Improving sleep performance with our minds
Executive and performance coach Cristina Lopez explores mental toolkits to improve the way we sleep.
Cristina Lopez: Executive and performance coach who studies the neuroscience of leadership.
(Resources can be found at the bottom.)
When I go through cycles of insomnia I wake up at the same time every night. Any tips?
When we go to sleep, we're not actually intentional with the quality we want to have in our sleeping cycle.
A lot of people underestimate that our consciousness plays a huge role in this. If you have been paying attention to the fact that you're waking up at the same time every night, it hardwires in the subconscious.
Our mind has the power to stop interrupted patterns in our sleep.
If you set the intention, your subconscious can override the pattern you’ve created. Before you go to sleep, focus on overriding your thinking pattern. Tell yourself that you will sleep restfully without being interrupted.
We are capable of training the waking up patterns just as much as we’re able to train how much you want to stay in the deep sleep resting cycle as well.
I have issues with sleeping by myself at night. Any suggestions?
If your fears of sleeping alone are caused by past trauma, it’s because past experiences- even ones that happened a long time ago- remain in your subconscious mind.
Try out mind movies. Do this 30 minutes to 1 hour before bed to set the tone for your sleep.
Envision yourself as being the director of your own film. Visualize the process of going to sleep, but related to the space that you're in. This will help in creating a sense of safety.
It’s essentially meditation for your nervous system.
Rewire the narrative and change the whole sleeping experience itself.
I see the same collection of dreams all the time. Is it normal to remember my dreams in great detail?
If you're feeling like there's an uncomfortable narrative that keeps reappearing, try the call and response technique.
This entails asking yourself for guidance when it comes to messages within your dreams.
The subconscious plays a role in a lot of people’s sleep problems. Before sleep, acknowledge the expectation of having your recurring dream.
Ask yourself: “Subsconscious, allow me to understand what is happening in my dream, and when you do so, can you please show me gently.” This is going to change the tone of the dream and give you more clarity of why you might be experiencing them.
While battling with insomnia, I explored all of the psychological ways that I could try and get sleep. Surprisingly, I overcame my insomnia through nutrition. Thoughts?
Nutrition probably plays a role in 60% of most people’s sleeping problems.
I wanted to understand sleep problems from the perspective of the mind. I explore the subconscious and help people rewire from that level.
Check out how our Smart Supplement can support your sleep here.
I’ve been a night person my entire life. Are there any ways to become a morning person?
Visualize how you want to live your mornings.
You can be intentional about how you want to wake up.
Read about Dan’s battle with insomnia, and how he overcame it through nutrition here.
Read sleep expert Sophie Bostock’s tips on how to sleep better here.
Matthew Walker’s ‘Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams’.
For parents: Dr. Craig’s ‘It’s Never Too Late to Sleep Train: The Low-Stress Way to High-Quality Sleep for Babies, Kids, and Parents’.
Alex Soojung-Kim Pang’s ‘Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less’.