Sleep Hygiene

Can’t Sleep

I have clients that come for a variety of reasons, one issue is trouble sleeping.

Sleep is one of our basic needs for survival like food and water, so when we don’t feel we are getting the sleep we need, it can play havoc with our physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. Not being able to fall asleep or disrupted sleep, can occur for a variety of different reasons, some of which include; hormonal imbalances, medical conditions, sleep disorders, stress/anxiety and sleep hygiene.

If you are one of the 90% of people who will experience sleep problems at some stage in your life, which isn’t attached to an underlying medical condition, here are some simple sleep hygiene methods you could try before seeking professional help.

Things to AVOID:

  • limit caffeine consumption in the afternoons and evenings, this also includes; chocolate, colas, and chocolate drinks.
  • consuming alcohol and smoking at least 4 hours prior to going to bed
  • eating heavily in the evening or just before going to bed, especially sugars and sweets which act as a stimulants
  • using devices that emit blue-wavelength light, such as  Ipads/tablets, e-readers, laptops, mobile phones, LED monitors and TVs  at least an hour before going to bed. Studies show that these suppress melatonin which is your sleep inducing hormone and increase your cortisol which improves alertness.
  • afternoon naps, as this effects your natural circadian rhythms.
  • strenuous exercise just before going to bed
  • adrenaline (i.e. scary) inducing television/ movie programs and video games just before going to bed
  • If you have difficulty falling asleep, or wake up and can’t get back to sleep after 20 minutes, get up and do something boring i.e. read a boring book, sit in a chair in dark room until you feel sleepy and try again. This trains your brain to associate your bed with sleep.

Things to IMPLEMENT:

  • a calming bedtime ritual i.e. warm bath, reading a book or unlighted e- reader, listening to music.etc
  • relaxing techniques i.e. deep breathing,  mediation
  • try to go to bed and get up the same time each day which will retrain your circadian rhythms.
  • healthy food, water and exercise
  • calming herbal teas such as camomile

These are just a few suggestions but of course if problems persist always seek medical advice.

I can also help with some underlying emotional, stress, and nutritional issues.