"A" Tips for the Sleep Deprived
Is sleep an issue for you? Self monitoring with self awareness can help you get the sleep you need using the framework of acknowledging, assessing and assisting.
Acknowledge: Adequate sleep contributes to healthy physical and mental well being. You may be sleep deprived, though for a number of different reasons. For instance it is impossible to sleep when you are living with a family member who has moderate-stage dementia and who is consistently getting up in the middle of the night to wander away from home. On the other hand, the loss of sleep may be due to other factors such as a physical condition of arthritis or side effects from medication. You may be tossing and turning with worry that prevents you from getting that needed sleep.
If you are not getting the sleep you need, assess the situation so you may be better able to assist. Assess it for yourself by answering the following questions:
___Are you losing sleep?
___Is your physical energy affected due to loss of sleep?
___Is your mood affected due to loss of sleep?
___Are you losing sleep due to loss of control of the situation you are living in?
___Is the loss of sleep related to being awakened by a family member you are caregiving?
___Is loss of sleep temporary or is there no end in sight?
___Is the loss of sleep related to a fretful mind full of thoughts that just will not turn off?
___Would getting sleep/feeling rested assist in your physical and mental well being?
___In the past, have you made sleep a priority?
___Acknowledging the value of sleep, is it your intention to make sleep a priority?
___Are you going to assist yourself to sleep better?
___Are there supports and resources you can use?
___What could assist to lull you to sleep better?
After assessing, you may come to acknowledge the condition(s) that are not allowing you to get your required sleep. You can then take action to:
Medical Assistance: It is worthwhile consulting with your doctor if you suspect that you are not sleeping due to your physical condition or possibly side effects from medication. If you are a caregiver and the person you are caring for is not sleeping at night, consult with his/her doctor.
Mind Chatter: It may not be a physical condition or a family member that is keeping you awake. It could be the mind chatter that is keeping you awake. You may be having difficulty turning off your thoughts. You may be thinking repetitive sabotaging thoughts like "I am never going to get a good nights sleep ever again" The good news is that by pursuing the intention to assist yourself, you can begin to gain control by self monitoring with self awareness to temper your thoughts or change the thought to “I am going to get a good nights sleep” or "I can assist myself to get the sleep I need".
Can’t Sleep? Don’t Freak!
Don’t Lose It! Get ahead of the racing thoughts – acknowledge they are just thoughts. You are not your thoughts. Your mantra can be "I am not my thoughts". By just remaining calm, you are assisting yourself, gaining control. You are preventing your negative self sabotaging thoughts from infesting your mind. Staying calm is restful, which is the next best thing to sleep. While in a state of calm, try different strategies to lull you to sleep such as breathing exercises, meditation or listening to calming music,
Where is Your Fret Space? Make your bed the place you sleep or rest. If the fretting and racing thoughts persist, get a handle on it and get out of bed. Pick a fretting space in your home, outside of your bedroom where your racing thoughts can go wild. Go there to fret. Make this a space you are not regularly spending time. Instead of fretting at the kitchen table, choose a space that you rarely occupy. The reason not to use a space you frequently occupy is because you do not want to associate this space in your home to your fretting. When you monitor you are ready to get back to sleep, return to your bed.
Getting enough sleep contributes to coping with life challenges. If the problem persists and daily coping is challenging, reach out for help. It is not a weakness to reach out for help, it is a strength with a reward – sleep! #AcknowledgeAssessAssist