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A Letter To The One Who Comes After Me, Part 1

I’m five years older than her, but six classes ahead. That is to say, we never meet in school. I’m always about leaving when she’s about entering. Primary. Secondary. It’s always been the same. It was supposed to still be the same in tertiary, as I was to study a six-year course that meets our six-year class gap. Many thanks to the protracted training of medical students that keeps me longer, and the “here-and-there” strikes and delays from the medical body, the university, and the infamous ASUU, we meet in the same school, finally. I’m supposed to have things to tell her – should have. I’ve walked this terrain she’s about to tread. I’m older and wiser, and her elder sister.

Here’s what I have to tell my sister (my one and only sister, as she refers to me – whenever she needs a favour from me) because I have to.

“We owe it to each other to tell our stories.” – Neil Gaiman

1. Have a checklist of things you’ll like to accomplish in the university.

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I had no goal – asides becoming a doctor, on coming to the university. I didn’t realize this until I heard a friend say on a certain day, “I’m happy. My university days have been fulfilling. Everything I set to achieve – real friends, travel, participation – I’ve achieved them,” with an enviable relish spread across her face. And then I asked myself, “What did you set to achieve on coming here?”

I could not answer. Had I given it some thought even then, maybe I’d be more fulfilled on graduating from the university. But it’s OK. Even if it didn’t happen then, it’s happening now, which is a good thing as my days ahead looks promising. And honestly, I can’t wait. These past eight years, however, would have been more fulfilling had I asked myself this question before coming here or answered it then.

You’re going to spend about the same length of time in the university as I did. You’re studying Pharmacy, a six-year course, which means you’re going to be here a while. And I would love you to make the most of those years. If you can have a great life, why settle for a mediocre one? So, I ask you, “What would you like to achieve in the university?” Make a list, and check them off.

Footnote: I have come to the realization that at every stage in life, before any venture, it is important that one has a goal for that stage – what they would like to achieve. If you can’t set those out on your own, ask questions, inquire from those who are ahead of you on that path. “What should I aim to achieve at this stage?” is a question you can ask.

 

2. Join an association and be active.

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I had a friend in year one. Ovieni. We were both invited by FECAMDS (Federation of Catholic Medical and Dental Students) and CMDA (Christian Medical and Dental Association) for their activities.

She fell in love with CMDA after we attended their first-year student’s welcome party. I, on the other hand, didn’t get hooked like she did and never did the rest of my stay in school.

She left in year two to the Rivers State Government Scholarship Scheme that sponsored her education in the UK. Had she stayed, maybe, I might have had a strong enough pull some years later when I was considering giving CMDA a chance? It was simply a case of no love at first sight.

I told you both FECAMDS and CMDA tried to pull us in their directions. FECAMDS was the more inviting of the two and because most of my friends at the time were Catholics, and hence FECAMDSITES, I was pulled more to them. From attending their tutorials to their prayer meetings, I became a FECAMDSITE – even though we aren’t Catholics. But I left in my second year, complaining about what didn’t matter initially – that I wasn’t Catholic and so it felt odd, which should.

There’s also AIESEC, another great association that could spice up your stay in the university. I’ve spoken to you, and just like I wasn’t, you don’t sound eager to join the CMDA family. I’m not sure your reason though. It would be unwise to coax you. I can only guide you, but then, if none of the religious and medical associations gets your attention to join, you may want to consider AIESEC.

For most people, their best university memories and friends are made in these associations.

Be a part of a people. Be active. Make memories. Find friends. Don’t just exist through the university, LIVE.

 

3. Join a fellowship. Become a pastor if you have to, but my point is: serve God fervently in your youth.

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The university is a good place to serve God. It presents a lot of opportunities that if taken up can propel one to great heights. Aside from the privilege and opportunity to serve God fervently, most of these fellowships serve as good training grounds. You learn to speak. You become more confident, responsible and accountable. You get the opportunity to mentor people and be mentored by others. Most of these developmental spurts you don’t notice while still in school or may if you are self-aware. They come to life more when you are out of school, and those who let themselves be trained by it find out that they are better and more valuable individuals in the society.

