Bedtime Strategies for 3 Different Sleep Issues

Bedtime Strategies for 3 Different Sleep Issues

Sleep hygiene a significant contributor to performance behaviors. Achieving optimal hygiene requires effort and perseverance. To illustrate how one might achieve sleep below are three stories about three different characters struggling with sleep: C. Want, C. Fear, and C. Loathe. “I want to sleep more.”  C. Want follows trends. Routines include variations of: caffeine to wake or to keep aroused, sugar for quick surges of energy, social media avenues to distract feelings, and typically saying ‘yes’ to everything. The body works naturally by following a biological clock that organizes by daylight patterns. Want an energetic rhythm. Set up necessary sleep hygiene for daytime napping and body-inspired bedtime cues. “I fear over-sleeping.” C. Fear delays going to bed. Routines include variations of: denying fatigue during evening hours, working more after dinner, laying in bed with the laptop or smartphone, and falls asleep on the...
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What to Do With That Busy Mind That Disrupts Performance

What to Do With That Busy Mind That Disrupts Performance

Awareness determines how time is spent. Behaviors are a reflection of brain activity. Psychologist Daniel Kahneman researched this phenomenon and summarized that  "even in the absence of time pressure, maintaining a coherent train of thought requires discipline." How does the brain get disciplined? Changing a busy brain with rampant, scattered thoughts towards attending to immediate surroundings, internal cues, and relational patterns is effortful work. Awareness improves intellectual behaviors. In his book Thinking Fast and Slow, Kahneman continues, "People who are cognitively busy are also more likely to make selfish choices, use sexist language, and make superficial judgments in social situations." Each of these indicate an inner-dialogue that excludes a mature sense of automatic behaviors and the act of regulating them. Awareness of natural and built environment factors, as well as body capacities within are additional sense factors suppressed by cognitive busyness. "Memorizing and repeating digits loosens the hold of System 2 (awareness) on behavior, but of course cognitive load is not the only cause of weakened...
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How Light May Improve Sleep and Overall Health

How Light May Improve Sleep and Overall Health

Light may lull the troubled sleeper right to sleep! Prior to the discovery of electricity, light from the sun controlled sleep-wake cycles.  Artificial light disrupts this natural rhythm, not only in our external environment but also inside our bodies. Questions to Ask: Are you aware of outdoor lighting conditions? What effect does indoor lighting have on you? Do you feel sleepy when it gets dark outside? What time do you shut off electronic screens (TV, phone, computer)? The Circadian System Our circadian system controls the processes within our body that follow a 24-hour cycle: hormone regulation, body temperature, and sleep/wake cycles. How Light Affects the Circadian System A collection of cells called the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) send signals throughout our body to help regulate us to our 24-hour day. Light travels first to our retina, then to our SCN, and ultimately to the pineal gland, which releases melatonin, the hormone that makes us feel...
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What Distorted Thinking Is and How To Stop It

What Distorted Thinking Is and How To Stop It

In the past there were few classrooms or households teaching exactly what a healthy relationship is. Parents may model valuable aspects but don't physically sit down with their children as teachers of Relationships 101. A healthy relationship from 'the inside out' identifies what communication can become. Healthy relationships begin with an honest self assessment. It requires being prepared for a life-long journey of education. It is effortful work, time and awareness to identify then replace distorted information that the mind believes as truth. There are many layers to replacing distorted thinking. Author and professor Benjamin K. Bergen explains in Louder than Words that we simulate experiences, actions and performances in our mind through a scientifically proven process called embodied simulation. "Meaning, according to the embodied simulation hypothesis, isn’t just abstract mental symbols; it’s a creative process, in which people construct virtual experiences—embodied simulations—in their mind’s eye." (Scientific American, 2012) Bergen identifies that we do this deep within our brain processes, during our waking and sleeping hours. Therefore, mental...
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One Simple Step to Get Your Sleep

One Simple Step to Get Your Sleep

Of course it is best to get those seven to eight hours of sleep in for the next day to run smoothly. The tricky part in achieving this is to pull away from that to-do list or mindless moments prior to bed time. To activate change the brain needs an inter-connection across the non-conscious and conscious domains (Charlesworth and Morton 2015). The body clock is one way to achieve sleep. Chronobiologists identified we have two types of body clocks. One reason getting to bed may be difficult is because your personal clock is socially directed toward your body's opposite needs (Keller and Smith 2014). This means practicing self-control when it comes to your attention and effort. To say, "I'm getting to bed early tonight," is a start, yet self-control requires physical methods to make a set bedtime a reality. Self-control weakens through the day. Our body performs through energy. We wake up with a full tank of energy then slowly exhaust it through mind and body activities. Since our brain...
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How Design Sensibility Impacts Performance Outcomes

