A good night's sleep can do wonders for you

Quality rest makes a huge difference for your well-being and building resilience — here’s how to get it.

A good night's sleep can do wonders for you
Photo Credit from Vox

Quality rest is vital for our well-being

Sleep is integral for resilience. Resilience is like a muscle that can be built up with practice and training.

In today’s on-demand nature of the world, stressors are all over and resilience in many aspects is required for our survival. Poor sleep makes you more vulnerable and unable to handle stress. It is a vicious cycle, where the stress impacts the sleep, and the lack of sleep increases stress as it impacts your ability to overcome or handle stressful situations. The cycle can be broken by improving your sleep. This will help with building up resilience piece by piece in order for you to rebuild your shield against mental stress.

There is more to it than just this though. Sleep brings us comfort. Sleep centers us. A good night’s sleep offers the chance for us to gain a fresh perspective every single day. 

Sleep also is very important for clearing our minds, in order to make room for new ways of thinking.

As Albert Einstein famously said : “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them”

On top of all of the challenges that we are all already facing, the COVID-19 pandemic only adds to the plate, and in speaking with nearly 1,000 people over the last few months, many of them have noticed that they’ve been wanting to sleep more.

It’s actually not a bad thing. It is nature’s way of telling us that we need to rest. Some additional benefits of sleep, based on some scientific studies:

Improved sleep has proven to show a dramatic improvement in one’s ability to focus as well as cognitive functions. Sleep also works as a relaxant, increasing our ability to remain calm and steady within ourselves, and react better to situations occurring outside of us, no matter how stressful they may be.

Perhaps most significant during our current times, is sleep is one of the most prolific natural ways of boosting our immune system. At the start of the pandemic, there were some studies released around that showed that poor sleep, even for one day could reduce your immunity by almost 50% for a period!

Are you having trouble sleeping? The most effective way to help with this problem of not getting enough quality sleep is to establish some simple routines and rituals.

Different things will work for different people.

Here are 3 routines that I have been working on that have helped me improve the quality of my sleep.

# 1 – Switching off devices at least 1 hour before going to bed.

This was a game changer for me. I used to find myself reading articles or surfing facebook before bed. And I would notice my improved sleep on the nights where I did not do this, and how I would wake up far more refreshed the next morning.

As I learned more, I realized that the blue light that is emitted by our phones and tablets suppresses melatonin production. Melatonin is essentially what helps put us to sleep.

Some things I did instead, some light stretching and breathing exercises, some light reading, and / or listening to music or something inspirational.

# 2 Try to sleep at a consistent time every night

This one, I am still working on, but this routine helps relay to your brain that it is time to sleep. I have been sleeping around the same time, and in turn waking up around the same time everyday. You’re supposed to include weekends as well but this is something that I’m working on :). 

I think there is value in also being flexible, I am satisfied as long as I am in the same range within an hour or so of variability. And in the morning, I try to sit near my window or if it is nice out, go for a walk. This exposure first thing in the morning is invigorating and adds fuel and energy for the day. 

#3 Time to Express Gratitude

I think it was in a Tony Robbins video that I first heard this concept, the importance of being aware of and being able to manage your state. One of the things that you will notice, if you begin this practice, is that when you are grateful you are happy.  As you express gratitude and begin to think about the positive things in your life, you cannot physically feel the uneasiness or the stressful feelings that you may have been carrying previously.

You can think about your friendships, your families, the client that wrote you a thank you note, or the compliment that you received from your boss. 

I have found that when I am able to drift off to sleep peacefully, and have a restful night’s sleep, I tend to wake up more refreshed and in a more positive and uplifting state of mind, the next morning. 

My new routine includes taking a few minutes to meditate and envision the day ahead, and I spend the first hour of my morning to myself. 

Now for the rest of the day, I just have to maintain this level. And it is a lot easier to maintain or “go back”.

It all starts and ends with quality rest and a good night’s sleep.