I didn’t have good luck with any of the medical associations, but I did find a fellowship that I fell in love with at first sight. The first and only fellowship I attended and belonged to while in school, Christian Fellowship International (CFi). You know about this fellowship, from the time I was an active member (in CFi language, a CFite to the DNA), when I would give no one at home rest because I was either gushing about my pastors or some event the fellowship is about to have (maybe JAM Summit) or plainly how wonderful my fellowship was.

I’m glad to say I had my best university experience in CFi and most of the best friends I made in the university were made in CFi. So, what would it be for you?

I must add that during your matriculation reception, organized by Charles, our brother, who happens to be the vice president of the fellowship you currently attend, when you were called to say how the fellowship has benefited you, and you leaned one elbow on the pulpit, and held the mic in a casual manner slanting it across your chin, you did look like a pastor and a cute one.

——–

Until next week Thursday.

Love,

Annie.

 

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Living Quarterly Reviews

January; Meeting Set Goals & The Rest Of 2018

Someone said, there are only two months in a year; January and the other 11 months. With January almost at its end and 29 of the 365 days of the year gone, we have the remaining 336 days to bring to life our dreams and hopes for 2018.

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How To Look Great In Photos And Love Taking Photos ( + A Mini Photobook)

I am no photo freak by any standard, but I have learned that memorable moments, which are transient most times, can only be captured in photos and videos. Our minds forget, all too often.

Time was when I bothered about not looking good in photos; not being photogenic. This made me appear in fewer photos. But as time went by, I learned that “perfect” moments are worth reliving. You need these memories to remember those moments.

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How I Almost Died Of Low Self Esteem (And How You Should Not.)

I did not recognize it for what it was. I was letting my confidence be determined by what I wore. When I thought I dressed good, I would expect the world to prostrate at my feet. When I did not feel so great in what I was wearing, I would be the one at their mercy; seeking some sort of validation.

When you find yourself living like this, then there is something fundamentally wrong with your sense of worth.

Your sense of worth should not be based on your qualifications, possession, appearance, family name, nationality, tribe… No, none of these define you — your real worth.

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Unsplash

You know, as a Christian, couple of times in church we have been taught that our identity should be sought in Christ, and who Christ says we are. I would admit that this knowledge was yet to sink in, deeply.

I have known this. Turned it over in my heart. And that is only how far I have gone with the thought.

As I sat in a bus conveying me to church, I thought about two Sunday experiences. Both Sundays I was excited about going to church. Genuine excitement. The type that is borne from memories of a wonderful fellowship experience.

On the first Sunday, I was wearing one of my best dresses. My hair was *on fleek. My makeup double-checked. And my fragrance, alluring. As I walked out of my home and even into the church, I could sense myself giving off the I’m-sexy-and-I-know-it vibe.

Needless to say, these encumbrances made it difficult to concentrate during the worship, as I constantly found myself checking out other people’s attire. And you know what happens when you troll such a lane. And did I add that people were not gawking at me as expected? But this was not where I struggled with low self esteem or almost died from it.

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Danka & Peter

On the second of the two Sundays, I almost backed out of going to church because I did not feel confident in what I was wearing. I could barely get past the front door of the house, with only my dad, my uncle and two other persons putting stuff in place for a house party scheduled to hold later in the day. I was not poorly dressed. I lacked the required confidence to rock my dress choice, after picking it out the day before.

After two attempts of walking to the door and back to the room, I almost talked myself out of going to church – a service I had looked forward to attending. I eventually mustered confidence, talked myself back into going to church and walked myself out of the front door and to church.

It was while in the bus en route church that illumination hit me: My self esteem should emanate from some place deeper. It should be hinged on a firm substance, not passing shadows.

Whether or not I am dressed well, can speak eloquently, turn heads, calculate the most difficult algebra on my feet, make knees bow at my presence, the knowledge of who I am in Christ and whose I am should be foremost.

