Our sleep has such a huge impact on our lives. After all, most of us sleep for approximately one third of it. It is not just the amount of sleep that we get but also the quality of it. All too often, our busy, hectic, modern life can cause the quality of our sleep to decline. One in three of us have trouble in sleeping at some point in our lives.
Why do we sleep?
Sleep is part of our survival strategy. As the amount that we sleep reduces, our cognitive abilities decline affecting our abilities to learn, solve problems and use our memory. In fact, studies have shown that by sleeping soon after we have learnt something, our memory recall is improved. By reducing the amount that we sleep, our mood can decline resulting in depression. Improving the quality of our sleep can help regulate our emotions – keeping us sane.
Sleep enables our bodies to recuperate and repair more efficiently. Our mind and body is not dormant during those hours that we sleep. We synthesise new proteins, our muscles relax and rejuvenate as our energy is renewed. Growth hormones are produced along with others that help regulate hunger and our metabolism. Sleeping well can really help you lose unwanted body fat.
How well do you sleep?
I have treated many different people to help them improve the quality and amount of their sleep and it seems to be something that is becoming more and more of a problem each year. It is not unusual to get phone calls and emails asking for help. I would be very grateful if you would let me know how well you sleep in the poll below.
The Cognitive Hypnotherapy Sleep Program
Although I prefer to work with people on a “One to One” basis, many people who contact me are situated a long way from my hometowns of Reigate and Redhill in Surrey. Due to the amount of people that have contacted me with sleep problems, I have decided to write a short sleep program that combines relaxation, Cognitive Hypnotherapy, stress reduction and tips on helping you sleep more productively. I am currently in the process of completing this now.
If the Cognitive Hypnotherapy Sleep Program is something that you may be interested in once it is completed, please let me know by using my contact form here.
Just for the moment, try these tips below. Many of you will know these already but few actually really try to put them into practice. They can make a very big difference – take some action now to change your sleep patterns for the better.
Try to set a regular bedtime and wake up time
By going to sleep at the same time each evening and waking up at the same time each morning, you are setting up your up circadian rhythm to sleep well. Try not to break away from this routine at weekends.
Make your bedroom as dark as possible
Light stops the stimulation of your pineal gland to produce melatonin and serotonin. These hormones will help you to help sleep well. Even just a small amount of light can be enough to disrupt your sleep patterns. Light is a signal to your brain to be alert and awake. If you wake up in the night, try not to turn any on lights as this will affect your ability to get back to sleep.
Reduce your fluid intake just before bedtime
It would be for the best not to drink at all in the two hours before bedtime. Make sure you go to the toilet just before you go to bed. This may well stop you waking in the middle of the night.
No TV in the bedroom
The television can stimulate you in the one place that you really want to be calm and relaxed. Keep it switched off or take it out of the room.
Keep your bedroom cool
Try to keep the temperature in your bedroom below 18°C or 65°F. You can still keep warm with blankets and duvets. It is the temperature of the air that you are breathing that can make a difference.
7 / 11 Breathing
When you are in bed, practice inhaling for the count of 7 and the exhaling for the count 11. The amount of time you spend on each breath is not important – it is the ratio that is relevant. This can help your brain waves change to allow you to fall asleep. It can be difficult at first but after a few minutes, you may find that you get the hang of it.
I hope that this helps you achieve a good night’s sleep and please feel free to add any comments you have below.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can help further.