Sometimes it’s so hard to get the perfect balance in life. 

Did you know sleeping too little or too much has been linked to a host of chronic illnesses?

I don’t know about you, but most of the times when I oversleep, I’ve got a headache and I’m tired all day.

Not only is it bad for my health, it’s obviously a waste of time. I already don’t have enough time to fit in everything I want to do without sleeping in. Now, not only do I not have as much time, I’m also fatigued.

Have you ever overslept and missed something important?

Missed an exam, missed work, missed the plane. Oversleeping can be the recipe for disaster. 

But why do we oversleep?

Most of the time oversleeping is a combination of poor sleep and lack of motivation. Meaning either we are getting low quality sleep or we are just kicking up bad sleeping habits caused by staying up late, shift work, bad nutrition, a noisy environment, or even by a physical disorder, like sleep apnea (Interrupted breathing during sleep).

What you need is not more sleep, but BETTER sleep.

Sometimes not being able to get us is a mind barrier. Even if you’re having poor sleep, when you really want to wake up you will won’t you?

  1. Keep a bedtime routine. It’s a great chance to wind down. Keeping a regular ‘sleep ritual’ before bedtime gets your body used to receiving the message that it’s time to sleep.
  2. Exercise. A brisk walk, a bicycle ride or a run helps reduce stress and tension. However, be sure to schedule your exercise in the morning or early afternoon so it doesn’t affect your sleep.
  3. Nap early or not at all. For some, naps are a regular part of their day. Try keeping your naps short and before 5 p.m. Late day naps decreases your sleep drive.
  4. Avoid caffeine and nicotine. Ingesting stimulants around sleep-time confuses your body clock
  5. Avoid alcohol. It can make you feel drowsy but after a few hours it will act as a stimulant and disrupt your sleep.
  6. Mattresses and pillows. Waking up with a stiff neck or sore back? It may be time to replace your bedding.
  7. Make sure your bedroom is cool, dark and comfortable. Adjust the lighting, temperature, humidity and noise level to your preferences.
  8. Keep regular hours, including weekends. Regular sleeping hours will encourage a routine for your bodies sleeping habits.
  9. Eat healthy. Pizza at 10pm is recipe for disaster.
  10. Have a shower/bath. A short shower or bath before bed will help warm you up and relax the body
  11. Have a glass of milk. Have a glass of warm milk shortly before going to bed. This encourages the secretion of tryptophan, the amino acid which is related to sleep
  12. Lavender. Lavender is cheap and easy herbal relaxant. Putting a few drops of lavender oil in your pillow or simply using lavender scented soap or moisturiser is a known sleep-inducing remedy.
  13. Roses. Rose scents also have a similar effect as lavender in encouraging sleepiness
  14. Music. Soft music can help induce sleep for some. If it works for you, try setting it in a gentle volume and preferably to a timer that will turn off automatically
  15. Turn the clock around. Don’t be a nigh time clock watcher. Struggling to fall asleep just leads to frustration.
  16. If you can’t sleep after 20 minutes, get out of bed and engage in non-strenuous activity until you feel sleepy again.
  17. Have a chat. Getting everything bothering you off your chest before going to bed helps clear the head and relaxes the body. Speaking with a friend or partner shortly before heading off to sleep can prevent many hours of lying awake whilst the brain tick, tick, ticks…
  18. Be a lover, not a fighter! Have you been told “never go to bed on an argument?” If you can, make up before bedtime. Vengeful thoughts make unhappy bedfellows
  19. Break up with your TV. We know it’s hard. But you really need your sleep. If you have to, record TV programs if there’s a television show on that prevents you from going to bed at your normal time.
  20. Count sheep. I know you going to tell me it doesn’t work but it’s more about the method of relaxing your mind by thinking methodically and repetitively. So if sheep don’t do it for you, try elephants, or tigers, or bears.
  21. Lights please! Some people need total darkness to fall asleep, others like to have a little light in the room. Try getting a dim bed light and place it in an area outside your line of vision.
  22. Herbal tea. Herbal teas before bed are great. Chamomile have long been credited with calming properties.
  23. Hot water bottle. Ok, maybe not for summer. But winter time, jumping into an icy cold bed is enough to jolt any sleepy thoughts away! A hot water bottle is a great way to warm up the bed.
  24. Sleep upside down. Sounds strange, but some people swear by putting the pillow at the foot of their bed and falling asleep the other way round.
  25. Hug something. Your partner, your teddy, your pillow. Feelings of comfort and security are a natural relaxant and tend to encourage sleepiness.
  26. Eat mushrooms. Apparently it works for the Pueblo Indians!
  27. Ginseng and orange peel. According to the Chinese, a mixture of chopped ginseng and orange peel mixed with honey is sure to send you off to sleep
  28. Boil lettuce. This one is a bit odd. Gypsies recommend cooking a lettuce in a half-pint of boiling water with a little salt. Okay, I’m not sure which part actually puts you to sleep.
  29. Gypsies recipe. A mixture of lemon juice, orange juice, 2 tablespoons of honey and hot water.
  30. Oatmeal gruel. A Scottish favourite, a bowl of oatmeal gruel with honey before bedtime to get that sleepy feeling.
  31. Raw onions. Sniffing raw onion is supposed to encourage sleepiness. Hmmm…
  32. Celery seeds. Apparently inhaling their aroma from a little cloth bag will have you nodding off in moments
  33. Eat pumpkin. An old folk remedy says to eat pumpkin to cure insomnia. Makes sense since pumpkin is a heavy-duty carbohydrate and helps promote sleepiness
  34. Mittens and socks! Getting your fingers and toes warm helps you fall asleep
  35. Lentil Bags. A small silk bag filled with lentils or linseeds laid gently over your eyes can be a relaxing sleep remedy.
  36. Do the dishes. Metaphoric or not, at least if you did them you won’t have to worry about it the next morning.
  37. Stretch it out. Gently stretching before you get into bed at night can help relax your muscles after a long day
  38. Vinegar and Honey. From an apple cider vinegar book, mix 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and 2 teaspoons of honey to a glass of boiling hot water. Drink.
  39. Early to bed, early to rise. Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.
  40. Do it for your life! Studies have indicated that people who have difficulty falling or staying asleep die of natural causes at a much higher rate than those who sleep well. So don’t just live with it…get it sorted!


