“15 min break and three other super ways for better sleep: Recommended especially for busy parents”
Are you worried in advance, can you sleep tonight? You are not alone. Over 68 percent of respondents to a sleep survey said they are worried about sleeping. Too little sleep affects people’s well-being and well-being in their daily lives and, in the long run, their health.
Insomnia and poor sleep are already very common in adults. That’s why we did this Sleep school for adults series.
Welcome to sleep school beginners course! Sleep school has only one goal: Good and sufficient sleep. Means are individual.
From the assignments, select the one that you think will help your sleep the most and continue to learn a new way for two weeks. Learn one task at a time, because then the new way of doing things is not too big a change.
At the same time, do some sleep school relaxation exercises and keep a sleep diary.
Download our: Small Sleep Diary.pdf
Remember that sleeping is neither a competition nor an exercise. The purpose of sleep school is not to blame anyone, but to help with sleep. You are the most important evaluator of good sleep, not anyone else. Sweet dreams!
Sleep school beginner level: Set a goal
Think first, what are your most important goals related to sleep and sleeping.
Would you like to stress less about sleeping, to have a better night’s sleep, wake up less in the middle of dreams, sleep all night or recover better? Write down your goals.
Also think about the benefits of sleep management. What’s the benefit of being more alert during the day and to have better sleep quality? Also think about how much you are willing to change your daily routine for a better sleep.
Make sure the basic conditions for sleep are fulfilled
Next, here are three things about sleeping. How are these basic conditions for sleep fulfilled in your life right now?
SLEEP CONDITION 1.
Do you accumulate enough sleep pressure during the day, have you been awake for about 16 to 17 hours before going to bed? Too short and too passive awake time can prevent good sleep. Sleep pressure is best accumulated during active time.
SLEEP CONDITION 2.
Do you know how much sleep you need to have a good day? Do you have enough time to sleep? Do respect your own circadian rhythm? Do you know, what is good time for you to go to bed in the evening and wake up in the morning? Do you wake up in the morning at about the same time?
Your internal clock is best supported by waking up and going to bed at about the same time every day, as often as possible. Especially waking up at the same time and staying in the light as soon as you wake up is important. “It keeps the internal clock on time and improves confidence that one can fall asleep in the evening,” the researcher points out.
SLEEP CONDITION 3.
Is your body and mind sufficiently relaxed when you go to bed? Do you have regular evening routines, do you have enough time to calm down in the evening and during the day? Over-alertness and activity are significant, perhaps most significant, obstacles to get a good night’s sleep. Therefore, there are many tasks in the sleep school to precisely lower the level of alertness and activity.
Sleep School Beginner -level tasks
From the list, select the task that suits you the best and do it daily for two weeks. Be persistent, as learning a new way can sometimes seem difficult, but it will get easier over time. Two weeks is a proven time for an adult to catch a new habit.
In addition to learning the new way you choose, start a relaxation exercise and start keeping a sleep diary (instructions below).
Take small breaks during your day
Preparing for a good sleep begins during the day by making sure you keep your alertness level high during the day. Take the habit of a small soothing presence exercises: once you have completed one work assignment, thank yourself, breathe in and out 3 to 5 times, or use conscious handwashing as soothing presence exercise while going to the restroom. You can also walk end-to-end in the hallway, swing your shoulders, stretch your arms up, or do something else to help bring your mind to the moment.
It would be good to have at least two, preferably a few, soothing presence exercises. Presence exercises prevent stress levels from rising too much during the day. If the end of your workday threatens to be chaotic and things go awry, making a to-do list at the end of the day can help.
Take a 15 min break after the work day
When you get home after work or before going to hobbies or elsewhere, take a 15 minute break. Rest on the couch for 15 minutes, take a nap if possible, or do a relaxing exercise for 15 minutes. If you sleep, be careful not to sleep for more than 15 minutes. Too long a nap reduces the sleep pressure in the evening and makes it difficult for you to fall asleep at that time.
– This is what I recommend especially for women in busy years. If you have slept poorly and works from morning till night, getting to bed early enough in the evening can be difficult. At the same time, taking a break after a day at work gives you the strength to go out for a hobby, meet friends, or do other things that are fun and supportive of your sleep, says the researcher.
A commute can be a good transition rite if you can do a presence exercise or take a nap. – For some, commuting to work, such as walking or cycling, works as a good transition rite and resets the brain from work to free mode, says the researcher.
