This topic is near and dear to my heart. I come from a LONG history of individuals who don't sleep. It's a struggle, and it's one that I have had since I was like 2! On top of that, making this one change to our lifestyle has helped more individuals lose weight than any diet out there!
I decided to make this one change in my daily/nightly routine after reading an article on rest. Then a couple of days later I listened to a podcast on the link between smart device use and depression, and I become convinced I needed to try this out. It's a simple change, but I swear it will transform your sleeping pattern and your whole outlook on your day to day.
We live in a chronically sleep deprived nation. We struggle to keep our eye lids open during the day as we work on projects, attend meetings and do all our house hold tasks, but when it comes to actually calming down for the night----we lay our heads down on our soft pillows and it's as if our brains goes wild!!! Wild, I tell ya!!! No taming it now!! :)
Our brains "wont shut down." Anywhere from thinking about all the days events, to the multiple tasks we weren't able to get to, to our "to do lists" for the next day, to the worries of our world such has our significant other, our children, our jobs, our friends. We are a over stimulated world, that struggles to find time to "have it all."
And because of our fast paced world, we constantly are looking for tasks that are mindless-----insert our smart devices-----our smart devices, anywhere from our iphone, ipad, Mac, etc. allow us to stay "engaged" in a very mindless manor. Hence, the scrolling, scrolling, scrolling, scrolling, scrolling we do at night time to "numb" ourselves and attempt to shut down for the night. This mindless tasks gives us a false sense of calm and actually sets off more neurotransmitters in our brain to keep us awake and "active." It prevents our mind from being able to shut down, to calm down and to detach for the night. Our lack of sleep also changed our perception of hunger and food intake. It makes us crave foods higher in fats and sugars in order to keep our body going for the day. Lack of sleep tricks our body into believing it hungry, when in actuality it's very much so tired and needing a rest.
This one change to ones daily routine, seems easy, intellectually. However, emotionally and behaviorally, it's very difficult. We know in our mind that being so connected to a smart device isn't the "smartest" thing to do, but putting this into practice is much more difficult. Our emotional and behavioral selves, see a much different picture. So, despite it's initial discomfort, this one change radically changed how I sleep at night.
So, here ya go, here is the one pivotal piece of advise I have for you!
REMOVE ALL DEVICES FROM YOUR BEDROOM!
Yes, that's it! No computers, no tv, no smart phones on your night stand or under your pillow....yes, stop doing that! :)
Allow yourself to be away from your constant "connection" to this world. There is no reason you need your smart phone on your night stand. Plug your device in to charge at night in another room. Remove your computer from your room--most individuals now have laptops that are portable to any location in this world. If you cant move it out of your room, but you can travel half way across the world---we may need to talk about some other concerns.... just saying... AND remove your TV from the room. Watch your evening shows, then shut the tv down for the evening.
The first night is rough. It's so quiet, so dark. It's like a whole new bedroom experience. No stimuli, no distractions--just you (maybe a partner) and the world around you. ENJOY, the quiet. Infuse your room with some essential oils play some relaxing music from an old school radio--I personally love ocean sounds, thunder storms, jazz, or any other relaxing patterns of sound. Sink into your bed, feel your sheets, re-connect with your surroundings and fall peacefully asleep! Wake up well rest, energized and ready to take on a new day!