There is no worldly reason why I should be awake right now.
I’ve done everything I’m meant to.
I’ve taken a relaxing, aromatic bath. I’ve had a glass of warm milk. I’m listening to whale song and channelling my chakra, for Pete’s sake, why am I still awake??
The presentation is tomorrow, it’s imperative that I sleep.
Just calm down. Try some of those visualisation exercises. Imagine the presentation is in a box, now close that box… Now… ok this isn’t working.
If this sounds in any way familiar, you’re one of 80% of the UK population who experience some form of sleeplessness, or 30% who suffer chronic sleep problems.
So what can be done? Dr Guy Meadows, sleep physiologist and founder of The Sleep School is NABS‘ (the advertising and media industry support organisation) latest Wellbeing expert. The school’s aim is to help people find ‘more energy and a richer and more meaningful life’ by promoting practical ways to get a better night’s sleep.
To follow Dr Guy’s method is to recognise that the person in the above scenario is going about things all wrong. Too often we see sleep as a battle. Of course, that’s not our intension. None of us go to bed purposely preparing for war. However, a war it can all too often become. The more we struggle, the more nights we spend experiencing the same problem, the less likely we are to sleep well.
The oft-repeated saying that we spend a third of our lives asleep is largely true. Sleep helps us recover our energy; it regulates our hormones, allows our body to grow and repair, strengthens our immune system, improves our mental health and, perhaps most ironically for those struggling to sleep, reduces our anxiety.