The purchase of my new Fitbit, has got me looking into my sleep patterns again, looking at how I can improve my sleep. Sleep, has to be one of the most under-rated healing practice’s we can undertake. Prior to having a stroke in 2013, I had little idea how sleep could help me in my journey of recovery. Repairing cells, reducing tiredness or stress, boosting our immune system are just the tip of the ice-berg in the benefits of sleeping well. Helen Saunders, recently listed out 21 benefits that quality sleep can have. Look at the 21 benefits to see reasons why you should promote healthy sleep patterns for yourself and your family;
What benefits did you see that related to you?
Living in today's technological age, having issues with sleep is so very common. Blue-light exposure disturbs our sleep therefore; the likelihood of getting into the first phase of your sleep pattern is affected.
Lets look at patterns:
Sleep flows through stages and patterns throughout the night. We have:
REM state, Rapid Eye Movement
NREM – Non-Rapid Eye Movement (Not recorded on Fitbit)
LIGHT sleep and
Understanding these patterns not only helped me improve my sleep, it helped me understand ways to improve the quality of my sleep. This was crucial to my recovery from the stroke event or more that it speeded up my recovery.
Logging these patterns when you are asleep is pretty much impossible! I used a Jawbone UP band at the time. The Jawbone UP band, gave a good overview of the patterns and sleep type. Today I use a Fitbit fitness tracker. The Fitbit Charge 2 lets me log in and review my patterns. It is clear from the graphs the days that have been good quality sleep and those which have not.
To understand how to differentiate a good sleep from a bad sleep I reviewed what I was doing differently. For example, at times I am on the computer late, therefore struggle to ‘get off’ to sleep. Other times I have too much on my mind. Therefore I expect my unconscious mind to do too much during sleep – or not! Techniques were given to me to help reduce the amount of processing that my brain needs to do when asleep. In turn this would improve my sleep and quality of sleep.
A Solution to how I can improve my sleep?
To reduce the need for your mind to unconsciously expect to remember something, use a sleep diary, filled out before going to bed (I call it a brain dump!) We have all done it I’m sure. Gone to bed and had that thought, where we tell ourselves to remember something in the morning. Do we? Or do we just not sleep all night worrying we may forget? Perhaps you keep a pad and pen by your bed for those moments? Just one solution I used to help improve my sleep.
Interested in more detail on sleep patterns? Have a look at this article from the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School
Do you get enough? We are talking sleep! Perhaps this information will help you get a basic understanding of the importance of getting quality sleep. What life hacks do you have for getting a good night’s sleep that you are willing to share? Keep it clean though thank you!
Night night zzzzzz