Does the way I live affect my sleep?
Does the way I live affect my sleep?
We all know that if we do not sleep well, then we do not feel so great the next day.
And, that if we continue to sleep poorly this effect stacks up e.g. feeling worse at the end of a week with poor sleep than one night with poor sleep. In fact, if we sleep badly for long enough, we will forget what it feels like to feel amazing and energised!
Many of us need and crave some form of stimulant just to get through the day because we are so used to feeling tired as a normal state of being.
We are so used to feeling tired, that we rely on things like needing multiple coffees a day and/or sugary foods just to make it to the end of the day, only to sleep badly and then wake up tired the next day and repeat the whole cycle again.
The truth is, our bodies do not really need stimulants to get through the day.
They do not need sugar, alcohol, caffeine, processed foods or energy drinks to survive. If it was natural for bodies/animals to need an energy drink to survive there would be red bull growing on the boab trees in the desert to help the elephants get along in the day! The fact is, from the point of view of the natural world, it is very unnatural that we require stimulants like caffeine or sugar just to get by in our day.
We often reach for these stimulants as a pick me up when we feel tired, and to ‘get going’, but did we consider that eating or drinking these things could also be affecting the way that we sleep at night, and in fact be perpetuating the cycle of exhaustion?
Gosh – could that be true? That all those pick-me-ups, stimulants, sugar, caffeine etc, actually keep us exhausted??
How could that be?
When we feel low, we reach for it. It gives us an instant high, but it makes the body racy and agitated, and then it drops the body to a lower state of energy than it was in before the sugar was taken. It’s hard to sleep when the body is agitated, or deeply exhausted. The body actually needs energy to sleep!
And let’s consider caffeine ...
This is not a calming substance! Caffeine is deliberately consumed to keep us awake and active. Yet, it does not bring true energy to the body. It makes the nervous system racy, it can even create tremors and anxiousness, and mental raciness with excessive thoughts. Have you ever drunk coffee in the evening and then found it hard to go to sleep that night?
Other things that we do can affect our sleep as well –
- Have you ever had a cake or sweet or even a very large meal at night, and then found it hard to sleep?
- Or had a lot of alcohol or lemonade or other soft drink at a party during the day and then found it difficult to sleep well?
- And what about our emotions? Could they affect the way that we sleep as well?
It’s worth pondering on, isn’t it?
Because, if we are willing to be really honest, what we are doing now seems to be just leaving us more and more tired, day after day after day. Haven’t we had enough of that?
What if the way we live our day actually carries through with us into our sleep time?
- Have you ever been worried about things and found it hard to sleep?
- Or had a fight at night and then tossed and turned all night only to wake unrefreshed in the morning?
- Perhaps you have had a difficult time at work in the day which was unresolved, only to have a restless sleep at night and wake unrefreshed?
- Or been very excited during the day, only to find it hard to calm down in the evening and get a good quality sleep?
What we do in the day definitely affects our sleep. And our sleep, in turn, affects the quality of our very next day, and so on ... if we want a good quality of sleep, we need to look at the way that we live in the day.
We have the power to choose the quality of our sleep through our choices of the way that we live – each and every day of our lives.