I frequently get asked about how to get a good night’s sleep from many sleep deprived sufferers. Many have tried everything short of a sleep apnea study with no improvements.
Before I just jump in and recommend something short of sleep apnea study. I have learned to ask a few questions about bedtime habits. Many who have issues with sleeping have accidently conditioned themselves that way without their knowing. Adjust these habits and sleep can be right around the corner.
First, how would you rate your level of stress on a scale of 1 to 10, (10 being the highest and 1 being next to nothing)? I usually get answers like 10, 8, 7 even a few 12s and 20s. That is honest which is good. The next follow up question is. What is your energy level like; same 1 to 10 scale? I get many 5s, 4s, maybe a 7. I usually see the energy being an inverse to the stress. So if stress is an 8 energy is a 2 or 4.
Since our body heals the wear and tear trauma of daily living while we sleep, there is usually a lot of joint pain and stiffness in people experiencing sleeping issues. On average, if we engage in 16 hour days, that is 16 hours of activity on our body, 8 of which might be very intense your body might need 8 hours of sleep to heal normal wear and tear. The higher the activity the more recuperation time we need. What is classically seen is that stress comes in and leads to chronic patterns that keep us awake, preventing restful sleep so we do not heal well. In time it is the very soreness that the stress caused that may be what is keeping us awake.
There is a perception and stance that our bodies nervous system takes to stress. There are emotions that come with stress that usually include fear, anxiety, worry, dread, anger and anticipation to name a few resulting in a revved up nervous system. Many of us go over what we need to do the next day before we go to bed, either making a list or running it over in our minds. All the success guys recommend doing this. WRONG!! If you have issues with sleep you have just awakened all the emotions of tomorrows stress to rev your nervous system, flooding you with hormones to go into battle instead of wanting to calm your body and mind down to rest. This cascade affects the sexes differently. Men may flush out the cascade of stress hormones within 2-4 hours. Given the average American gets between 6 to 8 hours of sleep there is still some option for rest. Women are not so lucky their systems may take 4-8 hours to flush out the stress cascade allowing very little quality rest for them.