In every post I emphasize the importance of sleep. Well it’s true and yet we all seem to ignore it. Sleep is an important resource that keeps us healthy, mentally sharp, and be able to cope with stress more effectively. Unfortunately, stressed and busy people tend to get less sleep than they need. It’s a self perpetuating process.

There are the few common reasons why people are screaming stress.

Overthinking
The fact is that we all do it, some more than others and probably women more than men. We’ve probably experienced at some time spirals of thoughts that lead to aimless rumination and often results in feelings of anxiety and hyperactivity or sleepless nights. It’s time for bed and you’re comfortably tucked yourself in when slowly, and at first unconsciously, distracting thoughts creep into your head. The only things that is in your head now, rather than sleep, is work or bills or whether you’ve locked the front door.

Sometimes it can be so hard to wind down and stop thinking about things and this can make sleep so much more difficult.

Anxiety
Like overthinking, anxiety can make sleep difficult and wake you up at night. Your mind is constantly busy imagining threatening scenarios and worrying about what may happen next. You become obsessed with finding solutions. That racing of your mind can rob you of sleep by keeping your levels high, making sleep harder to achieve.

Overscheduling
Have you found yourself in a situation where you have too much to do and not enough hours in the day? A hectic, busy life can rob you of time you can actually dedicate to sleep. If you find yourself pushing your bed time back further and further to get things done, or getting up earlier and earlier in the name of productivity, you may feel tired a lot of the time but not realize the toll lack of sleep is taking.

