Hi. My name is Chris Lindsay, from Welcome to this live video. This is the first in a series of videos on helping you to get out of survival mode. What if there was one thing you could do that by spending more time doing each day, you’d help prevent type 2 diabetes and heart disease. You’d feel better physically and emotionally. You’d boost your immune system. You’d improve your memory, recall, decision making and attention. You’d actually look younger as well and put yourself in a good mood. Prevent depression, reduce stress and anxiety and even help with weight management. So what is this magical thing you might ask? It’s sleep. Sleep amazingly can provide all these benefits and the amount of sleep can play a vital role in determining your overall health. Help prevent type 2 diabetes, heart disease, improve mood, reduce stress and anxiety and help prevent depression. So it’s something that’s really important.

If sleep is so vital and so good for our health why are we not getting more of it? Obviously with today’s stressful lives and pressures of time and work often sleeping it pushed to the side and ignored. A lot of successful entrepreneurs talk about, you can sleep when you’re dead, or sleep is for losers. It’s always sort of considered the virtuous thing to be getting less sleep and putting sleep to the side, or if you want to be successful, you shouldn’t bother with sleep. But from my personal experience and what I’ve read and researched, I would disagree. Sleep is vital to be successful. Bill Clinton, even when he was interviewed said a lot of mistakes that he made during his political career and poor decision were based on a lack of sleep. The Sleep Foundation and UK Sleep Council suggest that you should be getting between Seven and nine hours sleep every night. You also should try to get to bed at the same time every night. Getting to bed at a consistent time gets your body into a routine. Often we lose sleep during the week and think we can catch up at the weekend on Saturday and Sunday, by maybe sleeping 10 or 12 hours, but the challenge is if you build up a sleep debt over many weeks sleeping longer on the weekend is not going to help undo that. Also sleeping longer on the weekends will lead to potentially you waking on Monday morning feeling more sluggish because your body’s got out of the routine. Try to get into consistently getting up at the same time every day. Yes, maybe ay the weekend spend an extra one or two hours in bed but try to stick as close to the same routine.

The challenge is trying to go to bed at a decent time in the evening. But with the pressure of trying to do things like watch television or whatever it might be. Try to get into a routine of going to bed at a decent time, maybe 10:30 or 11:00 pm, getting up at 7 am, but obviously it is different from person to person. Getting enough sleep, between seven and nines hours is vital, but just as important is the quality of sleep not only the quantity. You can be lying in bed for eight hours. But how much of that time are you actually asleep? A good measure of sleep health is how long it takes you actually to fall asleep. If you’re falling asleep within 10 or 15 minutes of lying down and closing your eyes, that’s a good sign. If you are falling asleep immediately the second, your head hits the pillow that suggests you have a sleep deficit and you’re maybe not getting quite enough sleep. Equally, if you’re lying awake for hour after hour, your brain can’t wind down and is still in overdrive, your heart racing, and you might feel the tension in your shoulders or in your body. That would suggest that you need to try some kind of relaxation exercises. Heart racing and tension can be a result of stress.

You’ve had a stressful day. You still have stress hormones running around your body, which is really not conducive to good sleep. Trying to relax and do relaxation exercises just before you go to bed. This is one good way of trying to your body to wind down so when you do actually lie down to sleep, you’ll fall asleep quickly and get a substantial amount of time sleeping. So two examples of good exercises or practices for getting body wound down if you’re in a stressed state would be breathing exercises and also Progressive Muscle Relaxation. Progressive muscle relaxation is when you go through the body tensing groups of muscles and then relaxing them. I’ve got great video on YouTube which you can follow here. That’s something you can try just before going to sleep. And help wind yourself down before sleep. Breathing exercises one would be box breathing. This is something the Special Forces would use as part of their training regime. Box breathing as you might Imagine by the name is using a box. You’re breathing in for four seconds, holding your breath for four seconds. And let it out over four seconds, and pausing at the bottom of the breath once exhaled for four seconds.

When you’re breathing a key thing is to try to do tummy breathing, or abdominal breathing instead of from your chest like a lot of us do. You’ll get much better deeper breaths filling the lungs, getting more air in by breathing from your tummy. Practice, for example, the Box breathing place one hand on your stomach and as you breathe in feel your stomach Rise by two centimetres then as you exhale feel it drop it back by two centimetres. Lets practice that now, we breathe in for four seconds. Hold for four seconds, exhale over four seconds. And then pause for four seconds and then repeat that cycle.

You can increase to five or six seconds with practice and eventually you should fall asleep. Or at least your body should be able to wind down allowing you to fall asleep.

That’s one example of what you can do to help get yourself out of survival mode and reduce the stress and tension in your body before going to sleep and wake feeling more energised and feel ready to face the day. One thing which you can use to supplement sleep. If you’re not getting quite the seven to nine hours is a nap. You might find in the afternoon between 1 pm and 4 p.m you feel sluggish after lunch. You could take a nap for maybe 20 or 30 minutes. No more than 30 because you want to make sure you don’t go into that deep sleep and wake to feel groggy. Naps potentially can increase your productivity by as much as 34% based on research. So that’s definitely something that, if you’re able to do of course. Not everyone is like Google which provides sleep pods.

Of course, you can’t necessarily take a nap at the office. But if that’s something you can do a little 20 or 30-minute nap, can help to boost you. It would be the equivalent to taking a cup of coffee. So if you want to avoid that cup of coffee, you can take a nap. That is something you can definitely consider doing as well. Just to boost your sleep. Try to get into that routine of sleeping regularly. I hope you found this video beneficial? Please let me know in the comments how much sleep you’re getting and any of the techniques you’ve tried. Progressive Muscle Relaxation or the breathing exercises, the Box Breathing to help improve your overall health and well-being and get yourself out of survival mode. I’ll post another video next week in this video series. Thanks for watching.

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“Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines practiced daily.” ~ Jim Rohn

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