In today’s modern society, it is easy to forget how important sleep is. Sleep deprivation can cause some serious damage to your body’s recovery processes, optimal brain function and your mental health. Sleep deprivation can manifest for any number of reasons, particularly due to a busy lifestyle and overcommitment (Snore Australia, 2018).
Often times, when we finally make it to bed, our minds haven’t had a chance to reflect on the day. This is why, when our head hits the pillow a backlog of thoughts come flooding in at once (Seselja, 2018).
These thoughts can generally prevent you from sleeping, the negativity of these thoughts are made worse if you are consistently not getting enough sleep.
According to Professor Sean Drummond, “sleep deprivation is known to increase the response of our emotional centres, especially to negative stimuli” (Seselja, 2018). Sleep deprivation also decreases the strength of the connection between our brain’s emotional centres and the part of the brain that reduces our emotional flow. The control of this emotional flow state coincides with your sleep patterns, your mindfulness activity and how you feel.
Quite often during the holiday season, where our routines are already erratic and we are experiencing ‘social jetlag’, it is particularly hard to sleep before travelling. The mind wanders to your list of items to pack before you leave, to lock up the house or anything that you haven’t resolved before bed.
In order to prevent or reduce these negative thoughts before bed and ensure a decent night’s sleep there are a few tactics worth trying.
- Prioritising and maintaining a healthy sleep pattern. Make sleep your priority.
- Scheduling a specific time frame each day to de-brief about the days events to ensure you are able to problem solve or “worry” before your head hits the pillow.
- Create a daily meditation routine to allow the time for your mind to ‘wind down’ (Mindful, 2018).
- Another approach is to try mindfulness. Mindfulness allows you to shift your brains attention to help thoughts settle, as you are only observing your thoughts, rather than getting involved (Seselja, 2018).
To kick off 2019 with a bang, prioritise your sleep and start reclaiming your amazing!