6 Spiritual Techniques for Coping with Sleep Deprivation
15th November 2016 / 9 comments
Life is often busy and stressful – every day we balance work, family, friends, hobbies and trying to find time at the end of the day to relax. Sometimes these stresses and worries can overflow into our subconscious, affecting our ability to sleep. Or perhaps you’re the parent of a young baby, which is another huge cause of sleep deprivation.
So begins a vicious cycle: we struggle to sleep because we have things on our mind, or a baby needs our attention, and then the next day we suffer from sleep deprivation, meaning our energy and concentration levels are low. We then struggle to get everything done, causing more worry. And on it goes.
These spiritual techniques will help you cope the day after a bad night’s sleep and break the cycle of sleeplessness.
How to cope after a bad night’s sleep
- Begin the day with an energising exercise
The day after a night of little to no sleep is going to feel tough, and it’s completely natural to lack energy and motivation. If this is the case, you should try to create a natural energy boost to help you get through the day.
If you find yourself lying in bed, frustrated and waiting for your alarm to go off, it’s time to get moving. Exercising is probably the last thing you feel like doing at this point, but trust us – it’s the best thing for you.
There’s no need to hit the gym; light, energising exercise is all it will take. Put on your shoes and go for a morning stroll – the crisp morning air will work wonders, and the walk will get your heart pumping. Or, if it’s too cold and miserable outside, why not try a few simple yoga stretches?
Once you’ve finished your exercise, you will most likely feel a little less tired and more motivated to face the rest of your day.
- Keep your brain active
As the day wears on, your energy levels will naturally start slipping. This may affect other things, such as your concentration (not what you need while you’re at work or looking after a baby). To help keep your concentration levels up, you need to keep your brain active.
There are a number of ways to do this. If you’re sitting at your desk and feel yourself slipping into daydreams, stand up and do something different that engages your brain differently for a few minutes. This could be something as simple as chatting to a friend or doing a puzzle. These are natural ways to help your brain stay focused.
Once your break is over, you will be able to refocus on the task at hand.
- Speak to a friend and get things off your chest
If stress and worries are stopping you from sleeping, then talk to a trusted friend or family member and get things off your chest.
Sometimes when we over-think things, we create much bigger problems in our head. Talking to somebody else about these can often put them in perspective for us.
Unloading on a friend will help you feel calmer, which will help when it comes to sleeping again.
How to get a better night’s sleep
- Create a sleep schedule
Often, a big reason people can’t sleep is that their sleeping patterns are completely disorganised. Of course, this is understandable with a new baby, as babies can have unpredictable schedules.
Try to create as close to a regular sleep schedule as you can.
This means setting a bedtime at the same time every night. It means setting the alarm and getting up (without pressing snooze) at the same time every morning – no matter how tired or awake you feel.
Following the same routine every day will mean your body clock soon syncs up, meaning that in time it is naturally easier to fall asleep and wake up at the correct times.
If you’ve struggled to sleep the night before, it may be tempting to go to bed a little earlier. However, we suggest staying awake until your set bedtime if you can; this way, you will be tired enough by the time you go to bed to fall asleep a lot easier.
- Meditate before bed
There are numerous benefits to meditation, and it is a well-known technique for fighting stress, anxiety and depression. Take just 10 minutes in the evening before bed to sit quietly and simply breathe. This will help you to get into a much more relaxed state, which will help you fall sleep more easily.
When meditating, it’s tempting to focus on all the things running through your mind. However, for the exercise to be effective, you need to try to shut down your thoughts and focus on being still. If you’re having trouble focusing, try listening to a guided meditation.
- Keep a journal
Writing down your thoughts is an extremely powerful spiritual exercise.
Keep a simple notebook next to your bed and jot down your thoughts before you go to sleep. This, like talking to a friend, will help you to get things off your chest and calm you down before bed.
If you’re struggling to think of anything to say, do a few writing exercises. Note down your favourite things that happened that day; make a list of things you are grateful for; plan what you’re going to do the next day; or write down some actionable solutions to problems you’re facing.
All of these things will help soothe you and make you feel much lighter, which in turn will help you drift off feeling content.