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@thebabysafetyfactory wearing @r1sixteen on Instagram

In Christ and from Christ, ought every believer’s confidence to stem. Neologists term it Godfidence. This is a state where a believer absolves herself of all credit to self, man or man-made things and turns it all over to God, establishing Him her source. It is an act of worship, and where God is worshipped, He is pleased and comes into full stature.

As I stepped into church on the second Sunday, with the knowledge of my identity in Christ sunk in deeply, I cared less about what I was wearing and how I looked. I was secured in God’s love for me. As you might guess, I picked up some stares. But this time, I did not need it.

Love,

Annie.

*On fleek: Colloquial Nigerian English meaning excellently done.
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To Stay Or To Go?

Hi, everyone. I hope y’all had a great holiday; time to relax, refresh and reconnect with loved ones. I had quite a full one myself.

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Unsplash

In the course of the holiday, I was able to visit both my paternal and maternal homes. It was beautiful reconnecting with some family members I had not seen in a while.

On the trip to our maternal home, my aunt (my mum’s last sister) kept going on and about how much grander their village is in comparison with our paternal home, which we were traveling from. My mum joined in. When it seemed as though she was trying too hard to convince us, she concluded with what shuts any Thomas, “seeing is believing.”

It was not our first time visiting. We visited about five years ago. I do not recall visiting earlier than that.

You see, my mum comes from a large home. Her father had two wives and 16 children. Of the 16, about 11 are based abroad, mostly in the United States of America. As such, most of the family can be said to be doing well.

Having recently graduated from medical school with a promising future, and in the face of the dwindling health system (and every other system) of the Nigerian state, talks of relocating me to the United States of America after youth service majored in conversations.

In the current state of the nation, anyone singing the song of patriotism or not talking about leaving the country would be considered a madman or woman, as the case may be. Especially when the table is almost set for you.

I came across a tweet and could not agree more.

It’s a valid choice to leave this country and go somewhere to flourish. It’s also a valid choice to stay and build. Just ensure that your choice aligns with your purpose. You won’t find satisfaction anywhere if it doesn’t.” – @supersanusi.

You see, I found purpose or a sense of it some years back. So far as is clear to me, my purpose is tied to Nigeria. One of my major prayer points this year is clarity of purpose; what to do and how to go about it.

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Amen. Photo credit: Unsplash

I am not yet sure how God deems it best for me to fulfill mine. This I hope to unravel this year, by God’s grace.

I attended the annual Global Leadership Summit organized by the Willow Creek Association last year, in keeping with one of my personal goals of becoming a better leader.

In the session pioneered by Bryan Stevenson Leading Through The Uncomfortable, I learned some things about leadership which I could apply to leading in Nigeria.

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Bryan Stevenson; lawyer, social justice activist, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, and clinical professor at New York University School of Law.

He categorized his talk in four sub-headings:

1. Get proximate

“Leadership requires that we do not run away from the problems, however painful and difficult, but we get close to them.”

2. Change the narratives that birth the problem.

“We have to understand the narratives that sustain these problems.”

3. Stay hopeful.

“Hopelessness is the enemy of effective leadership. You are either hopeful or part of the problem.”

4. We’ve got to be willing to do uncomfortable things.

“Effective leadership only happens when leaders decide to do uncomfortable things.”

Prior to this time, the plan had always been simple: Graduate. Go to a place with a better system. Learn. Come back and effect change.

After listening to him, I began reevaluating my plan. I had, however, before this time, told myself that I would leave Nigeria if I had genuine reasons to do so, and not merely because everyone thinks that is the figurative “Noah’s ark” to get on.

As I write this, I fondly remember an uncle who is also a medical doctor and had to go to the United States of America for a heart surgery and refused to come back afterward. He stayed back, is currently practicing there and has had his entire family relocate to be with him.

I also hear you telling me matter-of-factly that if I go over, like my uncle, for a year, a month or even a day, my language will change.

Again, it boils down to purpose. Why we do what we do. I hope each of us finds our purpose. I hope we lead our purpose. Much more, I hope we give ourselves the liberty to live out our purpose without fear or favour.

