Is it time to go to a Sleep Retreat?
When was the last time you got a night of blissful sleep? You know that uninterrupted, eight hour, deeply restorative, bounce out of bed in the morning type of sleep. Sleep has been huge struggle for me. Every night is a battle of body vs brain, where my body is tired and ready to sleep but my brain decides to have a party. On a bad night I could spend up to 3 hours trying to fall asleep. Tossing and turning, counting sheep, deep breathing, and sniffing every essential oil under the sun until I eventually give up and nod off. When I did finally fall asleep, I would wake frequently due to someone’s snoring, kicking, needing to go to the bathroom or for seemingly no reason at all. I would lay there in the darkness, dreading the morning knowing that because I didn’t get enough sleep I would be exhausted, irritable, overly hungry and not very productive. The alarm would go off, my adrenaline would surge through the roof as I got dressed and marched downstairs to make myself a cup of coffee before a gruelling hour at the gym where I wold smash my adrenals some more.
A few years of this, plus the daily grind of running two businesses and busy household, led to complete and utter burnout in 2016. I literally had to stop everything because my body was exhausted. While my story is a little severe, I am not alone. Turns out I’m not alone, a mere 5% of Australians are sleeping soundly every night. That leaves 95% of us sleep deprived and at risk of serious health problems.
Sleep deprivation occurs when we get less sleep that we need to feel awake and alert. The amount of sleep we need varies from person to person, but generally if you’re getting fewer than seven hours per night you’re at risk.
Although occasional sleep interruptions are generally no more than a nuisance, chronic sleep deprivation can lead to fatigue, anxiety, weight gain, poor job performance, poor sex drive, irritability and more serious health problems.
Good sleep doesn’t just happen however. You have to learn to be a good sleeper and cultivating good sleep hygiene. You have to prioritise good sleep from the moment you wake up. It sounds counter intuitive I know, but my morning adrenal smash was a recipe for disaster and a huge contributor to why I couldn’t get to sleep.
So where does one learn these vital sleep skills? At a sleep retreat of course!
When you think of retreats, you don’t instantly think of four days dedicated to sleeping. But with most of us being sleep deprived, it’s really quite a genius concept. Imagine spending four days in pure relaxation, lazing around in the comfiest beds, breathing in fresh country air in the sleepy town of Bowral.
Imagine gorgeous walks around a beautiful property, nightly journaling and meditation sessions and indulging in the most exquisite food - all designed to foster the most restorative sleep you’ve ever had.
To be honest I had no idea what to expect from a sleep retreat, and assumed we would spend our time trying to catch up on the many lost hours of sleep. I was pleasantly surprised and left with an artillery of knowledge on how to be a good sleeper.
I had no idea that a handful of my daily practices, seemingly harmless, were actually disrupting my sleep. Chances are you’re probably doing them too! I’ve also walked away with a customised sleep ritual that helps me get to sleep faster. Since the retreat I still have the odd night of bad sleep, but they are far and few between. My anxiety is down, my skin is clearer and I am a happier, less irritable and more content human.
Good news is The Good Night Co is putting on another sleep retreat from Sep 5-8. This is the perfect opportunity to learn the potential reasons for your own disrupted sleep patterns. While you’re there, take advantage of having your own Naturopath on hand for 4 days who can help you to uncover the reason for your own sleep issues and how to correct them, ensuring you get the most out of your newly designed sleep ritual.
For more details and booking click here.