Can't switch off? Feeling on edge and irritable? Desperate for a really good night's sleep?
You really would like to wind down and relax but modern life has other plans for you. When the birds start chirping you desperately want to stay a little longer under the doona but that desire is squashed by the need to get to work or get the kids off to school.
Once you are awake it's difficult to slow down. You are subject to an increasing onslaught of information and stimulation unlike anything humanity has previously known. One edition of the Sydney Morning Herald contains more information than someone in the 17th Century encountered in a whole lifetime. No wonder your mind is busy and can't switch off.
Its not surprising that so many clients we work with at Live Well are what I call 'wired but tired'. It's easy to become wired when your nervous system, which is responding to an avalanche of stimulation runs faster and faster just to keep up.
As a consequence of being wired, it becomes progressively harder to switch off. Have you ever noticed how babies when they get overtired can’t settle and become increasingly distressed? As adults the same process is happening but we are better at pushing through the tiredness barrier and soldiering on. In other words you are good at 'switching on' and even when you do stop for a moment your nervous system stays on standby mode, ready to leap into action again at a moments notice. It’s not surprising all this go, go, go leaves you feeling deeply exhausted.
So how do we access the deep rest our bodies are craving? Try these tips:
One night a week, go electronics free: switch off the TV, turn off you mobile phone and hide the laptop. Better still turn off all devices at least 2 hours before sleep and give you body and mind a chance to unwind.
Include a relaxation practice in your day, even a five minutes starts to re-train your nervous system to unwind.
Get out in nature or learn to meditate both are very healing and proven to reduce stress.
Let go of multi-tasking all day. Find space in each day where you can stick to one task. Your nervous system will thank you.
Remember to breathe. A few deep mindful breaths will quickly bring your mind and body into the moment and offer your nervous system a much needed pause.
Reach out and get support. Acupuncture is exceptionally good at helping rewire you body and mind to relearn how to access deep relaxation and restful sleep and Herbal Medicine can profoundly soothe an irritated and depleted nervous system.
Wes Smith is Live Well's Director and has 20 years experience as a practitioner and wellness educator. He has a special interest in working with chronic immune issues, stress, anxiety and depression.
Wes is passionate about inspiring and educating people to create and sustain their vitality and wellbeing so they can live life to the full.
Wes has a B.App.Sc.(Acup), Diploma of Herbal Medicine, a Yoga Teaching Diploma and is an APHRA registered acupuncturist.