The Importance of Sleep – Day or Night
Not all workers work through the day. There is another set of workers working just as hard through the night. They are the shift workers who sleep by day and work at night spread across many and varied industries.
From air traffic controllers, pilots, IT professionals, health care workers, truck and transport drivers, hospitality, police, firefighters, bakers, farmers, engineers, road construction and maintenance. The list is endless. It’s well documented that the non-traditional work hours can and does have negative emotional, social and physical impact on their lives. Some thrive working night shift and prefer it while others find it challenging and tiresome.
Whether you’re a night owl or not, staying up all night influences your well-being.
When you don’t sleep for long periods, your sleep/wake patterns end up out of sync with your biological clock or circadian rhythm also out of sync. This disrupted pattern has been associated with increased risk of developing cardiovascular, metabolic and gastrointestinal disorders, diabetes and mental health issues.
We live on a clock, whether we want to or not, a natural body clock. The rhythms of our days are at least partly biological. Physiological functions, as well as social and cultural events, occur in cycles. Even in our modern technological world, these cycles are important and measurable differences in abilities are everyday tasks (cognitive and physical) depend on the time of day and where the body is within its cycles.
It is important that we be aware of our rhythms and the rhythms of others.
The body’s physiological processes differ considerably in how sensitive they are to circadian rhythms. Some respond more to circadian clock changes and others more to the sleep-wake process. A variety of mechanisms in the body keep it all together, and external cues from the environment entrain the body to the larger world. The most important external cue is daylight and temperature and food intake tells the body where it is on the timeline. Man-made, cultural cues are important, too. These include work and school times, television and radio programs, and the activity of friends and family. Sometimes man-made clocks clash with the body’s natural clock and this can result in circadian rhythm sleep disorders.
It is important to do your best and stick to one sleep schedule—every day. This means going to bed and waking up at the same time. Get enough sleep and make sure it is high-quality rest. When sleep has a regular rhythm, your biological clock will be in sync and all of your other bodily functions will go smoother, including your sleep.
The Stages of Sleep
Usually, sleepers pass through five stages: 1, 2, 3, 4 and REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. These stages progress cyclically from 1 through REM then begin again with stage 1.
A complete sleep cycle takes an average of 90 to 110 minutes, with each stage lasting between 5 to 15 minutes. The first sleep cycles each night have relatively short REM sleeps and long periods of deep sleep but later in the night, REM periods lengthen and deep sleep time decreases.
There five stages of sleep.
Stages 1-4 are non-REM sleep, followed by REM sleep.
Stage 1 is light sleep where you drift in and out of sleep and can be awakened easily.
In this stage, the eyes move slowly and muscle activity slows. During this stage, many people experience sudden muscle contractions preceded by a sensation of falling.
In stage 2, eye movement stops and brain waves become slower with only an occasional burst of rapid brain waves. The body begins to prepare for deep sleep, as the body temperature begins to drop and the heart rates also slows.
When we enter stage 3, we experience extremely slow brain waves known as delta waves. This is where we experience deep sleep. It is during this stage that a person may experience sleepwalking, night terrors, talking during one’s sleep, and bedwetting. These behaviours are known as parasomnias and tend to occur during the transitions between non-REM and REM sleep.
In stage 4, deep sleep continues as the brain produces more delta waves almost exclusively. People awakened from this state can feel disoriented for a few minutes.
During REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement) the brain waves copy the same activity as the waking state. The eyes remain closed but move rapidly from side-to-side, related to the intense dream and brain activity that occurs during this stage.
During the sleep cycle, one doesn’t go straight from deep sleep to REM sleep.
The sleep cycle progresses through the stages of non-REM sleep from light to deep sleep, then reverse back from deep sleep to light sleep, ending with time in REM sleep before starting over in light sleep again.
Stage 1 – light sleep
Stage 2 – light sleep
Stage 3 – deep sleep
Stage 2 – light sleep
Stage 1 – light sleep
After REM sleep, the individual returns to stage 1 of light sleep and begins a new cycle. As the night progresses, individuals spend more time in REM sleep and equally less time in deep sleep.
