Sleep: it’s free. And we all want more of it, so why is it so hard to get? Specifically – that consistent, restorative, uninterrupted, eight-hours-a-night kinda sleep. Which is why we’ve enlisted Sydney-based sleep expert Olivia Arezzolo to solve our myriad of sleep concerns with our Sleep Well Wednesdays series. Check back every fortnight and you’ll be off to the land of nod before you know it.
I don’t want to overwhelm you given that it is the first week of the year, you’re thick in holiday mode, and probably knee-deep in New Year’s resolutions.
Instead, I’m going to provide six simple steps to success that will help you achieve your sleep goals, and will also be applicable to your goals overall, both now and well into the new year.
Do you need ideas on what your sleep goals should be for 2023? I recommend you read the top 22 tips of 2022, and then come back here motivated to achieve a successful night’s sleep.
1. Know it’s possible – yes, you actually CAN sleep better this year.
Belief is a powerful tool. It can help or hinder us, so you must choose yours carefully. In order to support your sleep goals, believing that you can improve your sleep is the first place to start.
This can be inspired by other stories of sleep success, has someone you know transformed, or even simply improved their sleep? Similarly, have you slept well in the past or ever? People just like you have had sleeping problems in the past, and no longer do, and this can be you too.
2. Take responsibility
Once you realise that change is possible, the next step is to take responsibility for your actions, and inaction. Overhauling your sleep schedule and going to bed early, not sleeping in and avoiding alcohol, especially over the summer holidays is certainly hard.
While I appreciate this completely, it’s important you know that the opposite of this routine impairs your sleep and leads to daytime fogginess and fatigue. And yes, you probably know it, but at the same time, you may be sitting there and telling yourself, “this year I’m going to sleep well, really!” While continuing to shoot yourself in the foot with these behaviours.
I’m not saying you have to ban booze or say goodbye to any sort of evening social life, but you need to make a decision to commit to yourself, your goals and your sleep. And then follow the steps which allow you to see progress.
This may mean an adjustment of certain behaviours, but if this is allowing you to become your best you, is it really such a bad thing?
3. Get a strategy
While it’s important to think big and work towards long-term goals, here, I recommend starting small and working your way up. For example, cut out technology, and follow the recommended 8 step plan I have laid out for you.
It takes the guesswork out for you and allows you to simply show up and do the work, which is often the hardest part!
4. Get support
In order to achieve anything challenging, we all need support. And, though sleep may be simple to some, maybe it’s not to you, so setting a sleep goal or sticking to specific sleep habits may be really hard, and that’s ok.
Enlist the support of a sleep therapist, your GP or even your ‘go-to’ for goal setting and get them to hold you accountable for making change.
When things go right, celebrate. When things go wrong, deliberate. Whatever you do, work with them over time until you are doing everything you need, without fail, to see you sleep soundly each and every night.
5. Stay aligned in beliefs, behaviours, intentions and expressions
Imprinting a strong belief system is key to any goal. Knowing you can change, that you can overcome setbacks, that you can evolve and adopt new habits needs to be certain in your consciousness before it comes into your reality.
The mind achieves what the mind believes, so make sure your belief system nourishes and nurtures your sleep success. Similarly, ensure your words, behaviours and body language reflects this as well.
Any time you’re out of alignment, notice it and gently pull yourself back. It may take 10,000 times, but each time you do, you strengthen your resolve to sleep well.
6. Hold the vision strong
All of this can seem overwhelming, especially when you’re battling with fatigue on a constant basis. If this is the case, all I ask you to do is hold the vision that you can actually sleep well, even if not today.
Hold the vision that you sleep through the night, wake feeling refreshed, and fire away all day. Hold this vision strong, because one day, hopefully soon, you will wake up and to your surprise, it will be you.