Last week I had a call which really made me smile.
“Dipti, I just wanted you to know that I slept for seven hours last night, I can’t remember the last time that happened – thank you!”
I’d seen a new client just the day before and amongst other things she had explained to me all the trouble she was having sleeping. You can imagine how pleased I was to hear that the homeopathic remedies she had taken had helped her to sleep for seven hours uninterrupted. I love watching homeopathy do its magic!
Trouble sleeping unfortunately isn’t a rare symptom amongst my clients or even the general population. When I’m presenting one of my workshops, one of the questions I almost always ask is ‘how many of you sleep well?’, very few people will raise their hands. Instead there is a long list of complaints:
- Broken sleep
- Not being able to switch off long enough to sleep,
- Having to visit the loo too frequently and not being able to get back off to sleep,
- Waking regularly at 3 or 4am,
- Anxiety and panic attacks in the middle of the night preventing sleep
All resulting in waking up exhausted and not being able to function efficiently.
The Function of Sleep
We are programmed to ensure that we sleep when we are tired and so we can regain our energy to ensure we can perform well the next day, our hormones do a lot of this work, providing everything else is in sync. We need to sleep well to ensure that our brains and our immune systems function effectively. Sleep also helps us to think clearly, regulate our weight and out emotions.
The dictionary definition of sleep
“A condition of mind and body which typically recurs for several hours every night in which the nervous system is inactive, the eyes closed, the postural muscles relaxed and consciousness practically suspended”
Just reading that sounds so relaxing in itself, doesn’t it? But this is not the reality for people who suffer with sleep issues.
Effects of Poor Sleep
- Poor memory and judgement
- Lack of concentration and focus
- Sleepiness in the day, especially a slump around 3-4 pm
- Craving for carbohydrates and sugary foods
- Inability to make decisions
- A general reduced level of functioning
- The central nervous system can be affected because it doesn’t have a period of respite
- Depression, anxiety and impulsive behaviour
- Low immunity, lack of sleep causes the immune system to produce less antibodies and T lymphocytes. The body then becomes more prone to infection and illness.
Studies show that chronic illnesses are more likely to occur in individuals with long term insomnia. These studies reveal that insulin levels increase following sleeplessness which can eventually cause diabetes. The risk of anxiety and depression is also increased when individuals sleep less than six hours a night.
Causes of Sleep Deprivation
- Stimulants such as teas, coffee, alcohol taken too closely to bedtime will stimulate your adrenals keeping you awake or will wake you around 3-4am, leaving you exhausted during the day
- Not listening to the body’s demands for sleep, often times we try to cram too much in and remain awake to socialise or work
- Shift work, frequent air travel or study commitments
- Poor sleeping environment
- Short term or chronic illness and pain
How Do You Know if You are Getting Enough Sleep?
Without getting into anything too scientific or asking you to purchase gadgets which monitor your sleep, there is one very reliable guide – how you feel on waking! Many of you who are already my clients know that I will ask frequently “Do you wake feeling refreshed?” or “how do you feel on waking?”
When you wake do you feel relaxed? In a happy mood, ready to face your day? Or do you feel a sense of dread before you open your eyes and feel as if you could do with a few more hours? All of these are good simple indicators of whether you are getting adequate, restorative sleep. And it’s important to note that everyone will be biochemically individual and some function well on a lot of sleep and some need a lot more!
The key question is, are you getting enough restorative sleep?
Things You Can Do to Get Better at Sleeping
- Environment is key! Ensure that the space you sleep in is uncluttered, the lighting is right, the temperature is right for you and it’s free from electronic gadgets emitting blue light.
- Use a diffuser with aromatherapy oils or an aromatherapy candle which helps to relax your central nervous system. Use a night time blend or lavender, Jasmine, bergamot or ylang ylang.
- Homeopathic remedies like passiflora can help you to relax but having a full health consultation with along with a tailored homeopathic prescription can deal with your sleep issues and anything underlying too.
- Avoid caffeine after 1pm
- East potassium rich bedtime snacks like banana and peanut butter to aid good sleep
- Herbal teas containing Chamomile and other relaxing herbs are great.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading and if you would like a free chat with me to see if I can be of help then please book in for a free introduction call.
With love Dipti xx