Sleep strategies…

Welcome! Today we are going to reflect upon that necessary but at times allusive state…sleep, what it actually does for our body, mind & spirit with some useful tips to help us get that deep restorative sleep that we need…

First, let’s get our cuppa’s ready…For this wintery Auzzie day, with the winds blowing from the icy South pole, I thought Morning Sunshine tea, a blend which combines black teas from Assam, Darjeeling & Rwanda would keep us toasty warm. To accompany this I have made us some gf buckwheat pikelets with sliced banana & maple syrup straight from the hotplate, with a dollop of decadent fresh cream, topped with flaked almonds… Delicious!

We are seated indoors in my comfy & warm living room that looks out onto the Bush reserve across our front garden as the morning sun filters through our full length windows.

Sleep is such an important & necessary time each day…Don’t you think… last week during our time of reflection, as you may remember, we looked at Preventing Dementia… & the important lifestyle inclusions that longitudinal research has discovered that greatly help to lower our risk of dementia.

Quality & quantity of sleep is one of these inclusions & I shared that this is the main one, since having chronic health conditions, that is at times the most allusive for me. And that I have now put strategies into place that are actually working & have helped enormously.

So, I thought I would share these with you today, as many who visit here shared that they too find getting enough restorative sleep allusive.

koala on tree

However before I share these strategies, we will reflect upon what sleep actually does for us & why it is so important…

During our waking hours there are a great deal of neuro chemicals surging through our brains, while these help to maximize our cognitive capacity, over the course of the day, they build up waste products that become toxic in our brains…also known as amyloid-beta plaque. It appears from recent research findings that only during our sleeping hours do brain cleaning teams really come alive & flush away this toxic chemical waste.

Therefore, the quality & a certain amount of sleep (approximately 6-8 hrs) is very necessary for this cleaning & restorative process. The rest of our body is also renewed, refreshed & restored during the process of sleeping, the body’s own maintenance teams all come to life in all the different systems of the body as we slumber! In other words the body’s night shift teams do their work as we sleep!

The following sleep strategies are those that I find work for me:

  • Increasing my daily physical activity…That is apt for my personal circumstances.
  • No caffeinated drinks or any food after dinner (6.30 -7pm) at night. Instead my last cuppa at night is Vanilla Rooibos shared in Focus…
  • No computer/smart digital devices after 5pm of an evening.
  • I journal any concerns I may have…then I put my faith into action & trust God for the outcome.
  • Keep to a set pre bedtime routine, this tells my brain it’s time to wind down.
  • Have the bedroom at a neutral temperature (not too hot or too cold).
  • No digital devices or TV in the bedroom.
  • Warm the bed in winter before climbing under the covers, then turn off the warmth. It’s not good for your heart health to get into a wintery cold bed, remember what is good for the heart is good for the brain!
  • Always a prayer time & goodnight kiss with my hubby before the lights go out.
  • We have white noise going during the night.
  • We like a dark room, so we have block out curtains.
  • If I can’t fall asleep after 30 minutes I get up & read for a little while (don’t toss & turn as that is counter productive) then go back to bed.

These strategies have been working for me for the past 6 months…I call that a great success!

A good night’s sleep also recharges the spirit & the world looks so much brighter & we feel much more positive when we are refreshed…& it’s a great investment for our future brain health in the prevention of Dementia.

Do you have troubles sleeping my dear friend? What strategies have you tried or are thinking of trying?

Until next time,

Jennifer

 

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41 thoughts on “Sleep strategies…

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  1. Amen on all of these! I am impacted right away if we are away or we shift from the bedtime routine set by us. I was by nature growing up more of a “night owl” and even though that is not true now, if I am still up and engaged after 11:30pm then I am energized and likely not to fall asleep until after 1am no matter how hard I try. My sweet hubby is quite the opposite and always has been, but with chronic back issues accompanied by osteoarthritis mornings start slowly for him now. Narcolepsy shadows him so that it is very rare between all his (and my) best efforts that he feels rested or that he has enough sleep. We often fail to recognize what a gift sleep is until we don’t have it.