Love,

Annie.

 

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AN INCIDENT

I was walking along the street when a young girl I didn’t notice was walking beside me said, “Auntie, your bag –“

I didn’t hear her completely. Looking down in confusion to check if I had mistakenly left my purse open, she repeats, “Auntie, your bag is beautiful.”

“Oh. Thank you,” I say, taken aback by the compliment.

Crosschecking that I hadn’t been pickpocketed, I look at her hands, she is holding a single ATM card. The girl is eight or nine years old, I estimate. Too young in my judgment to be sent on an errand to assist with withdrawal. I dismiss the thoughts.

I cross over to the other side of the road. I am supposed to turn into another street on that side of the road.

I glance back briefly at my little friend as I cross over while making sure there are no oncoming vehicles. I sense my little friend’s emotion is slightly bruised. Why choose to cross at this time, not earlier or later?

I reply the thought. Mere coincidence.

A minute or two later, my little friend crosses over. She is entering the same street. But this time, says nothing as she walks past me happy-go-luckily.

I am left wondering. Why did she have to say the compliment to my hearing? She could have merely admired from her safe distance. Moreover, we are not familiar.

I marvel at the sheer innocence of her heart and wonder how long till the harsh reality of life – or adulthood snatches that from her.

——

I arrive at my destination. I am there a while. Say two hours. After the visit, I am set to go and I leave. My aunt, whose family I visited, sees me off and parts pushing a 200 naira note in my hand as she whispers, “Use this for transport. I am very rich now. I will send you some money later.” I smile at the gesture. She does not have to feel obligated, I think, but thank her as I get unto the tricycle to convey me to my next bus stop.

——-

A few minutes into the trip, I have to truncate my journey to meet a friend. I open my wallet to pay and I am dazzled by its emptiness.

Wait, I think.

I have money in this wallet. Avoiding spending too much time searching for money that is missing, I pay with the 200 naira note I was given a few minutes ago.

Was I pickpocketed that time? I try to wrap my mind around the possibility. It is hurting and depressing to think about. I am joined by the friend for whom I truncated my journey. I relay the incidence and state without mincing words how pained I feel.

“What could she need the money she stole for? Biscuits? Sweets?” My mind could not reach a favourable response.

“How could she have so smoothly pickpocketed me?” I wonder.

As we climb unto the bus to take me home, I still struggle with reaching a favourable response.

A few minutes to arriving at my bus stop, I find my money littered in my purse. Not my wallet.

My emotions are ruffled. I am dumbfounded.

Wait. I accused her falsely? My thoughts were correct the first time? Oh, sweet Jesus. She truly was an innocent child.

——-

The End.

This happened in Surulere, Lagos. I was on a holiday and decided to pay my aunt a visit. I remember my cousin cautioning me about safety in Lagos. Even though this incident ended on a good note, it raised my awareness about safety in the street.

And since it ended on a good note, it reminded me of Matthew 18: 3-5

And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.”

And had me praying, “Oh, Lord, make me a child at heart.”

Love,

Annie.

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Happy New Year

If you are reading this, it means you made it safely into 2018. And I feel blessed and honoured having you read Annie Ejiofor on the first day of a beautiful new year.

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Photo credit: @provenwong

I love that 2018 kick starts on a Monday. Has such a kick-ass feel to it – even though a holiday. This is our year like I said in the last post because we will make it so. And I hope, like me, you are set to achieve your goals.

First, let me wish you a wonderful new year. I pray that the new year brings us all of our heart’s desires.

With no intention of keeping you long on here, I will move further to say that this year, any year, will deliver what you demand from it.

There are two kinds of people: the people who let things happen, and the people who make things happen.

The first is content with their life, not knowing and consequently not harnessing the maximum potential of life available to them.

The second is the people who enjoy life, are happy, and live a life they are proud of; they step out, more than expect good things to happen to them, most importantly, take the necessary first steps to put those things in gear. Even when they fail, by that I mean don’t succeed immediately, they know failure is a rehearsal for a bigger success. And whoever said they’ll fail?