The first sleep cycle takes about 90 minutes from there it can average between 90 to 120 minutes. An individual can experience four to five sleep cycles a night.
Deep sleep reduces your sleep drive and provides the most restorative sleep of all the sleep stages. This is why if you take a short nap during the day, you’re still able to fall asleep at night. But if you take a nap long enough to fall into deep sleep, you have more difficulty falling asleep at night because you reduced your need for sleep.
During deep sleep, human growth hormone is released and restores your body and muscles from the stresses of the day. Your immune system restores itself.
The brain also processes, deletes information like a recycle bin and refreshes itself for a new learning day.
Slow wave sleep comes mostly in the first half of the night, REM (Rapid Eye Movement) in the second half. REM sleep typically begins about 90 minutes after you first fall asleep, with the first REM cycle lasting about 10 minutes. Each successive REM cycle lasts longer, with the final REM stage lasting up to 1 hour. Most people experience three to five intervals of REM sleep each night.
In the REM phase, breathing becomes more rapid, irregular and shallow, eyes jerk rapidly and limb muscles are temporarily paralyzed. Brain waves during this stage increase to levels experienced when a person is awake. Also, heart rate increases, blood pressure rises, males can experience erections and the body loses some of the ability to regulate its temperature.
What Stage of Sleep Do Dreams Occur?
REM sleep is the time when the most vivid dreams occur because the brain is so active during this stage. If awoken during REM sleep, a person can remember the dreams.
Muscle paralysis often accompanies REM sleep. Scientists believe this may be to help prevent us from injury while trying to act out our dreams. A person may dream 4 to 6 times each night. All people do in fact dream, whether they remember their dreams or not.
Being deprived of REM sleep some people can experience psychosis. Those who take drugs or alcohol lose out on the REM sleep stage and this is well documented that a lack of REM sleep can alleviate clinical depression. Scientific research links REM sleep to learning and memory.
The amount of time you spend in each stage also depends on your age. Infants spend almost 50% of their time in REM sleep. Adults spend nearly half of sleep time in stage 2, about 20% in REM and the other 30% is divided between the other three stages. Older adults spend progressively less time in REM sleep.
But what about sleep quality? Sleep quality is achieved by sustained rest, with sufficient time spent in each of the four sleep stages—Stages 1-3 and REM sleep—to maintain physical and mental health and function.
To all those people who are up at night while the rest of the world sleeps. Thank you for taking care while we sleep. Live well, Sleep well!
Better sleep can happen by making some simple lifestyle changes and simply following the practices of good sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene can help you develop a pattern of healthy sleep. Following these tips can give you a head start down the path to better sleep.
Always check with your health professional or practitioner first.
- Have a comfortable bedroom, dark and quiet. If light is a problem, use heavy curtains or block out blinds to cover the windows.
- Avoid caffeine within 4 hours of bedtime.
- Avoid alcohol: while alcohol may help one to fall asleep initially, it generally causes the restorative quality of sleep to suffer.
- Keep yourself well hydrated – with water preferably
- Avoid computer screens and phone screens shortly before bed.
- Refrain from vigorous exercise for three hours before bedtime.
- Relax for a while before going to sleep.
- Having sex induces sleep
- Go to bed at the same time every night, and get up at the same time every day, seven days a week, so that your body has a better chance of adapting to the desired schedule.
- One of the triggers that keeps people awake is light, so it helps to decrease your light exposure at least 30 minutes before trying to sleep, wear sunglasses on your way home, even on a cloudy day.
- Reduce your caffeine intake. If you’re drinking caffeine to stay awake, try not to drink any within four hours of the end of your shift to give your body time to metabolise the caffeine.
