A Good Night’s Sleep
We all need a good night’s sleep!
Does pain give you problems with your sleep? If so, there’s plenty you can do to help yourself regain blissful and peaceful sleep, leaving you refreshed to face the day.
Read the ideas here and take a look at our Shop where you can buy Jan Sadler’s book, ‘A Good Night’s Sleep’ and accompanying CD. The CD includes the truly relaxing Peaceful Sleep Bedtime Routine. Sleep is virtually guaranteed!
Bedtime is often the time of day when pain and worrying thoughts have the opportunity to come to the fore. To overcome this we need to approach improving our sleep by learning how to ease stress during the day and using a relaxation routine at night.
Ease stress during the day
- Spend five, ten minutes or more in relaxation or meditation. Relaxation is the key to pain relief and stress reduction and will be invaluable to use at night to lull you to sleep.
- If you possibly can, take some form of exercise in the afternoon, perhaps a walk or sitting/lying down exercises if you can’t get out.
- Daily Review. This is a really helpful idea! In the early evening, note any problems you have on your mind and any unfinished tasks. Then write down the next action to be taken. There’s no need to write everything about the issues just the very next action to be taken. It is this sort of unfinished business that causes most sleeplessness. Use the Daily Review as a dividing line between your day and your evening. If you start thinking about these items at night tell yourself you have dealt with them until tomorrow.
- Spend the last hour or so of the evening preparing for sleep. Keep all activities after the Daily Review very low key and undemanding so that you are in a relaxed and quiet mood when it is time for bed.
A relaxation routine for bedtime
When you go to bed, lie still and allow your breathing to slow down and feel your body sink down into the bed. Allow your out-breath to last a few seconds longer than your in-breath.
Next travel around your body giving each part the following simple instruction to go to sleep. Just allow the relaxation to happen, say to each part:
“Go to sleep…”
Begin with the toes on your left foot, say inside your head, “Go to sleep…”, and feel, or imagine, your toes softening and relaxing. Then similarly “Go to sleep…” to the toes on your right foot. Continue in the same way, talking gently to your whole left foot and then your whole right foot and so on around your body. The next areas are each leg in turn, your ankle, your calf, your knee and thigh. Continue then with your lower back, abdomen, chest, upper back and all the parts of your shoulders. Then travel down each arm in turn, taking in your elbows, and hands. Then your neck and your head, going around each area of your face. Although it is doubtful if you will ever get this far!
As you talk to each part of your body, let it feel heavy, relaxed and warm as it sinks down into the bed. Feel yourself sink further and further down as you visit each part of your body. Just let yourself go. You will then feel so serene and tranquil that it is easy to drift down into a deep and peaceful sleep.
More tips for peaceful sleep
- Your body can learn what time you want it to go to sleep and wake up. If you’re not tired by, say, 10.30 pm get up earlier. Rising time generally controls bedtime.
- Use your bed and bedroom for sleep only, not for reading, watching TV or as an office. Then your subconscious mind will gradually accept the idea that when you go to bed it is time to go to sleep. Make sure your bed and pillow are comfortable and reasonably warm. Use small pillows and props for any part of your body that needs support.
- Even if pain wakes you at night, it’s probably negative thoughts that will help to keep you awake, such as, “I’ll never get back to sleep” or “I’ll feel terrible in the morning”. If you concentrate on your negative thoughts they rob you of your ability to deal calmly with a situation. Say gently but firmly to yourself, “STOP that!”, then tell yourself, “Be still, this will pass” or “I let go and relax”.
- Don’t try to analyse any situation during the night. If something is worrying you, write it down and shut the paper in a drawer in another room and say to yourself, “Now is the time for sleeping. I will think about that tomorrow.”
- If lying awake, don’t clock-watch. Cover or turn your clock so you can’t see it.
- If you’re awake at night your mind is free to pick up on negative thoughts and feelings. Have a plan so you know what to do. If you start thinking anxious thoughts tell yourself to “Stop that” and then perhaps, “I can deal with that tomorrow, NOW is for relaxing.”
- Get up if you are still awake after 20 minutes or so and do something calming and soothing such as reading through your affirmations until you are ready to return to bed to go through the relaxation session again. Don’t let self-pity in. Stay calm.
- Never count the hours you think you have been asleep or awake. Remind yourself that you are always getting far more sleep than you actually realise.