can lead to deeper feelings of being overwhelmed, anxiety and irritability which in turn disrupts your sleep further.
Consider adding one or more of the following to your nightly ritual:
  • Disengage from social media and screen-based activities an hour before going to bed will allow you to “unwind”.
  • Organize a healthy lunch for the next day, and lay out the day’s routine so that you are not worried about this as you lay down to sleep.
  • Try engaging in a physical relaxation routine such as mindfullness breathing.
  • Find reading material that is calming and entertaining for a relaxed hour of reading with a decaffeinated tea before heading to the bedroom, or try reviewing a restful “sleep journal” filled with positive affirmations and images of calm and comfort.
Restorative sleep is an extension of the preceding day. Getting a good sleep involves factors from the moment you wake up. Physical and mental activities as well as rest must be spread out across the day: expose yourself to the daylight in the morning, don’t take any naps after 3 pm and don’t do any sports or take hot baths after 5 or 6 pm.

The human organism works in sync with the circadian rhythm. It is controlled by our biological clock and all clocks require consistency. It’s the reason why you should try to stick to roughly the same routine all week long… including on Sundays!

Getting restorative sleep is also about having a healthy lifestyle. Include time for activity, physical exercise, nutrition intake, and enjoyment in your day. Look at your calendar and block time within each day for all the above. Follow through with consistency and review your progress with sleep success and fatigue reduction. Keep notes on the best sleep nights and look for the pattern. 

Wake-Up Tip
Every morning, if your body, face, and eyes are exposed to sunlight your body will increase its production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter, regulates mood, appetite, memory, sleep. 
So what should you do? First thing every morning is to go outside (not behind a window – as glass filters UV light), with no sunglasses, eyeglasses, or contacts (again, they all filter out light). Look towards the sun (not at it, but off to the side) so that sunlight hits your face. The longer the better. 20 minutes is great, but two minutes is better than nothing. Remember, wearing glasses filters the much-needed full spectrum light!

Exercise: Pre-Sleep Rituals

For better sleep and building sleep resiliency, you can create pre-sleep rituals for yourself, to get into a better mindset before sleep.
Start a bedside resource of positive images, pictures, statements, record your daily accomplishments and moments of joy. Reviewing this journal before laying down to sleep can support you to have a resource of positive visions and images to use for de-escalating any anxiety and to create feelings of calm for better sleep.
Meditate with the positive visions from your journal in mind. Breathe in deeply from your lower abdomen and breathe out the feelings of tension, anxiety, and fear you may be storing in your body, heart, and mind.

Exercise: Sleep Hygiene

Consider a healthy sleep hygiene routine to ensure you feel rested and your body has the available energy necessary to promote feelings of wellness. Healthy bodies logically heal faster from injury, and rested and energized individuals, will generally have the reserves necessary to recover from emotional trauma and challenges.

As much as possible, try to develop good sleep habits:
  1. Go to bed at the same time each day.
  2. Wake up at the same time each day.
  3. Set a time to “disconnect” a from screens in the evening.
  4. Get regular exercise each day, for at least 20 minutes. The best time is in the morning.
  5. Go outside everyday or get daily exposure to bright light.
  6. Keep the bedroom quiet.
  7. Keep your bedroom dark.
  8. Keep your bed comfortable-this includes: supportive mattress and cool temperature.
  9. Do relaxation exercises before bed. Some examples might be breathing exercises, stretching, drinking caffeine-free tea, or a warm bath.
  10. Keep your hands and feet warm. Wear warm mittens and/or socks.
  11. Take medication as directed by your doctor.
  1. Exercise or do stimulating activities just before bed.
  2. Have caffeine in the evening (at least 4-6 hours before bed). Sources of caffeine include coffee, chocolate, and many teas and sodas.
  3. Read or watch television in bed.
  4. Read social media, news feeds or e-mails in bed.
  5. Use alcohol to help you sleep.
  6. Take daytime naps. If you must nap, it should be 20-30 minutes and before 3pm.
Sleep Tip
If you lay in bed awake for more than 20-30 minutes, get up, go to a different room (or different part of the bedroom), do a quiet activity (e.g. sit quietly on the couch with dim lights, quiet reading), and then return to bed when you feel sleepy. Sleep disturbances can also stem from challenges you are experiencing, that are threatening your feelings of safety and confidence.

Consult with your Osteopath

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