Recharging Your Batteries – practical tips for getting a good night’s sleep

We all know that management is a demanding task and to rise to the challenge of each day a good night’s sleep is an essential part of every manager’s toolkit to be able to develop and progress.

If you look half asleep you will be disorganised, ineffective, inefficient and putting it bluntly at the mercy of both your line manager and those whom you line manage.

Try the following simple steps and make them work for you.

  1. Start making it dark in your house earlier in the evening than you might normally do. Avoid a trip to the Gym in an effort to wear yourself out – you will be far better spending time getting attuned to your natural body rythmn as the sun goes down.
  2. Eat some carbohydrate before bedtime. Carbohydrate foods are things like potatoes, rice, pasta, porridge oats, bread. If you are hungry while asleep this will not help you to stay asleep.
  3. Drink warm milk with a spoonful of honey before retiring to bed.

Alcohol is a temporary crutch and not a sustainable cure for insomnia.

Avoid anything fizzy like the plague.

  1. When you are in bed, try this relaxation technique:

It’s best to start with your face. Relax your jaw. Make sure your mouth is slightly open.

Really concentrate on relaxing your face. It will be tense almost certainly – relax it.

If you are worried about sleeping, or anything else, you face will be tense, and this makes it very difficult to get to sleep, so relax all of your face. When your face is fully relaxed you can imagine and feel your worries drifting away.

Imagine them floating away into the distance until they disappear.

Especially relax your jaw and your forehead – and open your mouth a little.

Then work your way up from toes, ankles, knees, etc.

Relax each section before moving on to the next.

Check every now and then that your face and jaw and forehead are still relaxed, and if worries reappear imagine them drifting away again until they disappear.

  1. Imagine any remaining tension flowing out of your body through your toes, fingers, the crown of your head. Imagine it and feel it.

Imagine your toes and fingers tingling as you release. Feel your body relaxing – there will be little sensations that you can feel as you relax and surrender. Feel for these sensations – focus inwardly on how your body feels.

Feel your heart gently beating. Feel your breathing getting slower. Feel all over relaxing.

  1. If you are still awake, check your breathing. Your breathing will have slowed. Concentrate on slowing it further.

Breathe into your neck, then your chest, then abdomen.

Avoid ‘trying’ to breathe. Let your body do it for you. It’s actually quite a well-proven phenomenon – your body will breathe by itself..

Exhale fully.

  1. Think of the colour purple. Make it appear in your mind’s eye. Other colours may appear at first, but aim for the purple. Relax into the waves of purple.
  2. Roll your closed eyes upwards three times, at any pace you like. (This happens naturally when you are falling asleep and evidently triggers some sleep chemical in our body).

Be refreshed and committed at work the next day – ever wondered why senior politicians and national leaders never look frazzled and worn out? They may have staff to deal with their workload but they all get a good night’s sleep. All the time.

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