You know you should get 8 hours of sleep a night. And you tell yourself you should be more confident.
But did you know that your sleep and your confidence are related? It makes sense:
– When exhausted, you’re more likely to react negatively to situations, take things personally, and blame others.
– Some self-criticism comes from the part of your brain that keeps you ‘always on’ – if you don’t know how to rest deeply, you can’t access the part of your brain that achieves calm and perspective.
– The more you show up as the confident person you want to be the less you will worry and rehash situations in the middle of the night.
Here are 5 strategies from my book Success under Stress that will quiet your mind and help you sleep well through the night – so you can wake up rested and show up with strength throughout your day.
1. Do Left nostril breathing
Cover your right nostril and breathe exclusively through your left nostril. It activates the vagal nerve, the main nerve of your relaxation system.
If insomnia isn’t your problem, but it is for the other person sleeping in your bed, this will work for them too! When you feel them rustling around sleepless, roll over and cover their right nostril for them (you might want to let them know ahead of time you’ll be doing this!) This one is the magic bullet you’ve been waiting for! Try it and let me know it worked for you…
2. Take a pre-sleep foot bath
Take a warm foot bath with natural sea salts (or put in some lavender oil). It will help to drain the worries from your head and detoxify your body. Allow in peace of mind to prepare yourself for a good night sleep.
3. Tap your inner pharmacy
Did you know you can fill your body with needed supplements just by going within? Even simple deep breathing before bed releases your body’s own anti-anxiety drug, a neurotransmitter called GABA (short for gamma-aminobutyric acid).
4. Get your magnesium miracle
Anyone with high stress will use up their levels of a master mineral called magnesium. That could cause you insomnia or anxiety throughout the day. There’s an easy fix – refill your levels of magnesium daily (I put a tablespoon of magnesium powder in hot water before bed, but you could also get it from a capsule or a spray).
5. Empty your head
It’s hard to sleep when your brain is still churning about the demands of the day and how much more you have to do tomorrow. Your mind will continue to hold onto your list of ‘to do’ items in an effort to not forget them. So give your mind a way to find peace: Empty your head by writing down all the things you want to remember either in an ongoing ‘to do’ list or in a journal by your bedside.
If you are worried about a problem, then gather all of the facts and write them down in a single place (already your mind will feel more organized). Then ask yourself a focused question about how to resolve the problem. Close your journal or electronic device and picture that problem being moved to the back of your mind where you will allow your unconscious mind to work on it for you while you sleep. When you wake up you will often have some insights you couldn’t have gotten if you had tried hard to think it through all night.
You can download your copy of my free report Sleep Under Stress: 19 ways to Get to Sleep and Wake up Rested at http://www.sharonmelnick.com/sleep