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Sleeping Tips From An Insomnia Expert

Updated: Aug 9, 2023

For over 30 years, sleep coach and insomnia expert Lana Walsh tried everything in her quest for a decent night’s sleep. After numerous failed doctors’ prescriptions, Lana was left to figure and research the science of sleep on her own.

Fast-forward several years and Lana is free from chronic insomnia. From routines to mindset, here she shares some of the life lessons she’s learnt along the way…

Stick To A Routine

The truth is, if you need to catch up on sleep on the weekends, you're not getting enough sleep during the week. Rather than lying in, try to establish and maintain better sleep patterns so that you’re not tired. As Lana explains, “spending more time in bed doesn't equal more hours of sleep. Nobody should be spending more than eight hours in bed. My number one tip is to get up at the same time every day. I find that is the most important thing that you can do. It's even more important than what time you go to bed at night.”

“Spending more time in bed doesn't equal more hours of sleep. Nobody should be spending more than eight hours in bed.”

Take Time To Wind Down

A lot of the time, our minds are spinning with thoughts the minute we hit the pillow. Lana recommends limiting your technology use in the evenings. “I have a timer on my phone that turns off my apps at 10:00 PM.” According to Lana, “it's that subtle reminder that we’re supposed to shut this down and get ready for bed.”

“One of the biggest things is taking at least 30 minutes at the end of the night to wind down. I can't believe how many people don't do that, even though it's so common.” she adds.

Genetics Play A Part

“When it comes to how much sleep you need, the experts will say you should be getting seven to nine hours but really how much sleep you need is genetic and our sleeping needs decrease with age,” she admits. “Everybody's needs are different, I have worked with clients who are good with six hours and I've worked with clients who need more than eight hours.”

If you wake up feeling tired, despite having eight hours of sleep, this could be a sign your cortisol levels are out of balance. Cortisol is our stress hormone that fluctuates throughout the day. Lana recommends to ask yourself these 3 questions “Do you need an alarm clock to wake up? Are you sleeping in on the weekends? Do you feel drowsy during the day? If you say yes to any of those questions then you probably need more sleep.”

“Sleep is a skill that some people just forget how to do.”

Calm Your Mind

We often don’t appreciate that everything that happens during the day shapes our sleep: what, when and even how we consume our information emotionally plays a massive part on our sleep. “Difficult conversations or documentaries can keep you up from sleeping if you have difficulty shutting down at night, leaving you tossing and turning for hours. I would suggest keeping your content light about an hour before you sleep.”

Additionally, Lana also advises to really think about the conversations we have before our heads hit the pillow “I have clients who only have time to have a conversation with their partners when they’re away from their kids, which ends up being in bed just before they sleep. Most of the time, these conversations are about money or their work life, making it hard for them to shut down.”

“It's all about the behaviours, the beliefs, and the understanding about sleep and then implementing specific strategies at night.”

Lastly, A Reminded For Our Members

Getting an early night is the real secret to improved strength and more efficient recovery. Lana explains, sleep plays a vital role when exercising. “Our bodies heal during deep sleep, this is when we produce more white blood cells, which help to fight infection and muscle repair happens at this time.”

Additionally, “exercise helps us sleep because we're stressing our bodies and our brain responds to physical stress by increasing that level of deep sleep because it needs to recover.” So, building that extra time in bed may well be the secret to a stronger body. The benefits go both ways: deeper sleep ensures your energy stores and muscle function are replenished, while a gym routine will help you sleep faster.

You might not be alone in feeling constantly tired, but that doesn’t mean it’s normal. To help you understand why you might be feeling this way, and to get your energy back on track please contact Lana Walsh on:

DISCLAIMER: Articles published by Gold’s Gym Calgary are not intended to treat or diagnose. Please seek advice of your qualified healthcare provider for any additional questions you may have regarding a medical condition, exercise or other health-related problem.

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