The Sleep Therapy

Writing this at 10.29pm with glaring laptop lights in mum's forever dim room. Family and friends, in 2018, THIS is my kind of cheat day ✌

Sometime last year I suffered a severe mental and possibly spiritual breakdown for a couple of months. This is self diagnosed because, a) I had no money and time to go to the doctor and tell him the deal, b) I wasn't sure what to tell him. What I knew, was that I wasn't being my normal self. I had cried myself to sleep, even prayed and begged, and had even wanted to try sleeping pills to get through the night and day.

The main reason for this was stress 😔

Mainly from the house construction. I was so emotionally, physically and mentally invested in the whole process that I succumbed to the terrors of it all. It almost felt like a virus, a flesh-eating one that crippled my physical self. It reached the peak of its problem when I no longer wanted to do ANYTHING, and became a terrible person throughout the bad days. It was not fair to my family, who only tried to help me.

I knew some things have to change.

After talking to some friends and family who had trouble dealing with stress of any kind as well, I finally decided that the 'The Sleep Therapy' was something I needed to do. I had declared myself that the root cause of this "terrible feeling" I endured was the lack of "quality of sleep" I've been having. Quality of sleep to me is defined when you "sleep well, and wake up with a well rested body and mind". Many times, (dear Adults), WE DON'T HAVE THIS.

And I can't blame you, especially new parents who are dealing with newborns or new changes we overcome. The circumstances do not give you the luxury to "sleep well". However, some ideas that I've adopted ever since, have helped me in a lot of ways.

For one, with my mood in the morning 😁


Digital detox before sleep 

It has been proven that the light emitted from your laptop or your phone is equivalent to the sun's shine in the morning. It alters your reception towards it, making your body think that it's not night time or rest time in most cases. The moment your mind doesn't recognize that it's NOT the time to rest, you will be flinching around. Which will take you hours if not till morning, to finally rest.

This is the main reason, why so many people wake up tired too or are tired most of the time. The light from the screen also strain your eyes, and your eyes are pivotal points to your brain/mind. Telling your brain that you are not comfortable at the moment.


Avoid reading before sleep 

This was what I did, and it's something I leave up to you. One of my biggest problem is that I love to read. It's only a problem because, I read literally everything I see. Add mindless scrolling on the phone on Facebook, with buckloads of Yahoo News, CNN, and so on - you get a recipe of a "mind that is working hard" to digest and understand what you have just read, JUST BEFORE YOU SLEEP.

I slowly stopped using my phone hours before I sleep, usually by 8.30pm. That means, I would not be looking at social media by 8.30pm already as well. So this transitions me to picking up paper backs, or offline or hard copy materials (I love reading that much I can't stop). I pick up "The Help", "Panama Papers" to name a few before I sleep.

And guess what, it did not quite improved. 

Turns out, the point was to rest my mind from any hard working thoughts just before I sleep, and reading paper backs, was still making me think about the many things I have just read. Corruption in another country, oppression in the 1950s.

So, I decided that I would not read ANYTHING OR ANY MATERIAL before I sleep. Not even paper backs, and sometimes not even the television.

By 8 - 9pm, I had tricked myself to put my phone away, get busy with my cats or dog and interact or entertain myself with my pets. Not only do they put me in excellent mood, they gave me company as well a perfect distraction.

My mind feels so much more relaxed before I sleep and I no longer feel extremely tired in the morning. If it's not your physical that's tiring you off, it's your mind! They work just as hard. Remember that 🍸


Try a healthy sleep timetable 

I know some of us here work in shifts, and have odd sleeping hours. But if you can, try and work out a time table for you to rest. It was only just last year that I decided I had to do a sleep timetable.

On Weekdays, I remind myself to not look at technologies by 8.30pm, and to try and shut the light latest by 10.30pm. I get a one time nap on Saturday afternoon (which is the most WELL RESTED nap throughout the week I will ever get) before church and no work on Sundays. I usually do many things 24 hours, 7 days a week, but last year I had to stop many things on Sundays. I avoid doing naps on Sundays, unless I have ZERO things to do (REJOICE!!) but they are usually house chores like laundry, mop and so forth. The idea was so that I'm maxed out throughout the day to be able to replicate my weekdays and sleep latest by 10.30pm and start Monday fresh.

I am awake by 645am automatically without alarms on Weekdays, and can go up to 9am on Weekends. I have also told myself to sleep in whenever possible.

There are many cheat days of course like today, but I try to reward myself with well rested sleep with enough sleeps.


Food before sleep

I don't know about the myth of drinking milk or tea before sleep work. Because first of all, most milk have sugar which gives adrenaline, and teas have caffeine too, and we all know what caffeine can do to you in the morning.

I guess, just be moderate. It didn't help me very much drinking milk and so on, in fact, just warm water was enough to give me that calming, resolute feeling that I needed to rest my mind.


Distractions

One of the biggest contributor to a sleep's problem are distractions. In any form. Once upon time, I use to sleep with my cats and they would purr, and disrupt my sleep the ENTIRE NIGHT. The consequences? I wake up in the morning feeling REALLY tired. I mean why wouldn't I, I was constantly distracted and being woken up to.

I did what I had to do. I no longer sleep with them, and if there is one bit of noise or any form of distraction, I would sleep somewhere more comfortably. A few times, the roosters next door would crow as early as 5am I decided to sleep out!!

Hehe, I was that adamant about distractions.


Once in a blue moon, get a good massage

The very first day I decided to improve my sleep quality, I went for a body massage. I wasn't sure what I expected out of it, and I went for the massage at 9pm!

Human contact and the loosen of muscles and joints are the main reason why people choose body massages. They're assuring, and calms you down as well. After I finished the massage, I thought I wasn't able to sleep well because it was SO GOOD and I'd be thinking about it.

But boy. That was the best sleep I've had in many months. I CRASHED. When I woke up the next morning, my body felt like it was hit by a truck and I had almost forgotten what happened.

That was when I realised, that THAT massage had untangled me in many ways, that I finally felt all my limbs. I couldn't afford a monthly massage after that, but once in a while when I get to go for one, I could really sleep well after that.


The next morning

Most of us have our phones next to our pillow, making it an easy access to anything. Social media especially. But I really don't think we need to wake up with social media. It's quite unhealthy. I coin the term "mindless scrolling" which I thought is a sad phenomenon of scrolling through your phone without feeling or connection to it.

News and other people's lives are so desensitized through this that we no longer understand the real value of many things, like listening to their problems real life instead of reading it online.

So that leaves to my last point, SLEEP IN! 😴😴😴

Avoid waking up feeling rushed in the morning, and having to look at your phone the first thing in the morning. Not especially Whatsapp, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. Most of the time, this gives you anxiety and affects your mood almost immediately.

Even if you must - eat breakfast first 🍞🍏

Enjoy a cup or two, and greet your pets and neighbors before you analyze your phone. The disassociation of yourself and the technologies means that your eyes and mind are looking at REAL THINGS. It also gives you some pace to start your day, without having to jump from 0 - 100.

I am not a doctor, and NONE of these are from any medical magazines or health specialists. These are all the things that I personally did, and have seen improvement in feeling and sleeping better.

What health specialists will tell you, which will be the main point of this is - to have enough sleep. Having enough sleep is a good start, but nothing compares to a "good quality of sleep". Avoiding waking up in strange hours, nightmares, and waking up feeling tired all the time. Enough sleep must come along with quality of sleep.

I wish you the best, and remember guys, sleep well!



Love,
Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.

Comments

Steve Berke said…
I enjoyed reading your article :) PLease continue publishing helpful topics like this. Regards, from beddingstock.

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