Exercise to feel good about yourself
Moderate and regular exercise improves sleep, especially because it promotes sleep pressure, which results in longer and deeper sleep. At first exercise increases the temperature of the brain, but after exercise the temperature drops and it helps to get sleep. In addition, exercise produces “feel-good” hormones, such as dopamine, that help you relax and fall asleep.
Exercise so that you stop exercising for three hours before going to bed. If you have not exercised before, starting exercise may at first cause sleep disruption and restlessness, but it will pass. Therefore, start exercising calmly and gradually increase your strain.
The most suitable exercise for sleep is endurance type and one where you sweat a little. The beginner’s pace can be 3-4 times a week for 30-40 minutes at a time. Moving outdoors during daylight hours also paces your inner clock. Light walking, yoga or other peaceful activities can be practiced even near bedtime.
People who are active and in a good shape get a better night’s sleep, have more deep sleep and have a longer night’s sleep than those who exercise only a little. Therefore, exercising can make you a better sleeper.
Soothing evening routines
Think about what is a good time for you to go to bed and think about what your evening routines might include. Write down your bedtime, the time you start your evening routine and what your evening routines include. Repeat your evening routine every night in the same order as best you can. It is a good idea to start to calm down to bed 1.5 to 2 hours before going to bed.
Evening routines can include things like: turn off your phone or put it in airplane mode, use your phone’s night light settings, eat a evening meal, take a sauna or shower, brush your teeth, get the next day’s clothes ready, do a relaxing exercise, fill in a gratitude journal, read a relaxing book, or watch a relaxing TV series. It is not advisable to include alcohol in the evening routine as it may relax for a while, but even a small amount will impair the quality of your sleep.
Remember that due to evolution, stress levels suddenly increase your body’s alertness, but relaxation tends to be slower. Therefore, avoid work or other activities that increase your alertness 1-2 hours before bedtime.
– For a successful sleep, it is important to allow the cortex to rest 1.5 to 2 hours before bedtime. Work, social media, exciting movies and books boost the mind and prevent a decline in alertness, says the researcher.
The best way to identify the things that increase your alertness is to pay attention to your breathing, muscle tension in your body, and the flow of thoughts in your head. Include things to help you calm down and not increase your alertness in your soothing evening routine. If you have to do things that raise your alertness, such as getting your children to go to bed, return to calming steps as soon as possible. Also, accepting that there will be distractions will help.
– Flexibility and acceptance are important. If sleeping is an accomplishment and the evening routines feel like failure, they will not ease.
Tasks for everyone: relaxation and sleep diary
Start with progressive muscle relaxation. Gradual relaxation is a relaxation technique that alternates between tension and relaxation of the muscles. Relaxation systematically progresses from one muscle group to the next, with muscle contraction and relaxation.
The idea behind the method is to influence muscle sensation so that the sensory receptors in the muscles learn the difference between tension and relaxation. At the same time, relaxation teaches how muscle contraction and relaxation feels.
Start a sleep diary. Record daily in the morning what time you went to bed in the evening, how long it took you to fall asleep, how many times you woke up in your dreams, how long you were awake and what time you woke up in the morning. Also evaluate how many hours you spent in bed and how long you slept altogether, whether you thought the night was good or bad, what your day was like, and what things during the day promoted sleep and alertness, which in turn weakened.
Keeping a sleep diary helps you discover the things that are important to your sleep. You may find that the nights are different and sometimes there are better nights than others. You may also notice how your daily activities affect your sleep.
Download our: Small Sleep Diary.pdf
Evaluate your new sleep routines after two weeks
After two weeks and using your sleep journal, evaluate how the new routine has gone and how useful it has been for you. If you feel that the routine has been helpful but is not yet easy, continue the same routine for a third week and then reassess the help you receive from the routine.
– Tasks are the basic prerequisites for sleep, that is, they should be beneficial to everyone and should continue to be part of everyday life. Once the foundation is in order, sleep skills can also be deepened, says the researcher.
What to do after learning the first sleep routine?
When your first routine goes well, but you want to continue improving your dreams, choose another Beginner level exercise from the list. Continue with the good practices taught to you in first task and practice one new exercise for another two weeks. At the same time, continue relaxation exercises and keep a sleep journal.
If you feel that there are no more suitable tasks for you in the Beginner tasks, you can already look at the Elementary and Intermediate levels of the sleep school.
If, on the other hand, the beginner’s tasks seem good to you, you can learn them all, but still take on a new task at intervals of up to two weeks and remember that sleeping is not a competition.