Want to work on your wellness to improve sleep?

In this audio interview, David Cunnington and Kris Pierce discuss wellness, it’s role in sleep, the importance of a plan and how to get the most out of a visit to a health retreat.

Audio Timeline:

  • 00:00 – 01:14 What is wellness?
  • 01:14- 03:14 Optimising wellness for sleep
  • 03:14 – 04:34 Getting the most out of a visit to a health retreat
  • 04:34 – 05:39 The importance of having a plan
  • 05:39 – 06:00 Summary

Related blog post links:


David Cunnington: Hi. I’m David Cunnington. I’m here with Kris Pierce and we’re talking about what wellness has to do with sleep. So Kris, what’s wellness and what’s its role in sleep?

Kris Pierce: Wellness is basically each individual living out their life to the maximum potential. It’s basically a lifelong process of moving towards enhancing your physical, intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual and environmental well-being. With all those aspects, you can tell that wellness is multidimensional and we need to work on all those dimensions to make sure our health is the best it can be.

So obviously sleep comes into that and if we have poor sleep, it can actually interact in a negative way on other domains of our wellness. Conversely, if we are having great sleep and getting all the benefits from that, it can really improve your overall well-being.

David Cunnington: So Kris, I see people who have got sleep problems and often they’re very focused on what to do at night, but missing out on some of the daytime things. So what are some things that I could look at for looking at wellness during the day?

Kris Pierce: So what we can do during the day to improve our sleep, we will just make sure we’re optimising our actions during the day to ensure that we’re having the best sleep that we can. Some of the things are eating correctly. Well, correctly is not the right word. But make sure you’re eating a lot of whole foods and make sure the nutrients that you’re having are quality and really fuelling your body for its best performance.

It’s also important to eat at the right time. So you’re telling your body clock what time it is during the day and this is really important. You will see more about this on our website.

Other things to do are exercising, making sure that you’re exercising on a regular basis, and you will know what time of the day suits you, whether it’s morning or in the afternoon or evening.

Something else that’s really important with stress is managing our nervous energy and stress management during the day. We can get really caught up in what’s happening during the day and our stress levels and our nervous tension can increase. One of the things we like to recommend for this is mindfulness meditation, but other people have other strategies. Find out what works for you and make sure you’re implementing this on a regular basis.

The other thing that we like to recommend for our clients is making sure you take time out for you. It’s really important that you carve out time during your day, during the week, to make sure that you’re putting back in, because most of the things we do during the day is taking out energy, whether it’s work, looking after the kids, running around to different meetings. So you really need to make sure that you’re diarising time for yourself whether it be go for a walk, go to the gym, do some cooking, whatever it is that you love to do. Make sure that you’re doing that and make sure you’re replenishing yourself during the week. So they’re all really important things to do during the day.

David Cunnington: Thanks for those great tips, Kris. So as you know, we work with Golden Door Health Retreat and I’m speaking there this weekend. One of the things I like about that is I can see people and I’m an expert in looking at the sleep disorders and training them on how to think and behave around sleep.

But partnering with Health Retreat really helps people to then work on those day to day activities you were talking about. So what are the particular things that if someone is looking at going to a health retreat, they should look at participating in or try to get out of it to – if they’re looking to improve their sleep?

Kris Pierce: The things that come to mind are making sure you get up at a regular time. So even if it seems early on a retreat – like at Golden Door, they run tai chi at 6 o’clock in the morning but it’s the best way to wake up and make sure that your body clock knows it’s the day. So it’s one of the goals. They’re one of the most important things to do. Make sure you follow their eating routine. Don’t skip meals. Get some more exercise in there and make sure you attend some of their meditation classes, but also make time – again, make sure you have the time out because being in a health retreat, you can make sure that you do get that time out or have a massage. Sit by the pool, whatever it is they offer at that retreat. Yeah, just make sure you carve out that time.

David Cunnington: Yeah. I would agree with that Kris. Often I do find too though that people can understand these things but have trouble putting them into place either when they get back home or in their day-to-day lives. So how important is it for people to actually have a plan that they can put into place?

Kris Pierce: Yeah. I think going somewhere like a retreat gives you time to sort our where you want to go, which we in wellness world call “setting a wellness vision”. So you’ve got that from taking the time out. Then you need to go from there and set goals, so that you can get to where you want to be.

Generally, at a retreat or with your wellness coach or with a mentor, you can set goals. Then within that, you work out how you’re going to achieve them. It’s really important to know where you want to go, so that you can actually work out how you’re going to get there.

It’s all well and good to say, “I want to lose 10 kilos. I want to run a marathon.” But if you don’t have a plan to get there, it’s unlikely that you will reach that goal. So it’s really important to make sure that you’re setting goals regularly and checking them and making sure you’re heading towards those goals.

David Cunnington: That’s great. Thanks Kris. So I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s discussion and I will put links to the blog post we’ve each written this week about where we think the role of taking time out, prioritising time for you, where that fits in managing sleep.


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