If you look up the word “insomnia” in a dictionary, you’ll see it defined as the inability to sleep. In a basic sense, that’s what it is. But that’s just a small part of the story.
People with insomnia generally have problems getting to sleep and/or staying asleep. If you suffer from insomnia, chances are you regularly experience one or more of the following:
- You find it hard to get to sleep at night
- You wake up during the night
- You wake up early and can’t get back to sleep
- You feel tired after waking up
- You feel worn-out, irritable and have trouble concentrating during the day
- You find it difficult to nap in the daytime even though you are tired
As a Hypnotherapist I help many people overcome insomnia. However there are plenty of non-hypnotic strategies that you can use to tackle insomnia. Here are 8 tips to improve your ability to fall asleep.
- Develop A Sleep Routine – go to bed at the same time every night to establish a pattern, and stick to it.
- Go To Bed To Sleep… Or Even Have Sex – avoid doing anything else in the bed. Reading or browsing online keeps your brain engaged and makes it more difficult to switch off.
- Make A No Technology Rule – Blue light from screens inhibits melatonin production (the sleep hormone). So either do not to use them at least two hours before bedtime, or to download a blue light filter app to turn the blue light off.
- Monitor Food & Drink Intake – avoid caffeine for 4-8 hours before going to bed. Also try not to eat any food for 2-4 hours before bedtime. It is better to go to bed feeling neither hungry nor stuffed, as either feeling could be enough to make you feel uncomfortable and make it harder to get to sleep.
- Don’t Overdo It – try not to exercise within 2-4 hours before going to sleep. Exercise can actually help people sleep by de-stressing the body. But if you exercise too close to bedtime you risk being overstimulated, which again makes it difficult to get any shuteye.
- Avoid Alcohol Near Bedtime – If you need a drink, I encourage you to drink some water. Alcohol dehydrates the body and reduces REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. That means you are more likely to feel drowsy and unable to concentrate properly during the daytime.
- Practice 4-7-8 Yogic Breathing – The idea is to count to 4 as you inhale, hold one’s breath for 7 counts, then exhale for 8 counts. The numbers may not be significant, but the concept of focusing on you breathing could help you relax, unwind, and eventually drop off to sleep.
- Sleep in a Dark Room – Be sure you are sleeping room is dark. Even the red light on a clock or radio is enough to keep people awake.
- Practice Good Nutrition – Eating junk food that causes indigestion can prevent good sleep. Be sure your food provides all the vitamins and amino-acids required for health.
If you have tried some of these techniques without much success, then book an appointment and dig deep to the root cause with hypnosis and get your much needed SLEEP.