What do you do when you know sleep is good for you and are feeling the effects of a lack of it, yet despite your best efforts, the problem is that you feel so pressured with everything else, that sleep feels like a waste of your time? We explore how you can learn to want to sleep with Sophie Robinson-Mathews.
Sophie L. Robinson’s mission is about blending spirituality and evidence-based psychological treatments and understanding together to create a balance of wellness, unique to each individual. She believes in personal development within all aspects of a person’s life in order to live authentically, with more balance and love. Sophie started her work in the mental health field in 2012 by volunteering at a domestic abuse shelter, which led her to complete a masters in forensic psychology and train further as a counsellor. Sophie works as a BACP (British Association for Counsellors and Psychotherapists) registered psychotherapist and counsellor, offering services in-person and worldwide online and can be found at www.sophiewildrobin.com.
What worked for me was finding something that made sleep actually an interesting part of the day!
It wasn’t until I came across lucid dreaming that catching those ZZZ’s actually seemed as though it might be interesting. Learning to lucid dream was a gateway to getting me interested in sleep and understanding what happened in the brain and body during it (the chemicals released, sleep cycle, brain activity) but also dreams, why we had them and whether they meant anything.
Patience is key
Despite my blossomed interest, I still struggled to either wake feeling rested (spending too long in light Stage 2 sleep), actually fall asleep, sleep through the night, or wake after definitely not enough time in bed (less than 7 hours for me).
Like most things, the solution was patience and a combination of actions that did help through informed trial and error learning, which was yearlong because what I would need to do to sleep successfully changed with the seasons.
Committing to learning about yourself in enough depth to actually understand how you can sleep well is not an easy task, but if you want to sleep and wake feeling rested and energised, the work is most definitely worth it!
Better sleep 101
As a starting point here is my rundown of how I personally know I can achieve the best sleep:
- Do some form of exercise or yoga in the day
- Have my last caffeine drink by midday in the summer and 4pm in the darker months
- Speak with loved ones, about them and their day, and me and my day and the fun things
- Have done something for my environment that day e.g. cleaning, putting a picture up, making a repair
- Go to bed with a light heart – journal about any issues, make a plan for the next day
- Meditate for at least 15 minutes
- Do something in line with my spiritual practice
- Hug my family members and show love (including animal family members!)
- The bed is cosy, comfortable, and the bedroom is neat, tidy and clean
- Have a bedtime drink at least 2 hours before I want to sleep
- Have a wash, brush teeth and get into comfy PJs
- Husband’s stuff is ready for the next day if he is going somewhere
- Set sunlight lamp for the next day
- Read a few chapters of a novel
Above does illustrate how much my mental well-being and my environment impact on my ability to sleep well. Sleep isn’t just about lying down and shutting your eyes, it’s about the state of your mind too. If you commit to understanding your mind and body, you will be doing the right thing by yourself in order to sleep well as often as possible.
Good luck on your sleep journey.