I will like to urge us all (myself inclusive) to lead our lives this year and every year. To be intentional in our thoughts, words, actions (more to come on this later.) To live every day achieving our dreams.

The Best Of The Year.

Annie.

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How Not To Give Up, Ever, Again.

This post was inspired by varying events, most recently this:

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Instagram

You see, I was on a spree. One that I got started on and off of in a blink, sort of.

Let me explain.

My Facebook friends and those who are subscribed to the blog will relate better.

One day, I woke up and made a decision to be consistent with my craft. To show up for my tribe often. There was no prior definition of how often showing up would be. But I showed up every day, for one week, and disappeared forever as is my true nature.

And I am sorry.

Here’s what happened:

(It is not an excuse. It is simply an explanation.)

I read an article that challenged me. It, first of all, belittled me. For the greater good. It was the reason for the determination you saw in me, on and for the blog.

Remember I said there was no prior definition of how often posting would be, but I showed up every day for a week till I stopped?

I did not get tired per se, but I was strained from the hectic schedule I was working with.

The strain did not stop me anyway, till I got a job that took my time away from the blog. Two jobs.

One was a one-time job. When I missed a day of keeping to my new routine, because I was locked on meeting a deadline, I felt a tempting relief only addicts who fall back on old habits, after abstaining a while, can relate to.

I have never struggled with addiction, but I presume that is how they feel.

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Photo credit: Unsplash

The second was a three-month job offer as an intern writer with a publishing firm.

After so many months of side-stepping such job offers, I felt qualified to apply for the role. What better time than now, when I had proven to myself that I could be serious about writing and meet deadlines, I thought.

I almost got accepted. You read right. I did not get the job eventually. Sadly.

Taking up the job would mean that my personal journey toward becoming a more consistent writer would be truncated, albeit I would be honing my skill, for a sum.

It was roughly about this same time that my phone, which I have been using to blog, started malfunctioning. I could not put up blog posts with it anymore. In fact, the last post on the blog was completed and posted using my mum’s tab. I loaned my brother my laptop to complete his project because his’ broke down halfway through.

After several failed attempts, blogging almost became a thing of the past for me until I wrote a guest post for a friend.

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31 Days 31 Voices feature on perrystots.com

I used my blog to edit it before sending to her. It was while editing the post that I realized how much I have missed this space.

But here are some things I learned in the time away:

1. You need a system to thrive.

A system is an acronym for Saves You Stress, Time, Energy, and Money.

I need a system. I need to define how often showing up would be. Even if I can afford to show up once a week or every fortnight, consistency is King in this Kingdom.

2. Have a vision.

I had to develop one.

To be a voice of reason, loud enough to make the hearer discontent with mediocrity. Yet gentle enough to bring about positive change in an atmosphere of love and understanding.

Every nation, organization, family, individual needs a vision. A vision is like a compass that navigates their course of action and guides them (back) to their desired point.

Not having a vision is the recipe for failure.

3. Have a mission.

While vision answers “what,” mission states the “how.”

To create and curate content that attempts to explain, to answer, to educate and inform, and sometimes entertain the hearer, using stories that are relatable, true, and inspiring toward a higher living.

I am happy to announce that the aforementioned obstacles are out of the way.

My laptop is back and I have a better phone. With these intact and having successfully defined all of the above, I am happy to announce that I am back to the blogging space!

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Photo credit: @ariellustre

And by God’s grace, I won’t give up again!

I am almost certain we all have at one time, started things and given up half-way through, for varying reasons. Legit or not, at the core lies discouragement. I took time to reflect on my blogging journey so far. The lessons, challenges, victories, and hopes for 2018.

I believe that if you look hard at something and ask the right questions, you will find the right answers.

2018 is our year because we will make it so.

About the system I talked about earlier, I defined how often showing up will be. You will read Annie Ejiofor twice-weekly. Mondays and Thursdays. 2018 will feature blog series. And by God’s grace, 2018 will birth the publishing of my first book! Amen.

