By Matt Church
We all sleep but we don't necessarily sleep well. The behaviour
modifications discussed in this article are aimed at making the sleep you
do have as beneficial as possible, regardless of the length of time or,
the time of day you sleep.
The aim of each behaviour modification is to induce a great sleep/ wake
cycle and increase the likelihood that you wake up feeling rested
re-charged. As well, you'll be in an optimum state to use adrenaline if
needed and will have secured high levels of serotonin to keep you calm and
exude happiness. Behaviour 1: Sort out your sleeping environment. A
comfortable sleep environment is essential for good sleep. One of the most
important factors is the light level. Light has a profound effect on brain
chemistry, particularly the production of serotonin and melatonin.
Melatonin is the brain's natural 'sleep drug'. In simple terms, we sleep
best when its dark, and we're more awake when its light.
Noise levels and body temperature are also major factors in obtaining a
good night's sleep. Gentle familiar sounds help us to sleep, and
unfamiliar noises or unfamiliar silence can be disturbing. Maintaining a
consistent, comfortable body temperature is also essential. However, this
may require negotiation with your sleeping partner! Behaviour 2: Establish
a sleep routine. Try to get to bed at the same time each night. In today's
nocturnal culture this maybe difficult but, if you're successful, your
body will maintain a consistent sleep / wake cycle and therefore evenly
supply brain chemicals as required.
Even more important than the time you go to bed is the time you wake
up. You need to train your body to turn on at a set time each day.
Sleeping in on weekends causes the body to get out of synch with its
regular sleep / wake cycle. You confuse your kick-start chemical
production and make Monday mornings tough. Sleeping in creates a weekend
lag, similar to jet lag. Even if you go to bed late you should try to get
up at your regular wake time.
Sleep as many hours as required to avoid sleep debt. For most people,
this is about 6-10 hours. If this is not possible, then try for a mid-
afternoon break or siesta. The length and quality of your sleep determines
the degree to which your body and brain restore their chemicals to optimal
levels. A good night's sleep with adequate melatonin will allow you to
step out of bed the next morning with serotonin at peak levels.
About the author: Matt Church is a speaker and
trainer who travels over 100 days a year delivering seminars to
corporations helping their employees lay the foundations for success. If
you would like to help your employees get their priorities right or would
like to find out more about a seminar run by Matt Church then visit his
website at www.mattchurch.com.au
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