How Design Sensibility Impacts Performance Outcomes

Dancing without music may appear as silly or odd. Dancing needs guided rhythm and music ignites an internal rhythm that may be expressed with movement. Design Sensibility unites mediums with sensations for best performance. The ability to improve performance through responses to sensations, complex emotional or aesthetic influences through the use of context, occupation and sense factors is design sensibility. Performance barriers may exist and misguide behavior responses including attention or situational discernment. Design sensibility offers the ability to detect an issue, identify an issue, then solve the issue. When athletes strengthen skill they first recognize their weakness. Scientists identify that when performance focused attention is externally rather than internally then performance is enhanced. If a sprinter's speed weakness then with design sensibility they may ignite a mindset to 'imagine the ground as a hotplate' in place of 'striking with your forefoot'. In parallel, an example to strengthen performance skill may be a mindset 'imagining words are ten dollars a piece' in...
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Loyalty in Life

Loyalty in Life

The word "loyalty" has deep roots. "Loyalty in life" involves perception and emotion. It's similar to allegiance and includes a sense of duty. At times our behavior isn't loyal to our values. Like snapping at someone you love because you are sleep deprived or hungry. This is an example of how loyalty can waver due to poor self-regulation. Sleep is one of the first things to go as a result of job deadlines, travel or family obligations. Anxiety becomes the antagonist to lack of loyalty! GIG Design's WholeBeSM process recognizes the following six core aspects: Physical Occupational Intellectual Spiritual Social Emotional The first step is to recognize your self-regulation issues. Loyalty in life directly affects your health, your relationships, and your success. Design Sensibility is taught with our WholeBeSM Toolkits. Read more about our services. //  ...
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How to Gain Optimal Results in Every Situation

How to Gain Optimal Results in Every Situation

Imagine working with a colleague that opposes your political beliefs. What do you do? The larger part of social happiness isn't emotion. It's mental arithmetic. The sum of your expectations, your ideals, and your acceptance of what you can't change determines everyday habits and choices. This formula steers performance. Everyone's sum is unique. Two opposing behaviors may turn a situation into pointless discomfort. Compassion and active listening are fundamental relationship skills. Performance flourishes into empowerment by mental shifting. A flexible response to opposing political views may be to share feelings of discomfort. The time discussing politics replaces discussing work objectives or team-building while at work. Directing attention on feelings that oppose productive work relationships may offer a compassionate response. Switch the mind-set from what isn't relatable to what is. Columbia University psychologist George Bonanno reports when we switch a mind-set based on others preference it requires an ability to tolerate discomfort. This upside to negative emotions provides optimal results in every situation. Some nail this skill but typically only in one...
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This Chemical In Your Body Increases Creativity

This Chemical In Your Body Increases Creativity

  Science supports the ability to further improve creativity throughout our life span. Harvard Business Review defied disciplined routines to encourage creativity as the core to doing things efficiently and effectively. Creativity will "deposit confidence in our cerebral bank accounts," according to Forbes. It's a myth a person doesn't have a creative ability. The body produces a chemical for the brain and nervous system to communicate. Serotonin regulates sleep, body temperature and libido. It also increases creativity. The production of serotonin increases when: exposed to bright light, engaged in frequent exercise, diet including chickpeas and wild seeds in place of meat proteins, and self-induced changes in mood. Questions to Ask: What resources are used to maintain efficient and effective performance in your work tasks? What is the primary way you would increase serotonin production? On a scale from 1 (least) to 10 (greatest) is being...
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REM and Non-REM Sleep Improves Three Performance Behaviors

