Effortless rest- 9 ways to have a good sleep

29 August, 2019 / Mateusz

Sleep disorders already affect every second inhabitant of our planet. The pace of life, stress and the pursuit of material goods are increasingly driving us into the trap of depression, insomnia and even to a nervous breakdown. Instead of providing us with a better mental state, our habits only exacerbate the malaise, leading to extreme exhaustion. Brandon Peters-Mathews, a sleep therapist, comes to the rescue.

Good sleep is becoming an unusual phenomenon in our time. It should be at the top of the pyramid of our needs, but instead sleep is pushed to the very bottom; buried under work, duties, entertainment, training, meetings and everything that requires our energy. The very energy we lack from only sleeping 5 hours on average. A conundrum indeed! Meanwhile, scientists are constantly sounding the alarm, warning us that this ongoing cycle can only lead to disaster. Ironically, the problems often come when we finally stop, usually when everything seems alright.

According to Peters-Mathews, the following are some essential guidelines to achieving effective sleep.

  1. Sleep must become something important to you and should even be a priority! Every day you should organize your life to include planned time for relaxation and rest. Furthermore, each of us should have a minimum of an hour before bed just to ourselves – to calm our minds, become peaceful and slow down. If your normal pattern is, “I’ll manage somehow”, assuredly at first “somehow” you will manage, but then you will wake up at the therapist’s door.
  2. The bedroom should be a place only for sleeping and sex. We should ruthlessly remove our phones, laptops, newspapers, TV sets and other gadgets from the bedroom. This means we do not give ourselves dispensation even for a weekend news report or a one-off reply to urgent emails from work. At first, such emptiness in the bed may seem strange, but later you will thank yourself, by waking up full of energy and motivation.
  3. Regularly designate an active time and relaxation time. Each should have a similar allocation, including on weekends. Again, we reiterate the hard consequences, which will occur when rest and relaxation are not given priority. It’s best to rely on the advice of the specialists. Your existing habits and patterns are probably failing you.
  4. Make sure you have access to natural sunlight every day for at least half an hour. Light is such an important factor that without it our body does not function normally. First of all, without vitamin D synthesis, our bones become extremely fragile. Also, without sufficient sunlight, our diurnal body cycle becomes significantly unregulated, and some important hormones that affect the processes occurring in the human body stop secreting altogether.
  5. ALWAYS go to bed when you are sleepy. When you feel tired, put away your computer or book and go to the bedroom. If you don’t do this, the body decides that you need an extra dose of energy, and fatigue will pass and not quickly return. When you do finally decide that it is time to sleep, the body will not be ready for it, and you will lie sleepless in bed with the added anxiety of the next day’s tiredness.
  6. Observe yourself, your behaviour and adjust the schedule to your natural cycle. If you lie in bed every night, unable to sleep for 30 minutes, it means that you should shift the time you go to sleep.
  7. Remember to make time for physical activity. A tired body will be able to unwind quickly and with ease. Submitting to the body’s natural processes is the best you can do.
  8. Limit alcohol and cigarettes that are stimulating. Alcohol (even a single dose) makes us fall asleep faster, but the length of sleep itself is shortened, and its effectiveness significantly reduced. The nicotine in cigarettes, in turn, has a stimulating effect, which is also not an ally for sleep. If you must, smoke your last cigarette at least 3-4 hours before going to bed.
  9. If sleep problems persist for 2 months or more, be sure to consult a specialist. You may find that the solution to this problem is much simpler than you thought.