Are you getting enough sleep?
Do you feel like you struggle half the night just to get a few hours of sleep, and then wake up feeling exhausted? You're not alone!
53% of Australian adults have some kind of medical issue that impacts their sleep, with almost 2 in 10 adults reporting insomnia, chronic pain and snoring (all 16%)
Worrying has kept over half of Australian adults up at night in the past 3 months (51%), followed by illness/physical discomfort (27%), and technology distractions (21%).
After a bad night’s sleep, Australian adults report they aren’t as motivated (52%), they look tired (49%), they are moody/irritable (46%), or they can’t concentrate (42%).
Over half (63%) of Australian adults have actively taken steps to improve their sleep, with listening to soothing music revealed as one of the most prominent methods (21%). AJP Stats
“Sleep is the cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle. On a day to day basis, how well and how long we slept the night before is the single most important variable dictating how we feel,” said Dr David White, Chief Medical Officer, Philips Sleep & Respiratory Care.
Improving our quality of sleep we also improve our memory and cognitive function, help support healthy metabolism and immune function in our body, reduce inflammation, decrease our risk of dementia as well as alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Below are my TOP FIVE TIPS to support a restful nights sleep:
Yoga has been proven to help those suffering from insomnia or disturbed sleep to fall asleep more quickly, wake up less often through the night, sleep for longer and return to sleep more quickly when woken during the night. However not all Yoga practices are beneficial.
Practicing Restorative Yoga has been proven to alleviate chronic symptoms of stress, trauma and support those with insomnia and chronic pain.
Invest in a bolster and sleep with it by your bed. If you wake up during the night, grab the bolster and use it as a pillow to self-soothe. Even better, practice Restorative Yoga before bed and finish with Yoga Nidra in bed. This practice will pacify your nervous system and systematically shift your brain waves into a deep state in preparation for you to drift soundly and peacefully off to sleep.
*Group Restorative Yoga classes can be found at Tamara Yoga Claremont & Bibra Lake.
2. Breathing Techniques
Our breath is the gateway between the mind and the body. By consciously altering the breath we can create desired states. Focusing specifically on your exhale helps to pacify the nervous system.
I recommend the following breathing techniques to prepare you for a restful nights sleep
Alternative Nostril Breathing - breathing in through the left nostril and out through the right, breathing in through the right and out through the left. Repeat this 6 times.
Moon Breath - breathe in through the left nostril and out through the right. Repeat this 6 to 8 times.
Three Part Breathing segmenting the exhale - take a natural inhale and breathe out a third (pause), breathe out another third (pause), and breathe out all the way (pause). Take a natural inhale and a natural exhale. Repeat this 6 times.
In 2016 when I was experiencing incredible lows of depression and anxiety, it was meditation that saved my life, got me off the couch and gave me hope. Meditation is an essential component to healthy living. Just as we exercise and move our bodies, we must learn how to calm and still the mind.
For those wanting to learn how to meditate, I am running a 4 week meditation course at Tamara Yoga Thursday 1st August. Click HERE for more info
4. Essential Oils
Take the time to prepare your body for sleep. Ensure the body is clean and your room is a sanctuary. Diffuse lavender oils, invest in Himalayan salt lamps and refrain from using bright lights. In particular, place a couple of drops of lavender oil on your pillow and mix it in with your moisturiser after a warm shower. Just as we reach for our green juice or coffee in the morning, it’s imperative that we are relaxing our nervous system at the end of the day. The qualities of lavender oil, in particular, have been known to provide calming and soothing properties that can help reduce stress.
Refrain from using technology one hour before bed. Use this time to have a bath and/or shower, practice yin or restorative Yoga, journal, meditate, read an uplifting book. Fill your mind with positive uplifting thoughts and give yourself space and time to invest in your health. Many of us collapse in to bed with our mind still full of thoughts and worries from the day. Empty your mind using the above techniques.
Compared to the rest of the world, Australian adults are among the most likely to use prescription sleep drugs (18%) to aid sleep. Unfortunately many of us aren’t aware or trained with techniques that support us for a restful nights sleep. The more we understand how sleep impacts everything we do, the better we can adjust our lifestyle and find solutions that help us reduce stress and get a better nights sleep.
UPCOMING WORKSHOPS & COURSES
Sleep Workshop TAMARA YOGA CLAREMONT
Meditation Course TAMARA YOGA CLAREMONT
One Day Retreat TAMARA YOGA BIBRA LAKE
If you'd like to discuss your sleep issues personally, I am available for one-on-one consultations.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on +61401337152