I will be working in 2018. There is so much God has done in my life, is currently doing and yet to do. All of which I am thankful to Him.

I look forward to sharing beautiful stories with you here, come 2018. I look forward to sharing inspiring stories. I look forward to constantly challenge you to live your best life always. I look forward to a wonderful experience with you in 2018. I look forward to having a great ride with you.

Compliments of the season.

Your girl,

Annie.❤❤

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A Movie Review: The Wedding Party 2

If I had an invite to the premiere of this movie, I definitely would have attended. Would not miss it for anything. That’s how much I have looked forward to the movie.

The day I saw the Part 1 of this movie in the cinemas last year, made for a great day. I could see it again, for the laughter it reeled from me. Coming from someone who is not enthusiastic about movies, that is a big thumbs up for the movie.

Anyone who followed #Baad2017 or is a huge fan of the baddest celebrity couple would have had their anticipation for The Wedding Party 2 tripled. Especially after seeing the movie trailer.

What? How do you hesplain somebody getting married without asking? Plus, Dunni, Adesua Etomi wanted to “chew” her husband when she found out that her brother-in-law proposed by accident. To that, Dozie, Banky W, hilariously responded, “Is it me that proposed to her?

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It is pleasing to say that the trailer was only the tip of an iceberg. When I finally got around to seeing the movie, two days after it was officially out in the cinemas nationwide, I could say it was worth every kobo spent.

The movie took me on a rollercoaster of emotions. Predominantly laughter. I found myself laughing loudly, a gift I have learned to give myself. The sound of my laughter in my ears is like medicine to my body and soul. There were also times I felt disdain, anger, suspense, surprise. There was hardly a dull moment.

Again, I say, worth every kobo you spend.

I liked that the Part 2 of the movie saw a way to bring in Nollywood legends such as Chiwetalu Agu and Patience Ozokwor.

I still have a hard time deciding who my most annoying character was. It was a keenly contested battle between Patience Ozokwor and Sola Sobowale, but I would give it to Patience Ozokwor, “Mama G.”

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Ireti Doyle, Sola Sobowale, Patience Ozokwor (R – L) Image source: Google

The white family were also hilarious. I liked how the movie presented Nigeria to the world, and especially where Sola said, “I am proud of my country, Nigeria.” I could feel her speaking it into the audience, not merely in the movie.

Did you know the movie made 20 million bucks on the first day of release in the cinema? Remember I said if I had an invite to the movie premiere, I would not have missed it for nothing. I planned seeing it on the release day, even though at the back of my mind I harboured thoughts of a possible stampede and rush. Nonetheless, I had to travel on the day and see the movie at a later day. The hall was packed to fill, and only leaves me wondering how much more money that would be made in the coming weeks.

A lot of thought, money and effort went into the production of this movie. It is a delight to watch. With the likes of this movie, Nollywood can be said to be on an upward course. Bravo Nigeria! Bravo to The Wedding Party 2: Destination Dubai entire movie crew!

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Image source: Google
What are your thoughts? Have you seen the movie? Or are you in the I-can’t-be-bothered category? Or #TeamWeWillWatchItAtHome? Please, go out and have fun. It’s Christmas! I can guarantee you a good return on your money or come for a refund should you in the unlikely circumstance not enjoy it. I did not say the latter o. Hahaha.
So much love,
Annie.
Ps: Wait. Someone is back to blogging after going AWOL?🙈 We will talk about that. Promise. For now, enjoy the movie.😘😘
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Making The Most Of Your Sleep Time

The first time I heard the word “agoraphobia” was during my Psychiatry posting as a medical student. Asides the tendency of medical students to associate the symptoms of a disease they are studying to themselves, what is referred as Medical Student Syndrome or Medical Student Disease, it was interesting to note that it was the opposite of “claustrophobia,” a word I learned much earlier from novels.

I was thrilled to be putting a name to the fact that I hated open spaces. Not typical agoraphobia, but I hated a person entering or exiting my room and leaving the door ajar. It made me feel exposed, in an uncomfortable way.

