I’ve chosen to consider how sleep affects my happiness first because I think it has the most obvious effect. You know when you’re tired everything will be just that little bit harder, things will irritate a little bit more and its more difficult to remain calm, positive and, well, happy.
I’ve never been a good sleeper. In fact, my mother tells me I only slept for 3 hours a day as a baby. Wouldn’t it be great if that was the case now, all that extra time to get things done.
However my problem, now, is not being able to get to sleep; I don’t understand people like the husband who can fall asleep in the middle of a sentence or if he sits still for too long. So it frequently takes me an hour or two to get to sleep and I will then sleep until the alarm goes off when I wake up tired. What I would like, is to fall asleep quicker so I got more sleep and would then hopefully feel less tired, happier and may wake up earlier and have more time in the day.
We already have a bodyclock which I think is fantastic. It starts lighting up 30 minutes before the alarm goes off and gradually get brighter and is meant to wake you up more naturally. I have to admit that most of the time I wake up to the alarm, but on those days when I make up to the light I feel especially happy.
You said you have a problem with sleep, but you are not very sleepy during the day, which indicates your body is probably getting the sleep it needs. Quality of sleep is more important than quantity. There’s room to improve your score.
Interestingly also on the bbc website there is also a game to test reaction time. I achieved an average score of 0.3024 seconds which is in the second to bottom lowest rating band and they recommend I have some caffeine!
As I would like to try and fall asleep more easily, I have looked around for some tips:
- use breathing exercises (breathe in for 3 seconds from the chest, breathe out for 3 seconds, pause for 3 seconds) for 10 minutes in the evening
- use lavender oil
- take regular day time exercise
- do not eat a large meal close to bedtime
- if tossing and turning get up and do something else until feel tired
- create a habit of going to bed and getting up times
- establish a bed time routine
- remove all distractions from the bedroom
- if there are things on your mind before going to bed, write them down
I’m going to give some of these ideas a go and I’ll see if it makes any difference to how I sleep and if that affects my happiness, remembering that the bbc site says “even after only four hours, the brain has gained many of the important benefits of sleep.”