Many of us know what it's like to have the odd sleepless night. When it goes on, and on night after night, the wear and tear on our overall health is debilitating.
For some of us - new parents being the obvious example, there is a tangible reason for lack of sleep or those with chronic pain and illness for whom lack of sleep becomes a serious issue but for many people there doesn't seem to be an obvious reason.
Wake up. And we’re off...
Life is very different for each of us and it's important not to compare ourselves to others. We might think that everyone else has their lives sorted but it is often not the case.
Time to deal with your household universe, children our house share. Maybe you are a carer for someone else, or perhaps you are on your own. Off to work... everyone is trying to get to work/school/somewhere. Packed trains, too hot, too cold, leaves on the line. Breathe. At work, it's all going on. Things to do, so little time, oppressive environment. Coffee. Fluorescent lights, screens, screens everywhere. Sometime. Repeat in reverse. Pub, gym, deadline to pick up kids. Go home, fix the universe. Go to sleep… wake up… feel the stress levels rise.
This sounds like an incredibly negative take on life, but I want to illustrate the cycle of time that many face. I feel it is essential to acknowledge that for some life is hectic.
3.5 million adults in the UK get less than 5 hours of sleep a night.
Lack of sleep can almost double the risk of a heart attack. We need 7-9 hours of sleep a night to complete a full sleep cycle. Regularly interrupting your sleep cycle is bad for your health. Shift workers are known to experience longterm issues due to the interrupted patterns in their sleep. These are some ok the reasons that sleep has become a science. The cost to the economy is increasing as a result, and many longterm health issues have a direct impact on sleep. Once any physical issues are ruled out, the biggest reason for sleep issues is stress.
The truth is that life is busy, which creates stress.
Work with what you can change and let go of what you can't.
The reality is that there may be many reasons for poor sleep. I wish I had a magic wand to make your sleep better. I can offer that starting to Identify what you can change is the first step. Accept that you cannot change everything overnight and you may not be able to remove many of the things that cause you stress, so consider what is in your power to change.