- Let people know what hours you will be sleeping, so they know to leave you alone
- Switch off the mind – What you think about determines your brain activity
- Reduce your Stress
- Taking quality Vitamin supplements – Magnesium, Vitamin D, Vitamin B
- Melatonin – stimulates the pineal gland in the brain releases melatonin
- ReDormin is a natural insomnia medication that helps you fall asleep faster and stay asleep for longer. Available at Pharmacies and health Food stores
- Chamomile tea
- Lavender oil few drops around your pillow
- Soak in Epsom salt bath for relaxation (which is magnesium)
- Eliminate carbohydrates before bed and consuming quality fats (Avocado and yoghurt)
- Low carbs and sugar – replace with good fats – milk, bananas cheese nuts
- Shut off all electronics 1 hr before sleep – blue light the stimulates brain
- Relaxing Music
- Establishing a regular bedtime routine and stick to it
- Making your environment conducive to sleep (e.g., keeping your bedroom dark, cool, comfortable quiet)
Please Note: If you find you are needing further help and assistance do not hesitate to contact your local health professional for advice.
Kaylene Wynn – 5th Dec 2017
Who would have thought that an AFL team called the Bulldogs could create such a powerful and uplifting experience that influenced and shifted the collective spirit of positive belief in each and every person regardless of age, gender, status, culture or even football team. It totally transcended endless people to experience a natural high that many still have not come down from.
Here is a team and business, as little as two years ago who was destined for ruin. Within a short period of time arose from the ashes like the rising of the phoenix and transformed themselves by confronting and self-correcting their issues. Moved forward with a collective vision, a key support network, leadership that built connected and nurtured relationships, a total belief and energy in what they could achieve and an understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. They thrived and survived and the rest is history!
There is nothing complicated in the formula. Human development is key. When surrounded by like- minded people who want to develop and continually improve by learning from mistakes and deficiencies, growth and success is inevitable.
It’s not about one person or one talent that exudes ego and self-entitlement and compares and competes with others and believes they are better than. It’s not about claiming credit for others work or playing the blame game or using the pecking order as a power play or being rigid and resistant to any learning and growth.
It is about a team who has a great leader who displays humility and connection, one who promotes development and accountability, one who knows and sees an individuals potential, at the same time knows what blocks that potential. A leader who has clear direction and has ability to empathise and care without ever lowering the standard. To see and connect to what is on the inside. This influence potentially unlocks something greater from within each individual and once connected is unstoppable.
A person who believes in Self, creates a team who believes in themselves and that formulates a team that can achieve anything!
When you feel a winner in your work, life, relationship or even your football team it will make you rise above any problem or obstacle you have, your job is to keep rising from the inside.
#leadership #team #winning #business #bulldogs #attitude #belief #growth #afl #development #mindful #mindset
Kaylene Wynn Copyright 2016
Self awareness is the first stepping stone in connecting with the ‘best version of you.’ Learning to focus and direct your attention inward is a discipline once established brings great learning and growth.
To be the observer Self is to practice concentration and examination without any analysis, judgement, bias or attachment.
By mastering this mental skill, it assists you to observe and understand others, which can add great value for building better and more meaningful relationships.
To know yourself is to know another.
Through Self observation, the observer self effectively reports back any thoughts, emotions and behaviours in a detached and unbiased manner. Being Self aware assists with making better choices and decisions, providing greater possibilities and opportunities and greater results to any individual. Its an empowering skill that enhances your life in every way.
The benefits of mastering the observer self are many. It provides more clarity and objectivity, improves communication and removes personalisation and self criticism, is emotionally neutral and provides a more anchored maturity, inner wisdom and open mindset.
To begin simply be the watcher and listener of your thoughts, feelings and behaviours without any attachment. Be totally present and notice what you observe without labelling or attaching any meaning. Report what your watcher of Self observes, bring it into full awareness and remember without any judgement.
At Mindfull Thinking we show people how to shift from the unconscious and automated state of being into a more conscious awakened self by simply tuning in with focus and attention. Through self awareness there is always a change for the better.
We’ve happily observed many moments of transformation and growth for many individuals. Once that observation light of awareness switches on, the pathway always remains lit.
The MindFull Thinking Group
If we are to get underneath our superficial layers to resolve our deepest life challenges we need to address the question. Who am I? How do you choose to define yourself? By gender, age, status, money, work, culture, education, success or pain? Or something more, something greater? We’re all human beings before we are anything else, that is the blank canvas we all began with.
