2020 / November

I’m so tired, my mind is on the blink

I’m so Tired by The Beatles

Photo by Claudia Mañas on Unsplash

Often during the night, I find myself waking up with a really active brain. Not anything bad in terms of my thinking, but just a brain which is too active to sleep. To quote a lyric from The Beatles song I’m so tired:

You know I can’t sleep, I can’t stop my brain.

And, I guess like most people, my first reaction is to try to ignore it and go back to sleep. But then, after a while my thoughts go to another plan. Returning to The Beatles:

I wonder should I get up and fix myself a drink.

I usually then get up, make a cup of tea, take it back to bed and play bubble pop on my phone until my brain has quietened and I can return to sleep. But this week I’ve been feeling quite tired, and so I thought I’d return to some notes I made over the summer when I was listening to a podcast produced by some sleep experts. Their top tips included:

  1. Prepare yourself for bed. We should create a bedtime routine starting anything up to an hour before actually going to bed. When we do this, we can start to create physical and psychological cues which tell our body and brain that it’s time to rest.
  2. Develop a regular sleep pattern. Part of developing a good pattern of sleep is to have regular times for going to bed and getting up. That way the body knows what to do and when. But how about the treat of that weekend lie in? Well, the expert’s recon this is OK, but only if we extend our wake up time by no more than an hour.
  3. Prepare you sleep environment. It’s quite a famous story, but one of the preparations made by the British Olympic team which has been part of their success over the last decade has been focusing on the benefits of the sleeping environment. This has included athletes taking their own sleep mats and pillows so they can feel as relaxed as possible. But for us at home, this might also include not using the bedroom as a place of work, controlling light levels, and maintaining a room temperature of about 18-20c.
  4. The do’s and don’t of tech. Using your phone in bed has gained a bad reputation, especially due to the levels of blue light which it might emit. However, I’ve found that playing some games can help my mind to switch off. You could also consider app’s which are actively designed to aid sleep, such as ones which provide you with calming music, sleep inducing stories, or a sound bath.
  5. Nap control. One final idea is to limit daytime naps to 30 minutes per day and if possible, no later than 9 hours before bedtime.

So, if you’re so tired your mind is on the blink, then why not give some of these ideas a go?

Need to re-awake your life? Why not consider booking an appointment with the author, Dr Dave Wood?

I’m so tired is taken from the self-titled album The Beatles, also known as the white album.


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27 November 2020