When you just can’t sleep…
The ideal time to go to bed is before midnight and at a regular time each night. Routine is important. Most people are probably aware of the usual advice: don’t eat heavy meals late at night, cut down on alcohol, avoid caffeine, get rid of any blue light sources from the bedroom etc. but the most important advice about your bedroom is:
Treat it like a bedroom!
i.e. don’t play on your phone, tablet or laptop, don’t watch TV in bed and remember to keep everything low key and neutral. Think of it as a haven, a sanctuary, where your body refreshes and re-energises each night, ready for the day ahead.
A bath rather than a shower can be soothing and the room should be well ventilated and cool. Make a list of positive ideas/events at the end of each day and a to-do list.
Do you wake up and then have difficulty falling back to sleep?
If you wake up and can’t get back off to sleep there is little point tossing and turning for hours: get up, make the bed, leave the room and do a low level activity such as reading for a short time. Keep everything calm and peaceful e.g. low level lighting and quiet background music (not heavy metal or similar!). If you need a drink choose water or warm milk, not tea or coffee.
When you return to the bedroom, the very act of getting into a freshly made bed signals to your brain that it is time to sleep.
Hypnotherapy may be very beneficial in addressing the cause and effect of insomnia. Stress at work or at home (young children, aged parents, money worries etc.) may well play on the mind to the point where the sufferer cannot find a quiet space in their head no matter how hard they try. They wake up each morning with questions/set phrases/jingles or catchphrases running riot in their head; this continues all day and goes with them in to the night. These repetitive thoughts and nagging worries build up to the point where concentration and sleep are pushed to the back of the mind which can lead to a downward spiral of physical and mental ill health as the body struggles to cope with unreasonable demands and no recovery time.
A programme of sessions with a skilled hypnotherapist will work on re-establishing healthy thoughts and sleep processes using breathing techniques, repetition i.e. visualising and experiencing in hypnosis what a good night’s sleep feels like and will also sell the benefits of a sound night of sleep. The client may also be taught self-hypnosis techniques and / or a tapping techniques.
Your therapist may also suggest that you use a white noise recording to soothe you off to sleep; these are quite easy to find as free apps for your phone/iPad and cover a range of sounds including waves and static.
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