Caffeine 
People under stress tend to consume significant amounts of caffeine to get a boost that gives them that morning jolt or helps them make it through the day. It’s like you get an injection of adrenaline into your system, giving you a temporary boost, but possibly making you fatigued and depressed later. Caffeine can actually exacerbate stress levels and significantly affect the amount and quality of sleep you get. Did you know caffeine can stay in the body for up to 10 hours after consumption?

Solution?

The good old relax and wind down before bed. Get nice and comfy and smooth sail through the night. Things are important, but nothing is more important than your health. Remember, there is always tomorrow!

Struggling to fall asleep just leads to frustration.

Many people who have trouble sleeping spend a lot of time lying in bed wondering why they can’t fall asleep. The truth is that it could be because of one factor or a combination of many factors.

Stress
Stress is a cause for so many problems and is the number one reason why people have sleep problems. I’m sure we are all familiar with this. You lie in bed at night and suddenly a million thoughts come into your head. You are stressed, you can’t sleep, and lack of sleep makes you more stressed. It’s like a self-perpetuating cycle.

Illness
You’ve been hit with the nasty flu and the only thing you want to do is crawl into bed but your chances of a good night sleep is pretty much impossible with that stuffy nose. To make things worse, you don’t even know whether the medication your going to take will make you feel drowsy or jittery.

Environment
Our sleeping environment has a big impact on our sleep. The temperature, the noise filtering through the walls and the lights seeping through the curtains. It is rare to find a perfectly silent room to sleep in and not everybody can sleep in perfect silence. The key to falling asleep is to be comfortable.

Lifestyle
For some, sleep comes easily and without much effort, but for others, getting a good night’s sleep is an ongoing problem. Travelling between time zones, jet lag and shift work can be quite hard on the body. Even things like a poor diet, alcohol and caffeine affect the quality of sleep we get.

Finding out what causes sleep problems can be a complicated process, but usually its the result of one of the four categories. Sleep problems can really be caused by just about anything.

Did you know lack of sleep is also associated with long-term health consequences, including obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and even may lead to a shortened life expectancy?

We all have some sense of the relationship between sleep and our ability to function throughout the day. After all, everyone has experienced some sort of fatigue, bad mood, lack of focus and the inability to perform tasks involving memory, learning and logical reasoning that so often follow a night of poor sleep.

Reality shows that we would just normally ignore these symptoms as it passes and continue to jam pack our lives with more than we can fit in.

The thing is sleep is a cyclical restorative process which allows the body to replenish its immune system, and plays a crucial role in our health and well-being. It is also the period when the body rejuvenates and regenerates.

Sleep is something our bodies need to do and we have no other way out of the situation. It provides essential nourishment for both body and mind.

Have you ever thought about how sleep loss, and even poor-quality sleep, can lead to an increase in errors at the workplace, decreased productivity, and accidents that cost both lives and resources?

Car Accidents

Did you know crashes due to microsleeps are as deadly as those due to drink driving? Both alcohol and lack of sleep slow down your ability to react quickly to a suddenly braking car, a sharp curve in the road, or other situations requiring rapid responses. Just a few seconds’ delay in reaction time can be a life-or-death matter when driving.

Falling asleep behind the wheel can be so dangerous, and surprisingly it happens often. Don’t ignore the early signs of fatigue and remember to always drive safe.


Did you know that aside from disease, nothing will degrade good health as quickly as the lack of sleep?

Too many people don’t realize the importance sleep. It’s like we all want to sleep as little as possible and fit more into the day than we already do. Statistics shows that an average American sleeps just 5-6 hours each night.

Sleep is not a luxury, its a necessity!

Sleep is essential for good health, mental and emotional functioning, and safety. How many of us actually take this into consideration when planning our schedules? Our body requires that period of rest in order to replenish and rejuvenate. Also we feel more alert, more energetic, happier, and better able to function following a good night of sleep.

In general, most adults need 8 hours of sleep a day. Contrary to a common myth, the need for sleep doesn’t decline with age, its just the fact the ability to get it all at one time may be reduced.

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