We all have a conscious mind and a subconscious mind. Much of our behaviour is directed by our subconscious minds according to our beliefs, values, experiences and habitual patterning. We have all been influenced positively and negatively. Its these influences that shape our thinking. Unfortunately, we are generally unconscious of the beliefs that strongly influence our lives. They tend to be the ones that sabotage the best intentions of the conscious mind. Ideally we need to make conscious what is currently unconscious so we can deal with it appropriately
We also have both a personality governed by our ego and a higher mind or soul. We understand “soul” to be a unique expression of the divine. We see it as the bridge between our spiritual self and our individual physical/material being and a higher power.
As human beings, we all have some understanding of our personalities. Most of us, have minimal awareness of our soul-self. The wisdom of the ages suggests that our challenge as human beings is to become conscious of what is unconscious in us.
Our life journey is to explore those parts of our nature that are presently hidden from us so we may express ourselves more genuinely. We need to become acquainted with our shadow side, the dark and unknown parts of our psyche that we have not yet owned. We also need to meet and own our spirit side of our nature. Our ultimate aim is to embrace the opposing forces within us, the “bad” and the “good,” and bring them together in wholeness.
So what are these blocks? Blocks are our challenges. Operating in the mental, emotional and physical aspects of our foundation of well-being, they block the natural flow of energy through our being, creating stress and pain.
They indicate that something within us is out of alignment with the true nature of who we are. The blocks signal that we have unresolved personal business, or that our past and faulty programming is repeating itself.
This often reflects the character shadows that reside in our subconscious. All blocks hide our true nature, our essence, from us. Our blocks are very related to our character in who we think we are and the evolution of that character as it becomes more soul-like.
Our personality, our ego, sees blocks as problems, obstacles, limitations, difficulties and hurdles. From the personality’s viewpoint, blocks limit our ability to enjoy life, to be the best we can be.
We need to transform them as quickly as possible. They annoy, infuriate and depress us, and generally make our lives miserable.From the spiritual perspective, blocks offer our best and perhaps our only path to growth and transformation.
Paradoxically, we can only get to the positive through the negative. Like it or not, pain gets our attention. Pain also challenges the ego’s perception that it’s in complete control of our life. If we want to be rid of the pain, we must do the work that leads us to a greater consciousness and a greater self.
Our challenges come to us for good reasons to make the unconscious, conscious and if we deny the pain and strive to avoid it, our problems will grow until our suffering becomes so great we’re forced to have to learn the lessons it brings. Perhaps it is the human journey to evolve to greater consciousness. To experience the opposing pulls of our world of duality. To be open to the soul lessons and its purpose.
Kaylene Wynn – The MindFull Thinking Group
When you build a house from scratch the most important part of the build is always the foundation, as it supports the framework, to stand strong and solid.
This metaphorically is no different for ourselves.
Your foundation of well-being is what you build upon throughout life, it consists of what I call the big four, your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being.
When your foundation isn’t aligned with the big four, it will eventually fail to support anything you try to create in your life whether that be a career, relationships, health, an abundant life. When you’re aligned with all of these elements this is when you’re functioning at your best and most powerful.
To thrive we all need a strong foundation of well-being and unfortunately many have not established or developed a conscious foundation for their well-being.
Generally, people tend to focus on one or none of the big four.
Usually, its the physical component that gets the most attention when it comes to well-being such as, exercise, nutrition, money, status, house, car and just stuff.
The other components are either ignored or regarded as not important.
We’re a whole being not a part being so to work only with part of self will create consequences at some point to awaken and direct what we need to work on within.
The degree of unhappiness and sense of well-being is in direct alignment with where we’re imbalanced with the big four. All external and internal stress affect everything within our well-being.
Do you feel like you’re forever recovering from some sort of battle?
Is it an emotional, mental or physical battle?
Are you living in a constant state of recovery, tired and feeling out of alignment?
Life is all about what we’re choosing to align ourself with.
Our well-being is our own responsibility and belongs to us, not others.
Is it time to get rid of the bull-tish and connect to what is true for you and connect and build a better foundation of well-being? Help is at hand!
