Scott H Young

How to Get a Good Nights Sleep


Do you feel you are getting enough sleep? Have you ever noticed your mind active when you know you need to sleep? Do you feel your energy sapped in the middle of the day, barely able to stay awake?

Sleep is an incredibly important part of effective energy management. If you aren’t getting a good nights rest, your energy levels and concentration power are going to falter the next day. Your mood will probably suffer as minor inconveniences become huge frustrations.

What it takes to get a good night of sleep can differ from person to person, but here are just a few of the things I’ve found absolutely crucial, for myself, in getting a good night’s sleep:

Consistency is Key

If you want to get a good night’s sleep regularly, you need to be consistent in your approach. Go to bed and wake up at around the same time. Your job and social life may make it impossible to stick to a completely rigid schedule, but the better you can stick to a sleep schedule the more rested you will feel.

Subtle sleep cues can also transition your body into a more restful state. Having a routine for the last hour of your day can start slowing down your mind to prepare for sleep. Reading, journaling or meditation are all good activities that you can use to slow your body and prepare it to sleep.

Don’t Nap

If you want to be able to sleep easily during the night, you can’t take naps during the day. Occasional napping tends to throw off your sleep rhythm.

I have also noticed that anything above a fifteen or twenty minute nap tends to wake you up feeling more groggy and drained then before you rested. Even if you do wake feeling rested the shift in your internal clock will give you a feeling of jet-lag, making it difficult to sleep when you want to.

The desire to nap in the middle of the day can be caused by a lack of sleep, but it can also be caused by your digestive system. An inordinate amount of your energy is used on digestion, so eating a big lunch that is loaded with fat can make you feel drained and sleepy. Eating smaller meals throughout the day and cutting down on your fat/meat intake can help.

Avoid Interfering Chemicals

If you are having trouble sleeping, you should start by avoiding any chemicals such as caffeine, nicotine or alcohol. Sleeping pills can often create dependency and can deprive your body of certain phases of your sleep cycle, damaging long-term sleeping health for short-term gain.

You should always consult your doctor before making any changes in the medications you use. But many of the non-prescription stimulants people take every day can interfere with your sleep. If you are a caffeine junkie, your habit may be what is depriving you of the actual rest you need.

Don’t Fight Restlessness

Sleeping is one of those few things in life that you can’t achieve at by trying harder. If you get the occasional bout of insomnia, the worst thing you can do is try to fight it. It is easy to get nervous about how late it is and how difficult it is for you to sleep.

If you are feeling really restless, you may want to read quietly until you feel yourself unable to pay attention. Otherwise just be patient and lie in your bed. You can often feel like you have insomnia because you just haven’t given yourself a chance to go to sleep. Your body will go to sleep when it wants to, so worrying about it isn’t going to help.

If You Still Can’t Sleep…

If your mind is still restless and unwilling to sleep, you might as well utilize this time. Here are a couple things you can do when in this state:

Controlled Breathing – Whenever I’m having difficulty sleeping, I start by controlling my breathing. Try slowing your breathing and heart rate. Take deep long breaths and control the time it takes you to inhale and exhale. Not only does this give you something to occupy your mind other than how tired you are going to be in the morning, this activity should put you into a deep state of relaxation.

Visualization – Another activity I do when I’m struggling to sleep is I create a vivid visualization. Often one of the reasons you are having trouble to sleep is because your mind is occupied with a particular stress or problem. I usually visualize myself in a familiar place talking to an imagined character.

Pretending to receive some imagined advice about my problem from this character can calm me about my problem. I don’t think this technique will usually solve your problem, but it can often access your subconscious wisdom and give you the advice you need to hear to relax about the problem and get to sleep.

Sleep is an incredibly important part of your health and energy levels. It will influence your mood and have a huge impact on your performance. Get a good nights rest and utilize that extra energy and positivity to make a better tomorrow.


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6 Responses to “How to Get a Good Nights Sleep”

  1. Bob Cuddy says:

    At the risk of sounding like a spammer I feel the need to let you know that there is an alternative for sleeping that can aid in the relief of pain and snoring therefore improve sleep quality. I invented the SquidFace and ComfyRest pillows so I could truly lie facedown comfortably and breathe without turning my head to the side. It works well on a desk for a quick power nap. Is beneficial facedown, on your back or on your side. The many additional pain relief benefits are on my website. Hopefully it may help you. http://www.SquidFace.com

  2. Scott Young says:

    I naturally sleep on my side, Bob, so no help to me there, but face down sleepers may want to check that out.

  3. Rafal says:

    Napping isn’t really a bad thing. It can actually help you get the most of your nocturnal sleep as it’s completely natural for human beings to sleep during the day.

    You might want to read a book by dr Sara Mednick “Take a Nap. Change Your Life” or “Powerful Sleep” by Kacper Postawski.

    BTW. a great website! I’ll be visiting you regularly.

  4. Scott Young says:

    Rafal,

    This is just my experiences, if napping works for you, go for it.

  5. Tony says:

    I wake up almost always at the same time, but in weekends when I go out, it can happen I didn’t get enough sleep at night. I take sometimes a nap but only in the beginning of the afternoun and also limited at maximum 30 min. It works fine or me and enables me to get trough the day when I didn’t get a full night sleep.

  6. I have been reading a few posts on here and have picked up some useful info. One thing I have found which works really well for a good nights sleep, feeling more relaxed and focused is binaural beats. As strange as they may sound (excuse the pun) they are a very powerful method of relaxation.

Debate is fine, flaming is not. Pretend that this comment form is a discussion taking place in my house. That means I enjoy constructive criticism and polite suggestions. Personal attacks, insults and all-purpose nastiness will be removed especially if it is directed at other readers.

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