Over the years, as I grew, I learned to also sleep with the lights off; how “adults” (are supposed to) sleep.

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I noticed of recent though, that I slept most times with the lights on and more worriedly, did not seem to care as much if I was sleeping with my door ajar.

These made me wonder. “What is it that has made me let my guards so low?” 

It was a source of concern to me.

It made me think, “Could it be that I am developing poor sleep hygiene?”

I know some may be wondering if that is even a thing – sleep hygiene. Well, I also remember from my Psychiatry posting, that one of the first things you do while managing insomnia (inability to initiate or maintain sleep) is to educate the patient on behaviors that may help them get to sleep faster or sleep soundly.

By the way, I am sleeping soundly. I simply thought that we might sleep/rest better if we practiced a better sleep hygiene.

With the increasing demands of adulthood and generally making a handsome living, we get to sleep less on most days. When we get a chance to sleep we should optimize it.

Some things you could do to improve the quality of your sleep:

1. Obey your body clock

The body has an alternating sleep-wake cycle controlled by an internal “clock” within the brain.

If you get up at the same time every day, soon, this strict routine will help to “set” your body clock and you will find yourself getting sleepy at about the same time every night. This may require you set an alarm for the first few days/weeks.

Also, note that staring at the clock in your bedroom or watching the minutes tick away while trying to sleep, can increase stress, making it harder to sleep – the reason you should turn your clock’s face away from you.

When your body signals you to rest, obey. Don’t say, “let me write a few more lines,” “read a few more pages,” or “watch a few more scenes,” do what it asks – go to bed. Likewise, do not go to bed when your body is not tired. You will be reinforcing bad habits, like laying awake. This is the time to put in the “extra” work.

2. Improve your sleeping environment

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A higher quality of sleep is assured if your bedroom feels restful and comfortable. This is where the “adults” win. A dark room does help you sleep better. It signals to your brain: it is time to sleep.

If your mattress is too hard or too worn, a quality sleep is less assured. The aches from sleeping on a mattress that slouches upon laying on are enough to rob you of the rest you hoped to get. Invest in a good mattress.

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I read a post on Facebook. A friend was complaining bitterly about a church situated close to his home that would not let him sleep. This was as a result of the loud and discordant sounds emanating from their speakers. If this is you, too, then getting earplugs would do you a world of good, since you cannot chase them away – even though you would have loved to. Keep in mind that the added stress of cursing does not make the prospects of a quality sleep more assured.

Make sure the room is at a right temperature; increase the temperature of your air conditioner or open up your windows, as the case may be.

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You would want to reserve your bedroom exclusively for sleeping where possible, so your brain does not associate your bedroom with activity.

3. Avoid drugs that influence the brain activity, by either stimulating or depressing it.

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Such would include caffeinated drinks such as coffee, coke, and also cigarettes and alcohol.

Taking a warm, milky drink instead can help you sleep faster, as it contains a sleep-enhancing amino acid.

Although alcohol may help bring on sleep, after a few hours it acts as a stimulant, increasing the number of awakenings and generally decreasing the quality of sleep later in the night.

4. Relax your mind

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Ease the transition from wake time to sleep time with a period of relaxing activities an hour or so before bedtime.

Take a bath (the rise, then fall in body temperature promotes drowsiness), read a book, watch television, play some music or practice relaxation exercises.

Avoid stressful, stimulating activities — doing work, discussing emotional issues. Physical and psychologically stressful activities can cause the body to release the stress hormone, cortisol, which is associated with increasing alertness.


There are also a number of other measures you may adopt to enhance the quality of your sleep, such as exercise – exercise promotes restful sleep if it is done several hours before going to bed, having light meals for dinner and taking balanced fluid – not too little for thirst to arouse you from sleep or too much to be awakened by a need to use the bathroom.

Did you know taking afternoon naps reduces the quality of your nighttime sleep?

I know some persons go to sleep soon after they hit the bed, whereas, for some others, it is a tug of war. I hope the latter find this post useful.

Love,

Annie.