REM and Non-REM Sleep Improves Three Performance Behaviors

If work performance is a struggle consider sleep hygiene through establishing nighttime and daytime habits. The body is capable of waking up to 10 minutes prior to the desired morning time without an alarm clock. Non-REM sleep is a slow-wave type of sleep and REM is characterized by rapid eye movement, dreaming and more body movement. Sleep deprivation causes the brain to activate sleep rebound or pressure responses. Sleep in a quiet environment with dark drapes and at a temperature set at 69 degrees to support the three actionable performance behaviors below. Intellectual Behavior Estimating time is a skill that improves as we age but sleep also triggers this skill (Aritake and  Higuchi 2012). Both non-REM and REM sleep supports intellectual performance. In addition to time management it supports short and long term memory. Physical Behavior Sufficient REM can nix the need for your alarm clock. Sleep disruption will respond with poor daytime performance (Trinidad and Miguel 2011). Reversely, inadequate daytime physical behaviors will impact as poor sleep hygiene. Emotional...
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Facts About The Relationship Between Stress and Sleep

Facts About The Relationship Between Stress and Sleep

Neurosicentist Russell Foster nailed the facts on sleep in his most this TED talk. His advice rings true and in line with wellbeing education and strategies we facilitate. Sleep rebuilds bodily needs that logic is unable to do. Here are Foster's facts on sleep: Retaining information while sleep-deprived creates a self-battle - 'smashed' is how Russell described the war. Sleeping enhances creativity because while sleeping that function is strengthened (creativity = problem-solving). What we burn up during the day is restored while we sleep. What we burn up during the day is restored while we sleep. It's worth re-typing. Fatigued brains crave strategies to wake it up like drugs or stimulants. Caffeine represents the stimulant of choice across much of the Western world. The other stimulant is nicotine. Fueling a waking state with stimulants demands sleep enhancers at the 11 o'clock hour. Some resort to alcohol. Alcohol may be a mild sedative on the infrequent...
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What It Takes To Sleep

What It Takes To Sleep

Our sleep patterns are effected by stress, our daily activities and prep-for-bed routines. Here's what it takes to sleep by visiting our sleep environments: The National Sleep Foundation Sleep Report Card states that 90% people watch TV before going to bed, 33% are on the computer.  Their Fact Sheet states the bedroom is for two things only: sleep and sex. Their tip: Create a sleep-conducive environment that is dark, quiet and comfortable. Think window treatment fabric and quality, materials to dampen sound (i.e.: carpet, wall insulation, noise-reduction product). Know sleep and rest are an occupation you're responsible for. Understand your sensory needs then create sleep and rest environments to support an ease into sleep, to maintain sleep without disturbance, to accomplish a full night (7 to 8 hours) of sleep. Examples of sensory issues that may cause disrupted sleep include lack of daily proprioceptive input, fabric textures, or temperature. To learn what your sensory needs are for improving sleep schedule time with one of our performance coaches...
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Undo Cruel Food Obsession. Seize Life With These Five Tactics.

Undo Cruel Food Obsession. Seize Life With These Five Tactics.

The day began with a mess of disorganization. Our team was out of synch and it cost valuable time. Every hour that morning another issue arose. The climax was financial catastrophe! This stress lead the team to emotional behaviors which created a different kind of work. Internal body regulating and mind work. The challenge was to remain calm through it all. Being overwhelmed with stressful feelings causes confusion. Emotions are a vital part of us to sort through problem-solving.  Suffering rears emotions from childhood experiences then initiates personal boundaries - healthy or unhealthy. Our primal instinct is to act for safety in seeking feelings of comfort. Feelings are stimulated by our senses. Our behavior is the reaction. Often people express a reaction by being "full of" an overwhelming feeling. "I'm full of excitement!" or "I'm filled with sadness." Feelings fill bodies in the same way food fills the stomach. In 1863 Americans attested that soulful meant they were 'full of feeling'. A half decade later it meant...
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Boost Sleep

Boost Sleep

All this social media talk about sleep. Is it overrated? Sleep is an occupation that directly supports its counterpart occupations including work, self-care, participation, education, and interdependent relationships. The inability to sleep over an average of 7.5 hours every night directly creates a counterforce to focusing, problem-solving, and carrying-out actions in team-work, competitiveness, and productivity. Will-power weakens enabling absences and illness caused from poor hygiene and body care. The less or more sleep the steeper the hill to being productive or to be at your best performance (Hublin et al 2013). To get to a lifestyle of aging gracefully and maintaining daily performance ask these questions: Is proficient self-care present? Is stress being burrowed by unhealthy behaviors (over-eating, laziness, blaming others)? Is it difficult to fall asleep most nights? What patterns most often occur with lack of sleep? What routines remedy next day blahs from lack of sleep? Humans are...
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