“If I had a penny for every article I read on why getting enough sleep matters, I would be a rich man,” grumbled my exasperated patient. He had read countless stories on why sleep is important. From a better mood to a slimmer waistline to a better sex life, he was well aware of the benefits of getting a good night’s sleep. Alas, I decided not to mention a new study that found going to bed between 10 and 11 pm reduces risk of heart disease.
He didn’t need more information on WHY sleep is as vital as the air we breathe or the food we eat. What he needed was an actionable strategy outlining HOW to fall asleep.
Like many people I know, he had difficulty getting into sleep mode. The moment he got into bed and turned the lights off, his mind woke up. No matter how exhausted he was, his thoughts started dancing the second his head hit the pillow.
We may have gained an extra hour last weekend but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we gained an extra hour of sleep. Only a small number take advantage of the added slumber time. In fact, many feel more sleep deprived because the shift in the body’s daily sleep-wake cycle can disrupt sleep for several days.
If you are having trouble falling asleep, the 4-7-8 technique can help you quiet your unquiet mind. It’s the stuff sweet dreams are made of.
“Insomnia is a glamorous term for thoughts you forgot to have in the day.” — Alain de Botton
I wish you all the best,
Dr. Samantha Boardman