Three cornerstones of health
The three cornerstones of health are: nutrition, exercise and sleep. When it comes to assessing sleep it is most useful to consider it in terms of a performance, or set of performances... Sleep onset, sleep maintenance and waking up are distinct performances. So is the experience of dreaming: its clarity, its coherence, its personal meaning. How well you perform at these various components of sleep is also a reflection of how you perform during the day. Poor sleep onset usually corresponds to excessive anxiety and reactivity to events during the day; poor sleep maintenance corresponds to poor concentration and indecisiveness and ultimately depression.
There is a risk that poor sleep will not only reflect daily stress, it will also feed it, unless the cycle is broken. At Ballarat Mind-Body Medicine the basis of our approach to stress management is attention to good nutrition; appropriate regular exercise; and sleep performance training, using computer-based biofeedback technology.
Improving sleep onset also improves the ability to trust your instinctual responses to provocation throughout the day: instead of swinging at every ball, you let some go through to the keeper. Sleep maintenance training improves your ability for logical focus free from the frustrations of easy distractibility. Decisions become more spontaneous and effortless, and problems to avoid become challenges to solve. Think about it. Sleep on it!