Today I want to share 3 strategies with you that might be helpful if you need to sleep more or sleep better.
One of the things that we know is that getting into a deep REM state of sleep is imperative for good mental health, our emotional well-being, as well as feeling physically rested the next day. One of the things I had the opportunity to do this Fall on my sabbatical was, I took a really cool class on indigenous cultures around the world and what they believe about sleep.
Here is what it comes down to. They all believe that the magic that happens when we get to that deep REM state is that is when we get to dream. Dreaming is vitally important for our well-being. It is where we get to process everything that’s happened in our lives, process the events that we feel at conflict about, get over the upsetting things, and also activate our own creativity. It’s quite possible that as Americans we don’t fully appreciate the importance of dreaming when we’re in that REM state.
There are a couple of things you can do to enhance your own sleep.
First and foremost, make sure you are creating time to unwind at the end of the day before you fall into bed. Turn off the screen time and the electronic devices at least 30-60 minutes before you climb into bed. Yes, I did say turn them off. This is because as you’re engaging in that screen time and you’re taking in more data, that’s just more data that your brain has to purge before it can get to the part where it really gets to process the things you actually need to focus on that night in your dream state. So, if you don’t want to have dreams that are only about that episode of game of thrones that you watched, you might want to consider turning off the screen time a little bit earlier.
Secondly, start to taper off any alcohol, substances, or even non-alcoholic beverages before you go to bed because of course those can also negatively impact your REM state and wake you up frequently in the night if you have to go to the bathroom.
Finally, when you lay down, start by reviewing your entire day beginning with the first thing you did this morning when you got up and allow yourself to review your entire day play by play. Your brain needs to process all of the events of today before it can process, purge, and dream about any cumulative stuff. You can give yourself a running start if you mentally review your day in bed every night before you fall asleep.
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