You’re totally worthy of it! That’s no bull!
Self-doubt has to be one of the most soul destroying habits we indulge in.
Where in life do you doubt yourself? Why do you choose to doubt you?
I say choose because everything we think, feel and do is a choice, whether that be conscious or unconscious, it’s still a choice.
Often when we’re working with individuals we see and hear their self-defeating doubts emerge from the depths within and see it change the person before our very eyes into a repressed and withdrawn shell of themselves.
Usually, no one can really answer why they choose to doubt themselves, they just do.
Well, we’re here to challenge that self-doubt and want you to rise up and challenge that self-doubt right between the eyes. Here is what self-doubt does, it disconnects you from who you really are and who you’re meant to be.
How can you function as your best self and create a happy successful life when self-doubt is stealing it away from you.
Self-doubt connects us to our lower self or false self (ego).
It steals our joy, our love, our self-trust and keeps us from knowing our real, true authentic self. It’s like you’re having a relationship with a fraudulent person, everything is fake and a lie!
Self-doubt loves indulging you in fear based thinking and specifically by playing the what if game, what if! what if! what if? Can you hear that voice within?
I know it’s a familiar inner voice to many.
Self-doubt loves to remind you “I can’t”, or something bad is going to happen.
It’s filled with excuses and justifications and is a defeatist and a liar at its core. However, the thing that amazes me the most is we believe it to be true!
The real question is who would you be without self-doubt?
What would You, your life, your work, your relationships be without self-doubt? Pause for a moment and connect to that vision and describe how it feels not to self-doubt. Empowered? Happy? Free? Energised? Excited? Motivated?
Isn’t it time to give yourself permission to shine and back yourself fully and completely without fear of failing, or fear of getting it wrong or fear of looking stupid or fear of something not working out? Exercise the courage to let go of self-doubt by connecting at a conscious level and turn your “can’t” into “can do,”
“I don’t know” into “what do I know?” “I’m not sure” into “I am sure”
“What if” into “What Is” and ask yourself “what do I know is true for me?”
We put more trust in others than we do our self. It’s your job to know and connect to your true self otherwise, you are living as an impostor.
Trust in you and always back yourself and give self-doubt a big fat boot by listening and challenging your self-talk. Everything starts with your thinking and you have the power to change it by choosing trust over self-doubt.
Transform your thinking, I know you won’t regret it! That’s the absolute truth!
We live in a world where the ego is unconsciously running the show at every level. It’s within our governments, workplaces, relationships, schools and society in general. The chaos of the world is driven unconsciously by the ego! What would an authentic world look like?
Do you know your ego self?
Do you ever feel at times there are two voices within. One feels connected and the other disjointed. These dual aspects are the ego self and the soul self. When we work with people we’re usually presented with the ego self first, as the work unfolds the real authentic self rises from the depths within.
To understand the whole self is to know the ego and the soul self. I describe the ego as the fraudulent, reckless and irresponsible part of self that’s out to sabotage our life. The real self our wise and knowing self. Some of you may know ego as the lower self and the soul as higher self. When we fully understand the ego (the personality) and soul self we can direct our life better by making better choices and creating a more happy and authentic life.
Who is running your life? Ego or the real self! The ego lives in the past or the future and uses these thoughts of fear to manipulate, control and destroy any chance of a happy or successful life. All of this happens at an unconscious level. The ego is nothing but a big bully really and can only survive when we are in pain. The one place the ego cannot live is in the present reality because we choose a more higher conscious thinking.
See if you recognise any of these traits of the ego. The Ego loves conflict, drama, judging, complaining and being the victim of life and blaming others for their pain.
Is focused on the past and future. Is highly judgemental and feels superior or inferior to others. Holds grudges. Is reactive and feels powerless, unworthy and often feels small and alone and never good enough. Always needing approval and recognition from others, is very needy and seeks attention and validation.
Full of self doubt and insecurity. Makes things personal. The thinking is often complex and intellectual and closed. Denies needing to learn. Denies love.
Do you resonate with anything here?
