“Co-founder and editor in chief of The Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington shows how our cultural dismissal of sleep as time wasted compromises our health and our decision-making and undermines our work lives, our personal lives–and even our sex lives in this New York Times bestseller” – The Sleep Revolution

Why is sleep so important and how much of it do I need? Is there a right way to sleep? and what makes a good night’s rest?

Let me start by saying that sleeping is one of my favourite things to do, and no I am not lazy, not by a long shot. Sleeping to me is a transformative experience and is a sacred practice, although according to Huffington I am still not doing it right.

At The Change Lab we teach our clients a lot about the unconscious mind, we know that our neurons are firing all the time. Our unconscious mind does not sleep. We teach that it does

need to recharge and process the events of the day or week and certainly needs to reset the body.

Think of it like your PC or phone, all your browsers open all day, thoughts, tasks, to do lists, deadlines all running through your processor at a very fast pace. This needs to at some point reset, and if we don’t, we will damage the server (YOU). So what is the recommendation then:

How much do I need?

While sleep requirements vary slightly from person to person, most healthy adults need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night to function at their best. Children and teens need even more. And despite the notion that our sleep needs decrease with age, most older people still need at least 7 hours of sleep. That is 7-9 hours of bliss for me.

How do I prepare to sleep?

That’s right, prepare! One does not simply flop onto the bed and hope for the best. Preparation involves the following:

–       No devices in the room – I still can’t do this one

–       No TV’s in the room where you sleep. – mines on until I sleep

–       The room should be dark enough for optimal sleep – done

–       Temperature according to the experts should be at 15-19 degrees? Cool right? But there is a science behind it:

To keep your bedroom temperature consistent during the night, following these tips:

Keep your bedroom windows closed at night, as the outdoor temperature can fluctuate and affect the consistency of your bedroom temperature.

Keep blinds and curtains closed to block out sunlight and its associated warmth. Keeping your bedroom as dark as possible will also help facilitate deeper sleep.

Consider wearing socks to bed. Keeping your extremities warm helps dilate your blood vessels so they can better redistribute heat throughout your body.

Darkness and coolness are two of the most important factors for a good night’s sleep, but much more can make an impact on your sleep, from the colours you paint your bedroom to the mattress you choose.

–       Read a book

Reading is the best way to fall asleep and shut down your browser down for the night. Reading also allows your muscles to relax and slows down your breathing, leaving you feeling calmer. … The Sleep Council say ‘39% of people who are in the habit of reading before they go to sleep, sleep very well’. It makes perfect sense that an activity that reduces stress is beneficial before bed.

What about a nap?

I remember when my children were younger, we used to have Sunday afternoon siestas. After a Sunday lunch we would all go to our rooms and just sleep. My children now sometimes refer to these as sleepy Sundays.

When you are reading in the afternoon on a weekend or like me catching up on series, you may find yourself dosing off. GO WITH IT. We call it a “napcident” at home. Even if just for 15 minutes its that power boost you need to get you through the rest of your day. Here’s why:

–       Napping improves relation

–       Reduces fatigue

–       Increases alertness

–       Improves your mood

–       And enhances your performance

I am for Napping in the biggest way!

So for slumber sake and the holy art of sleep. Get a good night in and have a great day out. Sleep like your dreams depend on it. Prepare for the for the rest of your life. Forget about the battle of the sheets and fall into the depth of your recharge. Cuddle if you must even a healthy sex life is part of the solution but for slumber sake- SLEEP

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