05 Sep In order to maintain the benefits of your vacation… Pay attention to your sleep needs!
It’s back-to-school time – time to return to work – which brings to mind the following question: How do we maintain the beneficial energy attained? The first condition necessary for good mental energy, a good attention span, and the ability to concentrate is the quality of our sleep.
Many of you have asked us to add sleep aid sessions to the app, which will be done starting this month, and added to monthly.
Here are a few recommendations developed with Sandy Pruneau, who practices psychotherapy using neuro-linguistic programming and hypnosis and specializes in dealing with sleep disorders. Soon, she will be providing audio recordings to help you fall asleep.
First, it is important to know that numerous scientific studies have shown that sleep quality has very important effects on mental and physical balance:
- Better ability to concentrate, to manage emotions, and also to memorize and acquire new skills
- Better immune system
- Better regulation of satiety, therefore decreasing the risk of becoming overweight
Here are our recommendations to help you fall asleep easily. Next month, we will learn how to fall back to sleep.
Bedtime should be prepared for throughout the entire day
During the day:
- Participate in some physical activity, and expose yourself to several hours of daylight, which will set your internal clock.
As early as the end of the afternoon or in the evening:
- Avoid stimulating sports or a hot shower during the two hours before bedtime.
- Avoid stimulating beverages, such as coffee, colas, tea, and energy drinks from late afternoon onward.
- Eat light meals in the evening, with only small amounts of meat or fish, because their proteins promote wakefulness. Choose vegetables and slow burning carbohydrates. Rice, pasta, and lentils will give your brain the energy it needs throughout the night to enter dream phases and sleep states that paradoxically consume large quantities of glucose.
Create an environment that is conducive to falling asleep easily:
- Dim the lights, and use warm light bulb tones (orange).
- Avoid blue light sources or display screens left on, and create darkness, since light promotes wakefulness.
- The recommended sleep temperature is between 17° C and 19° C (approximately 63° F – 66° F), which is a couple of degrees lower than the temperature recommended for other rooms of the house.
- Air out the bedroom.
- Reduce noise, using soft music when needed, such as sleep music, which has the added advantage of masking other sounds that may disturb sleep.
Create a good, relaxing bedtime ritual
Our brain loves automated routines and conditioning, which prepare it to fall asleep. Ideally:
- If possible, maintain the same bedtime, daily, in order to set your internal clock.
- Avoid screen time at least one hour before bedtime. The light emitted by electronic devices tricks the brain into believing it is still daytime.
- Read a few pages of a relaxing book that stimulates your imagination and your brain’s dream centers, such as travel writing or descriptions of natural landscapes, and avoid the opposite tendency to stimulate your brain with books that require heavy concentration or with work-related reading.
- You may also listen to a relaxation exercise or get into the habit of listening to sleep music.
- If you have obsessive or anxious thoughts or think of things needing to be done, writing them down in a notebook will appease the part of your brain that tries to keep its activities in process in order to avoid forgetting them.
In the My Mental Training Pro® app, you will find different audio exercises specially designed to help you fall asleep:
- Audio recordings for relaxation, to release muscle tension, to “get away from it all,” and stories to help you sleep.
- Soothing sleep music that can even mask bothersome noises.
The entire My Mental Energy Pro team wishes you a great return from summer vacation!