The traits of the true self (soul) knows equality, gratitude, connectedness, feels loved and accepted for just being oneself. Feels a humbled greatness within.
Trusts oneself implicitly and feels secure, powerful and worthy within.
Feels comfortable being alone. Is present focused and connects with simple wisdom and intuition. Has high esteem. Takes responsibility and ownership for one’s own actions, choices, thinking and life in general. A more relaxed disposition and forgives easily and is able to laugh at oneself. Connects with the bigger picture and is open to learning and growing. Resonates with love in everything they do.
Do you connect to anything here?
Its not about killing off the ego but consciously understanding this duality within. The ego is like a wild brumby that wants to lead the way, the soul self is the real driver and leader of our-self and must direct and tame, guide and utilise the ego to create a loving, happy and successful life that everyone deserves.
Every day we are presented with opportunities to show random acts of kindness and compassion, however there is always the intention in the back of peoples minds to do such things but unfortunately don’t usually follow through.
As Albert Einstein once said, “A human being experiences themselves, thoughts and feelings as something separate from others a kind of optical illusion of ones consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison to us. Out task is to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion”.
Such emotional skills like caring and empathy are necessary to build and grow a healthy society. Having constant exposure to violence through different mediums like television, video games, movies, media we become numb to the sensitivity and feelings of compassion and empathy through rewiring parts of the brain. This is a critical skill to our emotional wellbeing as it supports ones self awareness and social development.
Caring about others demonstrates compassion in action, something that we all need and can benefit from in many ways. There is now scientific research from Harvard that supports how kindness can strengthen our immune system and boosts our health and wellbeing as well as reduce depression, aggressive behaviour and increases optimism and resilience as well as support healing in general.
A strength, a oneness that is powerful beyond measure and connects within our core.
#Kindness #Power #Tolerance # compassion #oneness #connection #Love
Mindfulness involves a conscious awareness of current thoughts, feelings and behaviours within a person’s environment. Simply being the observer of self in a non-judging way, while still being able to remain open and inquisitive.
Mindfulness has the ability to stabilise and enhance our emotional and general well-being, which simply means that’s great for our long-term mental health and overall wellness.
In this ever demanding, busy and stressful world mindfulness focuses the attention on a moment of non-doing, this allows us to concentrate and maintain the attention span over extended periods of time.
With a plethora of technological influences and the continuous feed of never ending information challenging our ability to concentrate on single tasks, we find ourselves instead browsing through bits and pieces of tasks rather than using conscious focused thought.
Generally people don’t have a true awareness of their intimate inner self, because our unconscious programming has trained us to focus mainly on the outside world. There are some who feel so disconnected and look for connectedness through self-medicating, sex, drugs and alcohol.
This can be a struggle to work with, for some are so lost within that world it gives them a brief experience of what they think is connection, but its like living in an abyss as they become more alienated and isolated from within and eventually spiraling from the outside world.
Mindfulness reconnects you on many levels and awakens an aliveness that you will never want to let go of.
It brings a realisation of how non functioning you actually were as it re-connects you to an inner peace that elevates you to a new high.
Mindful awareness is simply paying attention to the present moment as we let thoughts come and go freely without any attachment.
Take a moment and get Mindfulness started, within weeks you will feel the transformation and benefits of making Mindfulness a habit.
Here is one of the Mindful techniques that is relatively easy to master.
I call it checking in and going on a MindFull Pause.
The MindFull Pause
· Set aside 15 mins each day – anytime, anywhere
· Find a quiet place
· Put yourself on pause and stop and shift your focus onto your breathing,
· Close your eyes or focus on an object and become aware only of your breathing.
· Breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose, bringing awareness into filling your lungs completely, then slowly breathe out through your mouth until you have expelled all breath
· Continue to focus on your breathing, each in breath draws in new life and each out breath a letting go of any tension, stress, worry, anger etc
· Continue and then repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, and repeat.
Mindful Breathing practices actually enhance a more balanced neurological system that makes for a perfect environment for optimal brain function. There is no doubt we can create healthier minds through positive practices of mindfulness.
This is only the start of taking your life back and becoming the best version of you!