Getting in sync with your body takes more than simply structuring a schedule to tell it what to do and when to do it. Many find this to be most obvious in the case of a sleep schedule. Our daily lives involve a mixture of work, expectations, and even anxieties; then at the end of the day we expect our bodies to shut off at a moment’s notice for a restful night’s sleep. By staying in control over ourselves, with such high expectations for our bodies even if they work against our bodies’ wants and needs, the results tend to be less than satisfying. A fast-paced day always seems to give way to a fitful night’s sleep, and in the long-term, the consequences can send us into a spiral of restlessness and frustration.
So what is it that’s keeping us up at night? It’s an important question, as our bodies need a certain amount of sleep to allow for progressive function throughout the following day – both mentally and physically.
But our bodies need a sort of ‘cool down’ period to truly progress from our over-active days into a calm, soothing night of peaceful rest. Our bodies evolved to match a natural pattern of day and night, so when we attempt to force our bodies to shut off immediately, they might still be in a state of stress and alertness.
If this sounds anything like you, try these tips:
- Stay attuned to your body. Take moments during the day to stop and focus on the present moment, noting especially how your body is responding. Do you feel tired? Hungry? Anxious? By taking these small moments and attending to needs as they arise, you’re allowing your body to handle the smaller situations rather than letting them build up until bedtime where it’s expected to unwind from all the trials of the day.
- Try diaphragmatic breathing techniques. During your day and when you take moments of focus, try out some breathing techniques to allow your body to slow down and catch up with your energetic mind. Diaphragmatic breathing helps to balance the body as a whole and can contribute to an easier transition once you’re ready to slow down for the evening.
- Make the transition, not the schedule. The biggest block to sleep is expecting your body to go from daytime activity and straight to sleep. Instead, make a transition into your resting routine, and slowly taper your activities from the day a few hours before bedtime to allow your mind – and body – to slow.
We’ve also previously discussed how blue lights from your electronic devices can trick your body into thinking it’s daytime.
In the end, the best way to find succulent sleep is to mellow your mind and stay attuned to your body’s needs throughout the day.
HSG can help you better manage your work/life balance which can contribute to lower levels of anxiety during the day – which means less on your mind at night!
We can teach your team how to get quality sleep, and bring more energy into work each morning. Better Sleep Workshops can be a part of your wellness plans for the upcoming year – check out our Annual Health and Wellbeing Programs page for more!