So, you've got a busy day and some very important decisions to make, but you feel tired. You've hit a slump. Do you push through it, have a a coffee and carry on, or take a nap?
Take a nap, of course!
Because the old saying of 'I'll sleep on it' really works! Granny was right all along, and you need a nap if you're tired. Because a good nights sleep helps keep your brain healthy.
Just a nice little nap can improve thinking, mood, memory, and learning, according to recent research from Bristol University. We all know children are a little 'cranky' when they're tired. Maybe we aren't so different now we are grown.. We may have worked hard to hide it, overcome it, deal with it, and act professional, but if we are tired nothing is better for our well-being than a nap.
The scientific research shows it's just better to follow the natural Circadian rhythms of your body and take a nap. Our natural body clock creates a 24-hour sleep pattern using the secretion of the hormone melatonin. Melatonin is triggered by darkness and inhibited by light. Especially the blue light emitted by the screens we all love so much now. So lots of us are sleep-deprived nowadays.
Nasa recommends 8 hours sleep a night for astronauts to keep mentally and physically healthy with good cognitive functions (Nasa Science: June 3rd, 2005). We may not be astronauts, but if 8 hours sleep helps mental health let's 'do a moon walk' and aim for it! It's the cheapest, easiest, most natural way to stay well.
Whether you get 8 hours sleep, or not, research shows that Napping helps your brain to work faster, and process information that is not in your conscious mind. So we can use all of the information at our disposal and make better decisions if we 'sleep on them'. (University of Bristol study: Oct 4th, 2018)
But Depression, Anxiety, and Stress can all disrupt our sleep and Circadian rhythms. For example, Cortisol is released in higher amounts when we are stressed, and this can affect our Circadian rhythms, But being deprived of sleep can also be a cause of anxiety, heighten depression, anger, confusion, and fatigue, according to studies.
So many aspects of our normal function are affected by a lack of sleep, or poor-quality sleep. Lower levels of melatonin increase circulating adrenalin and noradrenalin, which may play a part in damage to blood vessel walls and have coronary function implications. But taking regular naps reduces tension and can help reduce your risk of heart disease.
Have you ever felt so tired that you were hungry and snacked on all sorts of things you didn't want to eat? That's because when you don't get enough sleep your body can be triggered to produce more of the hunger hormone ghrelin. So not getting enough sleep may make you put on weight, according to a study from Stanford University! Let's all sleep our way to a better diet.
Having regular naps can be good for your heart, brain, skin, immune system, and may promote muscle-building growth hormones. It could also help your sex drive through the production of testosterone, as well as being really good for general well-being and Mental Health.
So as this week has been Mental Health Week this would be a really good time to make a pledge to lead a healthier life-style to promote good Mental Health. We can start to do this by getting enough sleep and taking naps alongside a healthy diet, good hydration, and regular exercise.
So, what's the best way to take a nap?
When you feel that dip in energy, instead of pushing through, or taking a stimulating drink like coffee, take yourself off to a quiet place, or the car for a nap. Put your alarm on for 15-20 minutes time. If you nap for longer you may wake up feeling groggy. Get comfy, take a few deep breaths, then just relax and let sleep take over if you're tired. Don't worry if you can't sleep at first, just regular relaxation will help you establish a pattern.
If you have anxiety, depression, or stressful problems that make relaxing, or sleep, difficult and want to talk about them just make an appointment with me. Or if you want to discuss strategies to help you sleep, make an appointment and I will help you.
I hope you've had a good Mental Health Awareness Week, and that every week will be a pleasure for you.
Mothers day can be a time of intense sadness. But because it is rightly a celebration, a time of thanks and appreciation for all that Mother’s do, the sadness is mostly suppressed and rarely expressed which can be unhealthy.
The day has become very commercial so it’s hard to watch TV, listen to the radio, or buy your groceries without being assaulted by beautiful tributes to Mothers, many people quietly suffer.
perhaps the pain is fresh, heart wrenching, and it’s hard not to cry. Or maybe it’s a pervasive sadness, a pang of remorse, or heartfelt wish that things had been different. Others celebrate in a way tinged with sadness as they also remember their loss. Sometimes if we suppress these feelings they can lead to anger, anxiety, or depression. Talking about them in counselling can help.
Perhaps you have lost your mother, partner, or a child. This intense grief can last many years. Many women find it hard to express their grief following a miscarriage. While those who have terminated a pregnancy, no matter how valid the reason, can suffer a complexity of emotional responses. Complex emotions also affect men.
When you want a child, but are unable to conceive, you come to terms with the situation and move on. But you still have to live with being childless, and the reasons, or repercussions. Perhaps you were sick, or stayed with a partner who didn’t support you to have children, then missed your chance. Maybe you set the love of your life free, so they could have children. Or someone you loved deeply left you because of infertility. Our lives are all different, but we are the same in needing to express our emotions appropriately. This can happen in counselling. You will be supported and the pain will lessen. Therapy can address anger, lessen anxiety and lift depression. So you can learn how to look after your emotions and move on with your life.
Have a great day celebrating the marvel of Motherhood and the joys of family life.
It's Valentine's Day
Do you love it, hate it, or is it just another day?
However you feel, it's hard to ignore it because it is everywhere!
So if you are in a rocky relationship, or have lost someone you loved, today can be hard and put extra pressure on you. At times you may feel your heart is torn and you are filled with pain.
Perhaps you suffer anxiety that grips your stomach, moves to your chest, throat and head, making it hard to breathe, think, or do anything, so that your job and eve thing suffers.
Perhaps you feel panic and fear, sadness looking back at happier times, and mourn the loss of those you loved. If you feel that you are doomed to repeat bad relationship, or any of these feelings you can become depressed or very frustrated and angry.
You may want to deny your feelings and try to cover up, look normal, not want people to think you are having a 'pity party', or doing worse than them.
Well, if you associate with any or all of this you are not alone!
Days like Valentine's Day are great when things are going well, but not so good when you feel they are not.
Would you like to change how you feel? To be happier and working towards the life you want to lead?
Well here is the good news, you can!
You deserve it, and I can help you get there.
Yes, you have to do your part. It is not magic. But you can start on the path to a life you want to lead, with the happiness and contentment you deserve. You can learn to love yourself, and this can overflow to others and back to you.
I can help you get there.
So contact me for an appointment. Evenings and Weekends can be arranged, if you are busy all day.
Sessions can be by telephone, over the internet, or face to face, so you can be anywhere in the world.
Start loving yourself more today, and book an appointment. Nina 07944897678
Happy Valentines Day!