Festival of Sleep Day
Did you know that was even a thing? I didn’t. A day, a festival, even, dedicated to my favourite, and my dog’s second favourite activity (her favourite is chasing a ball until she collapses, if you were wondering).
It’s odd that this celebration should fall on the day that we’re all back to work in the UK. Facebook is full of “I don’t want to go back to work tomorrow” posts and here we are, extolling the virtues of sleep. Because, as we all know, the one thing you need to get over a holiday, is a holiday.
But, what if, like me, you struggle with sleep?
I am a lifelong insomniac, and I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. What a great mix. There are days when I can sleep and sleep, but at night, sleep often eludes me. And as a hypnotherapist, I find this pretty annoying, but you know, hypno, heal thyself and all that. When I can get a good sleep, it’s the best thing in the world. Some of my best times include sneaking in a crafty nap that’s allowed me to get through the day. The Festival of Sleep day is about napping, and appreciating the opportunity to drift off and wake up feeling better.
Anxiety can be one of those things that keeps us awake, and I always counter this with one of 2 strategies. If not being able to sleep is winding me up, I’ll either get up and do something else (wandering around the house singing “Insomnia” to the tune of “Victoria” by the Kinks is one option, apparently), or I’ll tell myself I don’t have to sleep, I can just rest. That usually does the trick. It knocks the anxiety on the head. I also listen to my sleep mp3 and wander through the mansion house in my mind, closing curtains and turning off lights. This helps me if I’m ruminating, and have those lovely circular thoughts that keep us awake at 3am. Check it out below. Also, make sure you subscribe to the YouTube channel while you’re there for more goodies.
External Sleep Killers
Sleep hygiene is one of those important things that we often forgo in favour of remaining connected at all times. I’m guilty of this. I sometimes use sleep apps, hypnotherapy mp3s (like my own), which means my technology is switched on. However, we can put our phones on sleep mode, turn the screen colours to warmer hues, so that the dreaded blue light doesn’t keep us awake. Heavy curtains, blackout blinds, and ensuring you’re warm enough can all help to ensure a decent sleep.
Snoring partners can be problematic, but there’s always something you can do, even if it’s a dig in the ribs and sending them to sleep on the sofa.
If you don’t sleep well enough, your cognitive processes are dulled, so you might have slower reactions, make mistakes at work, and leaving you less efficient. So, we can solve this problem with some lovely nap time.
The 20 minute nap
I’m a massive fan of the 20 minute nap. It’s part of my relapse management plan for when I’m in the grip of ME and I can barely keep my eyes open. I didn’t believe this could work, but oh my goodness, was I wrong; and this is a lovely way to indulge in the Festival of Sleep this year. Even if you have to work, do this when you get home.
- Grab your dog, teddy bear.
- Get a blanket
- Settle yourself on the sofa
- Set a 20 minute timer
- Snuggle down
- Wake feeling amazing
The 20 minute nap is just magic. I always wake after my nap feeling like I’ve had a full night’s sleep. The settling down process is important here too, as it’s purposeful. You are setting an intention to sleep, and as a result, you will sleep. Being intentional rather than worrying is the key here.
If you nap any longer, you start to get into a deeper sleep, and waking from this will make you feel groggy and exhausted. Have you ever meant to close your eyes for a few minutes, and woken 2 hours later, feeling like crap? Yes, we all have. The 20 minute intentional nap is enough to keep you in a light and refreshing slumber, so you can come round quickly, and get on and go about the rest of your day.
If that’s not worth celebrating, I don’t know what is.
If you have trouble sleeping, then listen to my sleep audio and relax.