Counting sheep at night? What causes your lack of sleep?
Tired of counting sheep…? In my previous blog “No Sleep? Stressed Out…” I looked at some of the causes of sleep deprivation and how it can be linked to financial stress. Lying awake at night worrying about mounting debt, or not putting sufficient funds aside for your retirement is becoming all too common. However there are numerous ways to combat this problem, to ensure you get your full ‘forty winks’ each night.
I believe that over half of UK adults are fighting a constant battle to get a good night’s sleep.
Lack of concentration, mood swings, low energy levels and tiredness and irritability due to insufficient sleep will make for an unproductive, miserable day.
In a bid to stop counting sheep in the early hours, I’m going to look at a few more ‘scientific’ ways to avoid sleepless nights.
Sleep like a baby…
“Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise” – Benjamin Franklin
Getting into a routine and going to bed at the same time every night will help your body know when it’s time to relax and unwind for the day, and prepare for sleep. Getting the same amount of sleep each night is also important. Burning the candle at both ends and trying to catch up on sleep at weekends will have you staring at your alarm clock at 4am.
Avoiding caffeine some six hours before bedtime can greatly improve sleep quality.
Writing a ‘gratitude diary’ before you go to sleep has also proved to help with falling and staying asleep. Making a note of the top ten things you have been grateful for that day helps your peace of mind, appreciate what you have and helps calm the mind.
Asking yourself three key questions each night can help to put things in perspective and enable you to sleep better;
- What did you do for someone else today?
- What did someone do for you today?
- Did you learn today?
If you’re suffering from money worries, focus on a more positive frame of mind, and take positive action to reap the awards. 80 per cent of people who don’t have a financial adviser, only focus on short-term finance plans. This hinders reaching and exceeding financial objectives, and can put retirement plans at risk as people continue to dip into their pension pots early, simply to make ends meet. By consulting with an adviser, and setting achievable financial targets, sleepless nights worrying about money could be a thing of the past.
Sleeping in complete darkness also helps us to stay asleep for longer. Even a small amount of light from open curtains can affect the body’s circadian rhythm, and slow down the production of melatonin and the ‘happy hormone’, serotonin. Something as small as the light from a phone charger can interrupt our sleep. Minimising electrical fields around your bed can also help us drift off, put batteries in your alarm clock and switch everything off!
Take your minerals and vitamins
Magnesium, amongst other minerals and vitamins, is known to play a key role in the regulation of sleep, calms the nervous system, helps us lose weight and relieves stress, amongst a whole host of other benefits. A lack of magnesium can change electrical activity in the brain which leads to interrupted sleep. Research carried out some years ago revealed that chronic insomnia is one of the main symptoms of magnesium deficiency.
There are countless reasons reasons why we suffer from sleepless nights, but knowing a few tips and tricks can really help beat the bedtime blues.
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Mike Coady is an award-winning financial expert and a well-known leader in the financial industry.
Mike is qualified to UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) standards, a member of the Chartered Insurance Institute, a Fellow of the Institute of Sales Management (FISM), and a Fellow of the Institute of Directors (FIoD).
Blog published by Mike Coady