Bad sleep can leave you feeling drained all day long and you dread getting into bed for the next bad night’s sleep. I know what that’s like. I had a huge sleep problem from age 5 till age 29. I dreaded night time.
Now, I thoroughly enjoy sleep!
And I thoroughly enjoy helping other people resolve their sleep problems ;0)
Why are sleep problems so common?
According to polls, at least half of people are not happy with their quality of sleep (National Sleep Foundation). My observations, from working with over 1000 clients who suffer from chronic illness, is that sleep issues are often a part of their problem. I think that this is related to the stress response and to unresolved emotional patterns.
When someone is stuck in the stress response, they have very elevated blood cortisol levels and adrenaline. These hormones prevent you from going to sleep. When clients can learn to switch off their stress response, natural sleep returns quite easily.
For some people, it’s a little more complicated than that, because they have also developed sleep phobia. This can happen if they experienced abuse at night or heard a lot of fighting from their parents at night, or had other bad experiences at night time. For these people, they will also need to resolve the underlying issue that is blocking them from sleeping.
How can Empower Therapies help?
I offer a course called The Switch which provides you with knowledge about how your mind and body work, which thinking and behaviour patterns you are doing that are exacerbating your sleep problems, which situations from your past might be causing your current sleep problems and which aspects of your lifestyle need to be changed to improve your sleep. For each of these categories, you learn techniques that you can use yourself to fix these patterns. I do not fix anybody – I teach you how to fix yourself. I have seen fantastic results for many people who had spent many years as an insomniac.
For more information about how The Switch could help you, as well as to actually apply, click The Switch.
I mostly do group work with my clients, though I also have referral options for clients who specifically want 1-1 sessions. Contact us to find out more about other Practitioner options that you can look into.
Phil’s experience of resolving insomnia is on my Client Testimonials page.
What can you do yourself?
There are environmental factors that have been identified through well-being research to improve sleep:
- Don’t drink coffee and eat chocolate before bed.
- Don’t use a computer or other electronic equipment before bed.
- Turn your cellphone and wifi off overnight. Studies show that their radiation prevents you from being able to get into deep slow brainwaves at night. If you need your phone as an alarm, put it in flight mode so that it’s not doing any transmission. The alarm will still work in this mode. I have a timer attached to my router so that it switches it off between midnight and 7am.
- Do your night preparation routine slowly to help slow your body down for sleep.
- Use blackout curtains on your windows.
- Don’t clear your work emails at 3am!
- If you’re doing stress before bed, Switch it before getting into bed so that you are ready for sleep.
- Reading for a while before bed can be a nice way to calm yourself for sleep.
Did you know?
60% of people aged 13 to 64 years old say that they experience a sleep problem every night or almost every night (snoring, waking in the night, waking up too early, or feeling un-refreshed when they get up in the morning) (National Sleep Foundation poll, 2011).
One of NZ’s leading sleep psychiatrists reported that, out of 10,000 people that he had connected to a sleep monitor overnight, only one did not sleep for three nights, despite most of them thinking that they had not.
We are all designed to wake up every 3-4 hours to roll over, check that we are safe and comfortable and then go back to sleep. Good sleepers are only awake for such a short length of time that they don’t remember it in the morning and claim that they slept right through the night.