Cutting Edge Wellness at Clear Mind Systems
Sleep is an allusive and mysterious state of being. Though we sleep every night, we're often not sure how we sleep, how we might sabotage sleep and how we might improve it.
Here are four devices that can make your sleep better in ways that might surprise you.
Alarm Clocks: Sleep is a timeless state and an alarm clock can help it to remain timeless. When you set an alarm it puts the unconscious mind to rest by telling it that it doesn't have to keep time all night in order for you to wake at the desired time in the morning. When both your conscious and unconscious minds are resting sleep gets better. Just make sure you face the clock away from your bed. Seeing the time during arousals during the night can ruin sleep.
Smoke Detectors: This device also helps the unconscious mind to rest knowing that it doesn't have to be concerned about a possible fire. News stories about families dying from fires because of broken smoke detectors keep reinforcing this reasonable concern.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors: There's something very frightening about a colorless and odorless gas that could kill your whole family during sleep. There are numerous news stories about families dying because of a lack of carbon dioxide and smoke detectors. When you have a functioning CO detector it puts your mind at rest.
Eye Masks: Light at night from outdoors, adjacent rooms or a rude sleep partner's need to watch TV in bed can ruin your sleep and upset your natural hormone balance. Light at night is associated with an increased risk of many kinds of cancer and a disruption in appetite control. An eye mask is a simple and comfortable device that blocks out light, preserving both your sleep and health.
Often we look to the field of medicine for information on "quality of life" issues. But maybe we should be looking at business.
A global human resource organization recently found that "insufficient sleep" is the number one driver of poor productivity and performance. The remaining top 14 drivers of lost productivity were: depression; fatigue; back/neck pain; anxiety; hypertension; other emotional disorders; arthritis; obesity; chronic pain; headache; irritable bowel; high cholesterol; heart disease; and allergies. Amazingly, eight of these fourteen other conditions (anxiety and depression, chronic pain, headaches, fatigue, heart disease, emotional disorders and obesity) are strongly linked to insufficient sleep and other sleep disorders.
You might wonder how a condition that diminishes productivity also damages quality of life. Insufficient sleep increases, costly errors, accidents, health problems of all kinds, cognitive problems, anxiety, pain syndromes and depression. These are the very conditions that can greatly diminish quality of life. When you are in pain, sleepy, tired, depressed or anxious, forgetful and lack motivation life becomes a daily chore. People with insomnia often talk about their poor moods and lack of patience with family members. And the choices that you make while sleepy, forgetful, anxious and depressed tend to ne choices that diminish the quality and experience of life. Choices made from distracted, forgetful states of mind tend to be less than optimum, creating problems in the future.
Take a tip from businesses work to improve your sleep, and your own bottom line, the quality of day to day life, will improve.
When we have long standing sleep problems we sometimes get conflicted about wanting to or being able to change that problem. This week I spoke to a woman who called last week with a 10 year long sleep problem. I counseled her over the phone and gave her some suggestions based on the problems I perceived in hearing her describe her habits. This week she said "I hate to admit it but I'm already sleeping better than I have in years". I said "that's wonderful but did you hear what you just said to me"? She even surprised herself when she heard herself say "I hate to admit it". I think it reflects the conflicts we have about change and success. It's normal to feel conflicted but try not to let it get in the way of your success. Sometimes we also feel conflicted and even foolish when one or two sessions make significant changes in our sleep quality after 10 years of suffering. At Clear Mind Systems Sleep Coaching we specialize in sleep improvement and because of that we can help you with long standing problems. But that doesn't make you foolish or stupid. In fact you were smart enough to seek help, really listen to the suggestions and make changes in long standing habits. The victory and the payoff is yours. And if you'd really like to sleep better give us a call. We can work over the phone. It's fun and easy and very effective. Most people can have significant improvement in from 2 to 5 sessions....even after 10 years of poor sleep.
If you're thinking about making a new year's resolution then you've already taken some kind of internal inventory and decided that there's "too much" or "not enough" of something. It might be that there's "too much" weight, or alcohol or smoking. It might be that there's "not enough" peace, fun, love or sobriety. This also means that you've taken a look at what may be unsatisfying in your life and wondered about what change might make life a little better. Already you've done something positive for your psyche. If everything about you was finished and complete you'd be finished with your journey on earth. The next step is to check into your level of desire for or willingness to change. Sometimes needed changes make us miserable or raise our level of pain. High levels of pain raise our degree of willingness to change. Or if the desired outcomes would make us very happy and satisfied that too raises the willingness to change. Sometimes the outcome or goal is a little more abstract. For instance we know that if we quit smoking that our health will improve and our life will most likely be 5 or 10 years longer. But there's something less tangible about improving health or lengthening life. You may not receive or notice that benefit for some time. You might have to use your imagination to envision a healthier and better life. Just check into this issue of "willingness to change" and see how high that level is. Sometimes you can detect that the willingness to change is low. In that case you can either give up the idea of change or decide on how to raise that desire to change. Get your desire or willingness to change as high as you can and in our third part of this blog we'll discuss putting your plan into action.
As 2013 draws to a close and the new year appears quietly on the horizon most of us reflect on personal changes, improvements and, dare I say, resolutions.
We have always struggled with the concept of New Year's resolutions, and lately resolutions have seemed to fallen into disfavor. It might be that in our "instant quick fix" culture we find the idea of resolving to make a change and then doing all the work necessary to genuinely keep that promise just a bit daunting. Isn't there an app for that?
Resolutions invite us to think about our lives, our work, our habits and health in a way that requires us to look inside our selves. The answers to these deeper questions are not on our smart phones, will not arrive in an email or be answered in a tweet. The fast food momentarily distracting pleasures on the internet can't answer these important and very personal questions.
That's one of the beauties of resolutions. To even think about the word resolution we have to ask ourselves all the hardest questions about our lives. Are we working at a job that fulfills our expectations and dreams? Are we participating in our love relationship, family and friendships or just going through the motions? Do we have habits or addictions that are slowly destroying our health one day at a time? As the circle of a year comes full and complete are we really where we can be in our lives? Am I willing to ask these questions and then commit myself to the answer?
As the month of December progresses we'll address this opportunity of resolutions and how to make them succeed in 3 blog posts. Begin by asking the questions above and any other "quality of life" questions that come to mind.
Remember that only you can design and create the life that you live. Begin creating the life you want by looking honestly at the life you have.