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Thursday
Jan042007

Are you getting enough of the right kind of sleep?

Are you tired of being tired? Feeling burned out? Lacking energy and enthusiasm?

Lack of quality rest is affecting millions of people at home, at work, and on the roads. Every day thousands of tired people are trudging to work to face hours of making crucial decisions with potentially dangerous consequences.

Shocking statistics report that if you were to add up the number of people that die on American highways from falling asleep at the wheel it would be the equivalent of a major airplane crash every day!

Professor Hirskowitz of the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Houston, Texas, where sleep disorders and difficulties are monitored and charted, says that America is a sleep-deprived society.

It’s not just getting to sleep that’s the problem, nor does sufficient time asleep guarantee that we will awaken refreshed and ready to face the day ahead; if we want to wake at our best, we need to look at the quality of our sleep.

Our bodies are designed to repair and restore while we rest, and they simply cannot do that efficiently if we are leaving them on “standby”.

Yet though we know that we need to experience deep sleep and rest nightly for the good of our brains and our bodies, we often feel “too busy to rest” and may have difficulty switching off at the end of the day and accepting a full recharge.


It’s all about attitude
Investing some time in welcoming sleep is a key factor in the quality of our rest. If we go to bed reluctant to accept sleep because we still feel there are tasks left uncompleted, or there are wakeful thoughts still traveling around our minds, then we are not in a state where we can enter into a deep and sustained period of rest.

Many people who drift off into sleep un-prepared and without feeling open to the benefits of real rest often find that they wake in the night with an active mind and have trouble returning to sleep.

Following some simple guidelines like not watching stimulating or stress inducing television before sleep, relaxing with a hot milky drink, taking a few minutes to stretch and unwind are considered to be helpful in settling down for rest.

This is the preferred alternative to sleeping in a semi-vigilant state and waking at the slightest sound. There are creatures that naturally sleep with one eye open, or semi-doze in a state of alertness for possible threat or danger; but we humans do not fare well when that becomes our way of rest.

So how can you say “yes” to truly restorative sleep

1. acknowledge you need it

2. believe it’s valuable to you - right here, right now

3. welcome it - let yourself sink into a relaxed and grateful state and think to yourself “now I will rest, deeply and completely, my body needs this and I will accept and enjoy it” that simple statement can make the difference between a fretful half-accepted night of semi-wakefulness and the deep recharge that your body craves, needs and deserves.

Recommended resource:
The Lullaby Deep Sleep & Relaxation Hypnosis CD

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