    Blessings on you during this wintry season there. It is summer here, but so rainy almost continuously that it doesn’t feel like it on most days. We have a front that has not moved for weeks and the rain showers travel along its boundaries all the time. the city we are adjacent to has had more flooding from the river that runs beside it than at any time since 1913.

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    1. I feel for your hubby Pam, that’s a heavy burden to carry! And for you too! A good night’s sleep is definitely a blessing.
      Yes, I find I don’t sleep well on the first few nights away either! We get used to the comfort & feel of our own bed.
      Yes, I had heard about your continual summer rains & various flooding, that must be heartbreaking for those whose houses are flooded.
      Blessing to you too!
      Lovely having a chat with you 😀

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    1. Yes I agree, we need to do what works for us Elizabeth, as each of our bodies has its own unique metabolism & each bed time routine will become very individualized…which is great if it gives quality & quantity of restorative sleep 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for these wonderful tips, Jennifer. I do occasionally have trouble sleeping, more often now as I get older. I don’t have trouble falling asleep, my problem is staying asleep. I find I sleep better with a window open near my bed.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jennifer, so many great suggestions for a good night of sleep and rest. We just returned from a four day getaway and I slept horribly. It was so good to get back home to my bed and routine. I love to read for about 15 minutes and it quiets me and I go to sleep easily. My biggest problem is I wake up at 4 a.m. and can’t go back to sleep.

    Your pictures are always amazing! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Pam! Our area is a habitat for our native Koalas, I often see one or two on my walks, mostly fast asleep (intoxicated from the gum leaves they eat). I thought the photo of that little guy was so cute 😉
      Yes, that seems to be a problem for a lot of people, have you tried getting up & reading for awhile when you can’t go back to sleep?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you Jennifer. Insomnia plagued me for 7 years when I first got sick. Thankfully, It is gone these days. I follow most all of your tips but I have not come across a white noise machine till reading your post. I shall investigate.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You can get them in most countries now, our white noise is our ceiling fan switched to winter mode or summer (which directs the blades in either direction for wind flow) depending on the season & on the fan speed we need mainly low in winter & high in summer 😉
      But it gives us the white noise for sleeping & room ventilation 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love sleep so much. 🙂 I usually struggle to go to bed when I know I should, especially with teens in the house! I try to stay up to have a few quiet minutes with my hubby, but it’s getting harder and harder.

    Your tips are great. My 14 year old struggles with sleep a lot. I’ll try a few of these with her!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Rebecca, lovely having you drop in 😀
      I remember that season of having 3 teens in the house & trying to get those quiet moments after their bedtimes 😉
      Adolescent bio clocks shift, it’s a normal part of development but those tips should help. There should be a noticeable difference after 6 – 8 weeks 😀

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  6. Thanks for this interesting post! I, like other comments, don’t have much problem falling asleep as I do staying asleep. Not too big of a problem when I am not working, but miserable when I lie awake glancing at the clock knowing I have to get up soon to go to work on such little sleep! The good news is I usually sleep better the next night! LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, that can be very frustrating! Some of these strategies may help when you wake mid cycle especially getting up & reading for awhile. I even add a mug of warmed milk (I just heat it in the microwave) with a sprinkle of nutmeg & a drop of honey, if it’s a bad night while I read…it works every time 🙂

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  7. Jennifer, hi! I do love your oh-so-practical sleep strategies!

    An afternoon often hits the spot, and a good book before bed is a relaxing way to spend that final hour or so. Watching the news before bedtime only aggravates me. Lights off and then I pray myself to sleep.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. These are great tips, Jennifer! Getting enough sleep is so important and something I have been trying to work on. I’ve found it helpful to be more intentional about going to bed earlier and taking some time to wind down by reading before I sleep.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. These are great tips, Jennifer. I know this is a struggle for many women. I used to struggle with it, but have been able to overcome it for the most part. Now I only struggle with it if I drink caffeine in the evenings.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I used to be able to quickly fall asleep but am finding this harder as I grow older. But going to bed when I am tired and not fighting or trying to stay up later always seems to help. A cooler room so I can snuggle underneath my covers helps me too. I appreciated your suggestions!

    Liked by 1 person

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