The Sandman was a mythical character who put people to sleep and gave them good dreams by sprinkling magical sand or dust into their eyes.
That sounds a bit painful and weird, but who are we to argue with folktales?
And besides, we’ve got Elina Winnel to help us out.
She’ll be holding a workshop on Friday at Nelson Bay to help women “uncover the root cause of their sleeping difficulties”.
After suffering from chronic insomnia during a stressful stint in the corporate world, she delved deep into research on how to get a decent night’s kip.
And yes, she tried chamomile tea and warm milk. It didn’t work.
“I followed all of the ‘sleep rules’ and ‘tips and tricks’ and it made virtually no difference,” she said.
“My insomnia was so bad that when I finally resolved it, I decided to dedicate my life to helping other people with it.
“To truly sleep well, we need to bring our nervous system into balance.”
Elina told Topics that sleep is “the master regenerator and rejuvenator”.
“People should be getting between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. It’s not just the quantity that’s important, it’s also the quality,” Elina said.
“Put simply, without sleep we wear out and die. But with sleep we ... literally become younger.”
When we sleep, our cells, organs, hormones and “basically every aspect of our physical, mental, emotional and energetic being are given a reboot”.
“Muscles are restored, memories are consolidated and built, feel-good hormones are produced. The list goes on,” she said.
Some people tend to think money, for example, is more important than sleep. Elina begs to differ.
“There is definitely a need for a cultural shift in the way we perceive and prioritise the size of our bank account versus the quality of our sleep,” she said.
The fast-paced, competitive nature of Western society isn’t great for sleep. Neither is a desperate culture that glamorises the appearance of “hard-working and constantly-striving” people.
This culture conditions people to believe that “sacrificing our rest for the pursuit of material success is the way to a more fulfilled life”.
“We are seldom taught to reflect on the consequences that this ‘sleep less, work harder’ mentality has on the things that really matter – like our productivity, health and interpersonal relationships,” she said.
“Unfortunately, we often don’t learn the value of sleep until chronic insomnia, disease and burnout set in.”
In the wellbeing world, diet and exercise get a lot of attention. Sleep sometimes finds itself left out.
“In today’s society, sleep is often underrated. It’s time to give it the attention it deserves,” Elina said.
“Healthy food and exercise will have little effect if we’re not sleeping well enough to use these elements to regenerate ourselves.”
Elina said stress caused a lot of sleep problems.
“People become so used to running on stress that this becomes their norm. Some will be aware they are stressed but don't know what to do about it, so carry on and pass this off as normal,” she said.
Often, the penny drops when stressed-out types realise their breathing is out of kilter and their muscles are always tense.
“People need to first become aware that they are actually stressed before they can begin to do something about it.”
A couple of Elina’s tips for sleeping better include playing classical music in the background to “slow the brain down” and doing exercise that uses the “left and right sides of the body to balance the hemispheres of the brain” like running or swimming.
Elina’s workshop will be held from 9.30am to 2.30pm on Friday at Little Beach Boathouse at Nelson Bay. Tickets at littlebeachboathouse.com.au/product/waking-up-to-purpose.
A Topics spy sent us this photo of a married couple getting ready to pose for a wedding photo on the light-rail line in Newcastle.
Fittingly, the bride had quite the train on her wedding dress.
Meanwhile, look who we spotted riding his bike to work. It’s none other than Newcastle MP Tim Crakanthorp.
Wonder if he’ll try to race the tram when it’s up and running?
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