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We all need to sleep – for enough time and with enough quality. Sleep restores and replenishes.

A good night’s sleep:

  • Releases growth hormone to repair the body’s tissues
  • Tops up neurotransmitters – the chemicals nerves use to communicate with each other
  • Flushes waste products out of the fluid bath that surrounds and nourishes the brain and spinal cord
  • Strengthens and fixes memories
  • Helps us to be more resilient against stress
  • Lowers anxiety and improves mood
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Over time can help to reduce pain (science shows sleep affects pain more than pain affects sleep)

When sleep patterns get disturbed we usually DO things to try to CONTROL sleep and MAKE ourselves go to sleep.

But good sleepers don’t DO anything – they trust the body and the process and just let sleep happen.

We all know the more we TRY to get to sleep, the more restless we get.

Learning to trust the body again, fully accept the sleeplessness for the time being, and stop trying so hard is the best way to move towards restoring better sleep.

Things that set the best conditions for the body and brain to drift off to sleep:

  • Don’t drink caffeine drinks later than the afternoon
  • Stay off phones and other screens for a couple of hours before bed
  • Get anything out of the bedroom that isn’t about sleep – no TVs, computers etc.
  • Make sure the room is dark enough and a couple of degrees cooler than the rest of the house
  • Don’t nap in the day for more than 20-30 minutes (set an alarm)
  • Get up at the same time every day no matter what kind of night you’ve had
  • Get some exercise, if you can , earlier in the day
  • Get a good burst of natural daylight first thing – it helps regulate your body clock
  • Have a wind-down routine in the evening – turn off lights, put your jammies on!