We all want to sleep better at night. But lack of sleep is real for many people and a key trigger for stress. In fact, sleep is one of the most frustrating activities in many people’s lives. As a result, sleep concerns have created huge industries for products and services.
Not getting enough sound sleep affects mood and has long-term health consequences. Chronic disruption of sleep patterns is strongly linked to cardiovascular disease and a number of other health issues including an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes; weakened immunity and an increased tendency to get sick; weakened cognitive function including memory, alertness, and decision-making; increased impulsiveness, risk-taking, and addictive behavior; eating more; and ingesting more unhealthy foods. So the advice is clear: if you want to feel better and work better, you have to sleep better!
Unfortunately, some people wear their lack of sleep like a badge of honor. As a nation, we’re not just losing sleep; we are missing the health benefits that sleep brings. Inadequate sleep is linked to nearly a fifth of serious car crashes. It also seems to weaken willpower to eat normal portions of healthy foods.
Typically, it should take less than 15 minutes to fall asleep. If it takes longer than a half-hour and impairs your function the next day, it’s considered insomnia. People with insomnia not only struggle to drift off, but also wake up repeatedly. Insomnia is a marker for poor health.
Ways to Sleep Better
Here are two ways to help you sleep better at night:
- The concept of compartmentalizing is useful for people who have difficulty falling asleep. This is especially the case when getting into bed to sleep and the mind keeps itself occupied with various thoughts. Just as a train, submarine, and ship have different compartments, so can the mind. This may be easier for men who tend to think linear, but it can also be very helpful for women who tend to think in a more circular manner. When going to sleep, think of your bed as a compartment for sleeping; nothing else is allowed. The compartment is watertight and only allows those thoughts to enter that are conducive for sleeping.
- The quickest tip to fall asleep is to start dreaming. Call it virtual dreaming. Envision yourself engaged in some enjoyable It has to be something ongoing—some pleasurable activity that is long lasting. The next time you go to bed and do not fall asleep within 15 minutes, engage in virtual dreaming. Enjoy yourself, and sleep well!
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