Most of us go through periods when good sleep eludes us. Either we struggle to get to sleep in the first place, or we wake during the night and then clock watch, getting more and more anxious about our precious sleep time slipping away and the thought that the alarm will be going off all too soon.
Sleep is vital for our health. Losing a few hours a night can impair our cognitive ability and mood, making it hard to get even the simplest tasks done. Constant lack of sleep can lead to us feeling depressed, anxious, easily over-emotional and more prone to illness.
Often my clients are having patterns of poor sleep when they come to therapy. They have developed patterns of anxious thoughts or worries that go around and around in their heads, making it difficult to turn off at night.
This is a technique that I teach to people, and that I use myself, to take your brain and body into a sleep state:
All these mental techniques take some minutes to work so don’t give up. You want to find a place you go to in your mind that is comfortable, and that with repeated use quickly signals to your body that you are going to sleep. Once you feel the waves of sleep start to wash over you, allow yourself to give in to them and let go.
If you wake in the night you can use the same technique to take yourself back to sleep again. Don’t let yourself be anxious and watch the clock, just let go of your worries, tense and relax and then take your mind back to its focused relaxation place. Do not get up and engage in an activity and keep your phone away from the bedroom. Sleep is a habit which we sometimes need to retrain our mind and body back into.
If the subject matter in this article resonates with you, then counselling might be a good option to help you to move forward. I offer a free 20-minute consultation so we can explore how I might be able to help you.