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Free tips for more zzzzzzz’s


Sleep, for some, no problem, head on the pillow a few minutes later and, they're off!

For others, sleep does not come easy and the more you think about the fact you can't get to sleep, the harder it is to sleep. However, sleeping and sleeping well are essential for our physical and mental health.

There can be many reasons why we find it hard to get a good night's kip: We may work shifts, or have a young baby who needs to be cared for, or, we may be worried about something. We may have chronic pain and it keeps us awake. We may be bored as each day feels like the day before and not much happened, so we cat nap throughout the day, then can't sleep at night.

Too much sleep is also not good for us. We may be caring for someone and their poor sleep affects our sleep. We may have had an upsetting experience and are scared to go to sleep in case we have bad dreams.

Where we stay may be noisy, there may be light pollution from street lights, cars, buses. We may not feel safe to sleep.

We may have had too much coffee, tea, fizzy drinks, or smoked cigarettes, or, a combination of all these things. We are all unique so what keeps us awake can be unique too.

If you have some specific challenges in your life which are affecting your sleep explore what services or opportunities are around locally which may help you address them. For example, if chronic pain is an issue, find out are there any Mindfulness courses near you, or perhaps centres which offer meditation classes.

If you are caring for someone and aren't already linked into a carers centre, find one near you and see what support that maybe you can tap into. If something is worrying you, find someone to talk to and see if the problem can be solved and if not, explore things which may help you worry less. 

If you have experienced trauma and are having flashbacks speak to your GP about services which can help you.

We often think there is no support or opportunities out there, but it's amazing how when we start to look what we can find.

We are going to run regular features on sleep and how to get a better night's rest. To begin with, maybe have a read of the ''Wee tips to a better night's sleep'' information sheet. 

There are also some really good videos on YouTube with sounds of the ocean, have a visit and find one which you enjoy.

Studies by Orfeu Buxton, an associate professor of biobehavioral health at Penn State University, suggest, we all have a flight or fight response, abrupt noises can wake us up and put us on full alert, if you find it hard to sleep, you will find being wakened like this can make it harder to get back to sleep.

Noises like the sea are non-threatening sounds, which vary in volume so are less abrupt and more likely to lull you back to sleep. For more information on this study follow this link.

''When we give ourselves the chance to let go of all our tension, the body's natural capacity to heal itself can begin to work.'

by Nhat Hanh

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