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Sleep Issues: 3 simple steps to tackle poor sleep

Updated: Dec 11, 2022

Sleep issues are causing major problems for many of us.  Did you know that one in three* of us suffers from poor sleep? 

I think it's fair to say that most people get that this is a big issue - poor sleep, lack of sleep and disturbed sleep leave you feeling grumpy, frazzled and less able to cope with what's going on in your world.

For folks with Chronic Fatigue, these problems are often magnified and can make life feel so much harder.

How lack of sleep impacts our bodies

As a general rule, most of us can cope remarkably well with short periods of poor sleep but over the long term, a sleep issues can lead to:

  • Weakened immune system

  • Increased weight gain

  • Impairment of mental ability

  • Increased likelihood of developing diabetes, heart disease and infertility

  • Lower sex drive

Many of these issues are routinely experienced by people with chronic fatigue and this can make it difficult to work out whether to tackle the sleep or the fatigue first!

In my experience, there isn't a right (or wrong) order to do things in - the two are so interconnected that any change you make to sleep or fatigue are going to impact each other, hopefully in a positive way!

So, what can you do about your poor sleep?!

Make some changes

I very often see this quote popping up on social media

"I you keep on doing what you have always done,

you will keep on getting what you have always got."

and I think it’s 100% accurate, especially in connection with sleep!

It’s not very likely that your sleep issues will just suddenly decide to correct themselves. So, just like loosing weight or getting fit, you're going to need to change what you've been doing sleep-wise in order to get something different sleep-wise. This is especially true if you have had a pattern of poor sleep for a while, perhaps even since childhood.

So, the next question is - what do you need to change?

This is where it get's a bit more tricky! Your quality of sleep is personal to you. No one else has your body, your mind or your emotions. Only you have experienced your life. Many ofther people may have experienced the same things you have experienced, but they will have experienced them from their perspective, not yours.

This is why you may have found other people's suggestions and solutions haven't helped you to solve your sleep problems. You may feel as though you're stuck with your poor sleep situation and fed up of trying things without seeing the changes you hoped for.

But let's not get too down about this...there is an upside!

The easy way to tackle sleep issues

The uniqueness of your experiences means that you are the ultimate expert on yourself. You can use your expertise to find out what works for you.

This is great news! You can apply your expertise about yourself to tackling your sleep issues by following these three steps:

STEP 1 – Get to grips with what happens when you sleep and understand why sleep plays such a vital role in keeping us healthy and well.  Learning more about the mechanics and biology of sleep is really useful because change is easier to handle when you understand the reasons for it.

For example - how often have you heard or read about not using gadgets such as phones and tablets in the hour before you want to go to sleep? Most people resist making this change, usually for a reason that on face value sounds very logical and reasonable.

It's much easier to decide to stop using gadgets before bedtime when you understand why. In this case, the blue light emitted by your gadget interfers with the way your body produces one of the key hormones that ensuring that your body goes to sleep. The blue light is the equivalent of someone prodding and poking you in the ribs when you are trying to drop off to sleep!

So educating yourself about all things sleep can allow you to make different choices that you feel might be helpful to you.

Here are three great books that can help you to understand more about the how's and why's of sleep:

Matthew Walker: Why We Sleep

Dr Nerina Ramlakhan: Tired But Wired

Nick Littlehales: Sleep

If you'd rather not wade through the literature to find your answers, you could join my Sleep Like a Baby course. Book a short 15 min Discovery Call to find out more.

STEP 2 - Change stuff!  There are a lots of really simple changes that you can put in place that will lead to a rapid improvement in your sleep quality and quantity.  Not only will you feel better, but you will be minimising potentially horrible consequences on your long-term health.

You need to give your body and mind time to adjust to the change you're making, so my advice is to:

  • Take 1 thing that you've learnt about and implement it for 7 days, e.g. not looking at gadgets in the hour before you want to go to sleep.

  • Keep a note of how you feel on the 1st, 4th and 7th mornings as you check in consciously to see what feels different. You could ask yourself things like:

    • How do I feel this morning?

    • Did I get to sleep any more easily than usual?

    • Did I wake up during the night?

    • What time did I wake up this morning?

    • Does anything else feel different?

  • Then follow this up for the next 7 days with a different change and repeat the process.

The aim here is to be curious about what works for your body. Some things may work better than others, so it's not about beating yourself up if something doesn't work, but more about noticing if there are any changes. If there is a positive change, then keep doing what works for you. If you don't feel there's any improvement, that's ok, let it go and try something else.

STEP 3 – Have a plan and a cheerleader to support you. This last bit is crucial. Making change happen can be tough, especially if you're trying to change something that may have been going on for years or linked to a particularly traumatic time in your life or a specific event.

You are likely to hit challenges that will undermine what you are trying to achieve, even if your motivation level is high.  Working with a plan, someone who understands fatigue and who can support you will keep you on track. It’s why people go to slimming groups and work with personal trainers, so why not do the same for your sleep?!

If you would like to know more about how I can support you to change your sleep issues, get in touch and let's have a quick 15 min chat. You can find a time by using this link HERE

I am a fatigue and energy expert, specialising in supporting people with chronic fatigue conditions like M.E, /Chronic Fatigue and Post Viral Fatigue Syndromes and Fibromyalgia to get their life back, and go on to live healthy and vibrant lives. 

If you have fatigue, and recognise that sleep issues are part of the problem, then get in touch.

Contrary to popular opinion, it is 100% possible to get your life back!!

* This statistic comes from website where you can find lots of other stats the impact lack of sleep has on our health and wellbeing


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