Great sleep creates superhumans
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What I hear a lot at the moment is that since lockdown, my clients and friends have got a really busy brain at night and therefore restless sleep.
Can you relate to that?
If you do, you might want to keep on reading…
The thing is: Sleep is just fantastic and makes us much better people!
So I thought you would enjoy the neuroscience around rest and how important it is for us.
Did you have more sleep during the changes over the last few months?
How is your sleep now?
Are you getting back into the restless sleeping patterns you had before?
Matt Walker, British scientist and professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, is passionate about sleep and has been studying it for many years.
He has some interesting findings that make us aware of how important sleep is to our well being.
From Matt's research here are some problems due to lack of sleep:
● Reproductive health: Affects our libido, performance and reproductive effectiveness
● Severe effects on learning and memory
● With ageing, our systems natural deep quality of sleep gets worse. This, in turn, contributes to memory decline and health issues such as dementia.
● Affects the cardiovascular system negatively, which is not good if you have heart problems or can lead to it. An example given was how, with daylight saving in spring, the following day there is a dramatic increase in heart attacks, car crashes and suicide rates when daylight saving finishes reduction in heart attacks and other issues.
● It affects the immune system. Right now with the world as it is, you do want a robust immune system. Natural killer cells are good at identifying dangerous elements and eliminating them. These cells are drastically reduced with lack of sleep.
You might be thinking: "Cool Caryn, should I just pop some sleeping pills then?"
NO. You want to sleep, although doctors and specialists in sleep don’t recommend sleeping pills. They do not produce natural sleep and create a higher risk of death and cancer.
Solutions from Matt:
✔ Direct current brain stimulation to restore deep sleep for the brain which they are currently exploring
✔ Avoid alcohol, caffeine and naps during the day
✔ Same time to bed and same wake-up time. Routine and anchor improves the quality of your sleep
✔ Keep the sleeping area cooler – the body needs 2-3 degrees decrease in temperate
✔ If you can’t catch up on sleep, staying in bed when awake, the brain will start to associate the bedroom with wakefulness. Get out of bed and go into another room until you are tired so the brain understand your bed is for sleep. Similarly - you would not sit at the dinner table until you get hungry!
Key take-out: sleep is not luxury; it is a biological necessity for us to function as our best self!
I personally have a few practical tips that assist me if I have a busy brain and can’t sleep:
● I write down whatever is running through my mind before going to bed, which usually calms the mind. However, sometimes I wake through the night, and my brain is so busy that is seems impossible to go back to sleep. Once again, while leaving the light off, I write down whatever is on my mind. Sometimes it is so silly, but writing it down does help. You are telling your subconscious mind that it doesn’t need to worry, you wrote it down, so your subconscious can relax and go back to sleep
● No screens after 9 pm. Its proven the blue light keeps you awake so just put your devices away.
● Especially NO social media after 8 pm. Social media is proven to increase anxiety.
● Create a bedtime routine—a little like I used to do with my kids when they were little.
● I like to read a book before bed. It helps me to wind down.
● As Matt and James suggested, making love helps. It's a great exercise and does wonders for you.
If you want even more in-depth information from Matt, there is this interview below between Joe Rogan and Matt Walker that may interest you.
Additionally, James Clear has a detailed explanation for you to read on sleep and what it does for you and some practical strategies on how to sleep better, which support and add to Matt’s such as
⮚ Avoid caffeine.
⮚ Stop smoking or chewing tobacco
⮚ Use the bedroom for sleep and sex only.
⮚ Natural Sleep Aids - Most people sleep best in a cool room; A quiet space is vital for good sleep; Avoid an alcoholic nightcap
⮚ How to Fall Asleep Fast - Stick to a regular schedule; Develop a “power down” ritual before bed. Use relaxation techniques. Use strategic naps
⮚ How to Have More Energy in the morning; good nights sleep; Drink a large glass of water in the morning. Start the day in the sunlight
You are basically a superhuman!
I hope you have enjoyed this journey through sleep, and it has not put you to sleep!
Now, every time you are getting ready to sleep set an intention to have a good sleep and while you are sleeping fantastic things will be occurring in your body and mind.
Please share with someone who would love to hear this today. And contact me if you want to work on better sleep or something else. I would love to assist you to bring your best self!
Contact me carynradburn
I look forward to hearing from you ☺