How To Sleep Like A Baby … Or A Cat That Can Just About Sleep Anywhere!

If you’re a shift worker then lack of sleep is definitely a problem.

But how much sleep is enough? The standard advice that I hear from specialists is that there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ – it’s what’s right for you. So when people like Madonna say they can get by on four hours sleep, (is she a shift worker too?!) – then it certainly is possible, but it’s not desirable.

Now for those fortunate souls that work “normal hours” – ie, 9-5 – the vast majority of these people get 7-8 hours sleep which is certainly going to help restore their bodies after a hard day at work.

Incidentally though, latest research is nudging toards 9 hours sleep as optimum! So if you’re like Madonna and you think you’re doing pretty well on 4-5 hours, it’s time for a rethink.

Four Simple Lessons that you can learn from a baby!
1. Babies need a lot of sleep – and so do most adults, whether they like it or not. But are you shaking your head and thinking that you’d love to sleep more, but you keep waking up in the middle of the night? Well for the record, stress is the number one reason for short-term sleep problems such as frequent middle-of-the-night waking and insomnia. So if this is you, then you need to find a way to resolve this stress in some way.

2. Babies are good at recognising what’s keeping them awake – but most grown ups aren’t. So without resolving things like stress, you will never get enough sleep.

3. Babies need a restful routine, like a warm bath and a bedtime story before bed – and so do adults! Grown-ups who are drinking, partying, emailing, watching TV, chatting with their mates on the phone or in other ways keeping their brains active could well be too stimulated to sleep. What we all should be doing is having a relaxing 10 minutes in the tub prior to tucking ourselves into bed with a good book.

4. Babies sleep best in a dark room – and so do adults. We evolved as a species to sleep in almost total darkness. Even a small amount of brightness can be strong enough to enter our retina even when our eyes are closed. This then sends a signal to the brain that upsets the internal clock … ahh … the wonderful world of shiftwork!

So if you’re trying to sleep during the day, or when somebody else has the lights on in the house – make sure that absolutely no light can enter your room.

This even includes the light from your digital alarm clock so make that this is turned off too! (OK, so you might need to set another type of alarm clock so that you don’t sleep in …)And of course, don’t fall asleep with the TV on, and use blackout curtains if you have to sleep during the day or if your streetlights are particularly bright.

So try and learn to apply some of these simple tips that you would have learnt (and forgotten) as a baby. Because your sleep and ultimately your health – depends on it.

Sleep Problems? Why the Sound of a Lawnmower Brought a Smile to My Face!

If you’ve ever experienced sleeping problems then you would almost certainly agree that any sound or disturbances whilst you’re trying to catch some shut eye is not a perfect scenario!
In fact, if you work night shift or any type of shift work and you’re trying to sleep during the day, achieving the perfect slumber can become somewhat challenging.

So what about the sounds of a droning lawnmower? Does the image of cotton buds stuck in your ears and your head stuck under a pillow sound familiar?

Well I don’t know about you but as a shift worker I’ve certainly ‘been there and done that’ – cotton buds and all!

But I must say when I heard the droning sounds of a lawnmower the other day it actually brought a smile to my face.

Why? Well, let me explain.

You see I live in a hot and humid tropical environment in Queensland Australia. A bit uncomfortable for some, but I actually thrive in the heat. And as Queenslanders we are certainly used to the rain – lots of rain.

Now as we hadn’t seen any rain in over 4 months, lawnmowers in my local area had pretty much been made redundant. Parked and left abandoned by their owners in their garages – the droning sounds of the trusty lawnmower had become a distant memory.

So when I was awoken from my ‘nana nap’ by my next door neighbour as he started the engine of his lawnmower, it really did bring a smile to my face.

And my sleeping problems and lack of sleep had all but been forgotten.

After just a couple of days of heavy rain you could almost watch the grass grow as it sprung back to life. Now when I refer to heavy rain, I really do mean ‘heavy’. Visualise a steam train coming through your bedroom and you might be able to get an idea of just how heavy the rain was as it came hammering down on our 100 year-old tin roof.

But hearing the pounding sounds of rain on our tin roof meant that the grass would finally become lush and green (it had been brown and prickly for months), and it would certainly be needing a good ‘once over’ by a lawnmower.

So the next time you experience sleeping problems because of disturbing sounds in your neighbourhood – don’t go crazy tossing and turning in your bed trying to block out the noise.

Even though they might be keeping you awake, sometimes you just have to be grateful for these sounds and what they represent. After all, being sleep deprived because of some heavy rain and a noisy lawnmower can actually be a good thing!

P.S – Of course the sound of your next door neighbour having a wild party until 2am is not the sort of sounds that I’m talking about … this is when you storm over there in your polka dotted pyjamas and bunny slippers (which is bound to give them a fright) and yank that stereo chord right out of its socket!

Do You Struggle With Insomnia?

I’d like to dedicate my next post to Tracey from Tracey’s Crafty Scraps who made a comment on my previous post that she struggles to get 3-4 hours sleep a night, let alone 6-7.

There are certainly many people around the world who are plagued by Insomnia which not only effects your ability to get the proper amount of rest that your body needs to recharge, but it can also have many other side effects. These may include mood changes, depression and/or anxiety, as well as speeding up the aging process.

As a shift worker I certainly struggle at getting enough hours of sleep, but I have never personally suffered from Insomnia. (I think I’d be a train wreck if I did!)

So I’d like to call on the experts to help Tracey out – and anyone else out there who is reading this post, and needs some help.

Here’s what I found when I undertook my own research.

It’s called ‘Sleep Tracks’ – a program designed by Yan Muckle who personally suffered from insomnia for years. After years of trial and error and an extensive amount of research, Yan has developed a program to help break the crippling cycle of sleepless nights.

For more information you can visit Yan at: Sleep Tracks

Here’s to a good nights sleep!