Is Insomnia ruining your life?
03rd July 2020
Insomnia, or the inability to sleep, seems to be a real issue of today. All of us can experience periods of disturbed sleep, but sometimes our sleep patterns become irregular and over time this can become an exhausting problem.
Often, sleep issues coincide with difficult times in our lives, such as following a grief or loss, during relationship or work issues, or times of increased anxiety and stress; thus, magnifying the difficulties we are already experiencing and making each day seem even more challenging.
There are many emotional and mental health reasons for disturbed sleep, but if getting restful sleep is an issue for you over a period of time it is advisable to get a health check to ensure there are no underlying medical issues causing your Insomnia. Sometimes sleep issues can also be a side effect of medication, so it’s worth considering this too.
So, what can we do to help regain a healthy sleep pattern and regular restful sleep? Here are just a few of the areas I would explore with clients:
Sleep diary - firstly, you need to establish how you are REALLY sleeping, as often we imagine it to be worse than it is, or we are unaware of habits and patterns that may not be helping. Keeping a sleep journal can be a great start - you record your sleep over a week, including your thoughts/worries/feelings, diet, exercise and any alcohol intake. This alone can be an insightful exercise, enabling you to understand your sleep patterns and identify problem areas.
Sleep 'hygiene' - this includes looking at simple but important things such as:
- Your sleep environment
- Your diet
- Your alcohol intake
- Your caffeine intake
- Blue light
All these seem such simple things, but you would be surprised how easily we become oblivious to the obvious!
Hypnotherapy can be particularly beneficial in aiding relaxation, instilling more positive sleep beliefs and giving you the tools to calm your overthinking and anxiety. I have written a specific hypnotherapy programme for Insomnia - my 'Sleep Well Programme' which includes Hypnotherapy, Counselling, Psychotherapy and specific techniques to help you overcome your sleep issues.
Mindfulness and meditation are also great techniques to help you relax and take control.
Reiki, aromatherapy and acupuncture can also be beneficial in helping you to relax and de-stress.
Sleep Apps can be helpful to try - there’s lots out there, such as: Sleep Cycle, Sleepo, Calm etc.
Consider professional help to address your sleep issue - Counselling and Psychotherapy can really help you explore your patterns, address anxiety and stress, help you learn different coping strategies and identify areas to work upon. The points raised above are just a snapshot of some of the areas I would explore with you, along with other specific techniques and strategies for you to try.
Don't despair, you can restore a healthy sleep pattern. If you’re struggling with sleep issues, consider trying some of the above suggestions or don’t hesitate to get in touch should you wish to explore one-to-one professional support.
Thanks for reading and sleep tight!
''Sleep is the best meditation.''
- Dalai Lama