Thoughts on rest: Don’t underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep

The majority of the world is sleep deprived. Even when we sleep, often we aren’t gaining good quality rest. Our subconscious continuously absorbs societal programming even when our eyes close with our heads on the pillow. Sleep not only provides substantial rest, but it is also the opportunity for us to clean out mental, emotional, physical and spiritual gunk to attend the day with renewed energy. It provides vitality. That is why people say “you should sleep on it” when making an important decision. Just as we plug our phones into a socket to charge at night, we plug ourselves into sleep and out of the everyday hustle to charge. Many phenomena happen when you sleep.

  • Your breathing and heart rate slows down while your muscles begin to relax.
  • According to the Sleep Foundation ‘When measured during sleep, brain waves show clear patterns associated with each sleep stage. In the early parts of non-REM sleep, brain waves slow down considerably; however, in Stage 2 and Stage 3, there are numerous quick bursts of brain activity. In REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, brain activity accelerates, showing markedly different types of brain waves. Heightened brain activity is why REM sleep is known as the stage most associated with vivid dreaming.’
  • You dream. 
  • Your hormone levels fluctuate.

Falling asleep and dreaming is a realm of its own. With enough practice and discipline, you could even learn to remain lucid and control your dreams while you sleep. Hypnotherapy exercises during sleep also work to help you reach your goal faster. For example, I remember when I was in performance art classes, and I used to find learning lines challenging. So I recorded myself reciting my lines and listened to the tape while I fell asleep. Everything was stored in my mind the following day, and after three days, I was a pro at remembering my lines. That’s because, as mentioned above, your subconscious mind continuously absorbs the programming, and you can choose what it absorbs while you sleep to train yourself.

Sometimes as much as you know that you have various tasks that need completing during the day, your body will send signals to tell you that it needs you to sleep to repair itself. In this case, when these signs are ignored, your body begins to subtly shut down until symptoms become more apparent. At that point, people tend to panic and run straight for medication when really, they just needed to put in payment for severe sleep debt and good nutrition. I am not a doctor though, do visit your GP if you have medical concerns. On the other hand, some people walk around constantly tired because they sleep too much. So as much as the feeling and thought of staying in bed most of the morning seem appealing, we do need to have a healthy balance of sleep.

I feel that there is no specific time for better sleep as I go with the flow of nature. As an entrepreneur, I need to put certain hours of effort and discipline into my work and balance rest; however, if I feel like having a long nap at midday after my early rising, that is what I would do. Sometimes I can go a total of 24 hours without sleeping (please don’t do this) because my mind goes into overdrive while writing, and I will sleep for 24 hours afterwards to recover and recharge. This is my personal sleeping habit, though, and it works for me. Of course, if you work long hours during the day, it’s a good idea to get ample rest by going to bed earlier at night. Shut off all screens, stop scrolling through social media, do some deep breathing, drink some water, do light stretches and get yourself under the duvet for some snooze.

Until next time.

Thoughts on productivity: It’s time to get organised

The leaves are falling, the air drifts into stillness, and our desire to go outside begins to decline into a need to stay indoors in our favourite silks watching Netflix, sipping our beverages of choice. Autumn. The perfect season to slow down and gather ourselves. As we do so, we begin to feel the need to get our lives in order the best we can. Below are my typical list of things worth revisiting and up-keeping.

Wardrobe

This is the time to have some fun putting together some autumn/winter appropriate outfits. Find ways to liven up your wardrobe by adding new pieces or removing the cringe-worthy items you purchased out of boredom during lockdown amnesia. You can donate some of these items to the local charity shop, sell them on eBay, or swap them with your friend. If you’re someone who loathes ironing clothes, this is the time to ensure all of your key pieces are washed, dried, and ironed so that it’s ready for the festive season.

Finances

You must go through your bank statements, direct debits, and standing orders to reevaluate your income, savings, or any outgoings you anticipate during the winter months. This is not the time to bury your head under the sand, hoping that your financial affairs will fall in line. Emergencies are most likely to arise during the cold months, such as boiler breakdowns, car breakdowns, services, etc. It’s also important to factor in all of your festive activities and luxuries as early as possible. The more time you give yourself, the more money you will be able to save. Perhaps you’re anxious about the lack of income. Nonetheless, this is the time to think about creating a side hustle or perhaps research on affordable investments. The opportunities are endless once you summon the drive and discipline to flourish in the age of technology. Check out the Break Platform for some ideas.

Necessary Maintenance

As much as you need to be financially prepared to deal with the necessary maintenance, you also need to be prepared by anticipating what may need fixing during the cold months. Don’t leave your car servicing or fuel level until the last minute, because it won’t be a fun experience to be stranded on the motorway or on a deserted road in the middle of nowhere. If you’re a homeowner, make sure your boiler is sufficient, and your house isn’t susceptible to flooding or anything that could make your autumn and winter a living nightmare. Prevention is better than a cure.

Health

This is an obvious point, but I think it’s worth reinforcing. Your health is the foundation of your quality of life. If you’re run down from overworking or from being a permanent sofa resident, you will be unable to enjoy the pleasures of this life. It goes without saying that in the current climate, your health is of utmost importance. As tempting as it is to slouch on the sofa, wrapped in your blanket with a tipple in one hand, and a thick slice of cheesy pizza in the other, it is also good to ensure you’re well-hydrated, your body is moving, and your diet is as clean possible. I’m not a doctor, so if something doesn’t feel quite right with your mind or body, then it’s a good idea to catch up with your GP.

Check on your loved ones

Perhaps you’re responsible for looking after a loved one or you live quite far, and you are unable to visit frequently. Whatever the situation, it is crucial that you schedule consistent means of communication to ensure that your family and friends are okay, be organised with their care, and promote a micro-community to help those in need.

The most important thing to remember here is that everything seems to take twice as long in the cold months; therefore, always be prepared for the unexpected. Ensure that you look after yourself and your loved ones and stay safe.