by Nina Sabin - Healthy Tip
How often do you wake up in the night? How quickly do you fall asleep? Is your mind racing at bedtime? Sometimes, I can go right to sleep without all the tossing and turning, sleep through the entire night, and wake up ready to tackle the day. However, that is the ideal. Most nights involve tossing and turning with things running through my mind. I notice aches and pains or just can’t get comfortable.
Sleep is not only important physically, it is important for the mind and spirit as well. So how do we get enough sleep when our minds and bodies keep us from falling asleep?
Let’s talk about how to deal with the struggle of things running through our minds. It is hard to shut off our brain…to clear our mind. For some of us our mind keeps racing long after our body wants to stop for the night. In my article, Don’t Let Your Thoughts Control You, I talked about ways to be aware of your thoughts. The question now is how to shut off all thoughts at bedtime.
Here are some helpful ways to take your mind off of things and find ways to help you fall asleep.
1) Start with praying. Talking to God and sharing with Him your concerns helps take them off our mind and in His hands. God tells us to cast our burdens on him. 1 Peter 5: 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
2) Think about a story, something that makes you feel good. It could be a TV show you watched, or a place you have or would like to visit. When we distract our minds, it helps us forget what we were thinking about or worrying about.
3) If you still can’t fall asleep for some people reading a book can help. Find a book that you will enjoy but that you feel helps you relax and that you can get lost in. Trying to force yourself to sleep can make it even harder to fall asleep.
Being well rested is so important. So how do you know the next morning that you are well rested? After a good night of sleep you should feel wide awake and alert shortly after waking up, and remain so for most of the day. So if you wake up tired and sluggish, it is a sign that you did not sleep well.
How many hours of sleep do you need? Most people think they know. For me I would say my number is 6 hours. However, I notice some days I need 8 hours. While sleep requirements vary slightly from person to person, most healthy adults need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night to function at their best.
So try to avoid those late nights when you know you have to be up early the next morning. It is not always possible, but when it is, try to get in those 7 – 9 hours of sleep.
Remember sleeping is essential to “Make a Better You.”