How would you describe your sleep?
The students who practice with me every Wednesday, report better sleep, and waking up feeling refreshed. We all know how terrible it feels after a bad nights sleep, and how difficult it can be to get through the day.
My advice to you (if you want it) is to use sleeplessness, waking up tired or yawning all day, as a wake up call.
Sleeping pills or medications might be super helpful initially, but over time, they become less effective. The complete opposite is true for yoga as a method for sleep and nervous system recovery. That's not just because my career seems more legit now, it's because you acquire the skills to down regulate your nervous system.
How do you know if you’re sleeping well? Averages (adults need 6-8 hours a night) or specificity (must be 8 hours uninterrupted) doesn’t work when it comes to sleep. Some people genuinely feel satisfied with five hours sleep, others wake up exhausted after 8, and want to nap during the day. Our sleep drive, and our ability to get it, decreases over time, so there is no such thing as an average adult. What happens though is the average or specificity, leaves people more anxious about their sleep, which of course doesn’t make for sweet dreams.
Self assessing sleep can be tricky, a person’s beliefs and perceptions are wrapped up in their reporting of sleep each night. ‘I didn’t sleep a wink’ turns into, a few hours slightly broken sleep when we discuss and write a sleep log. Sleep trackers can falsely report a sleep disturbance, when in fact what it’s picking up is deep REM sleep, and we can get caught up looking at the stats, rather than noticing how we feel.
The question is then; how can we gently start to consider the quality of our sleep?
One useful marker is; relaxed calm sleepers are less likely to be disturbed by sounds. If you consider yourself a light sleeper, wake up at the slightest noise or change in light, yoga can help. Far from worrying about your sleep right now, you could, if you wanted treat that little piece of info as a wake up call to practice yoga with me every week.
The postures we practice draw tension out of the muscles and induce sleep, which is perfect since our session finishes just before 9pm. Click here for more information.