Most of us at some point have had problems sleeping, usually when we have been worried about something.

Sadly for some people this can be an ongoing issue. Chronic insomnia has been linked to stress, anxiety and depression (amongst other things). And unfortunately it can become a vicious circle as the more sleep deprived you are, the worse your symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression can become.

My own sleep patterns usually become disrupted if I am feeling stressed or anxious. And I have tried lots of things over the years to help with this.  Here are some recommendations that may help improve your symptoms of insomnia.

  • Avoid coffee and alcohol before bed. Do not have caffeine after 12 MD.
  • Do not have a big meal before you go to bed.
  • Do not exercise within 3 hours of bedtime as this can over stimulate you. Gentle yoga such as a restorative yoga class is the exception to this rule.
  • Have a regular relaxing bedtime routine, such as soaking in a bath, meditating or listening to soothing music.
  • Try to reduce the amount of television you watch and mobile phone use in the evenings, especially looking at things that scare you or get you wound up! I try to put my mobile phone in another room from 8 pm (most of the time….).
  • If you do like to soak in a bath, then I can recommend throwing in a few handfuls of Magnesium Chloride flakes or some lavender based aromatherapy bath oil such as NYR aromatic foaming bath. Then lie in the bath for 20 minutes. This will help you relax and get you ready for sleep.
  • Go to bed early as possible.
  • Keep artificial light to a minimum in your bedroom. That may mean getting some black out curtains or blinds. If you use an electric clock then turning it away from your bed might help.
  • Make sure that your bedroom is quiet. If there is a lot of external noise then you may want to consider using ear plugs.
  • EMFs/WIFI can interfere with melatonin production (and you need this for sleep) – so turn off mobiles and routers in your house at night. Most definitely DO NOT have your mobile phone beside your bed. If you normally use it as your alarm then buy a cheap alarm clock. And WIFI devices that monitor your exercise and sleep might actually interfere with your sleep too, so I would recommend keeping them in a different room at night.
  • If you wake up during the night sweating or your heart is pounding, then this might be caused by low blood sugar levels. Try eating a small snack before bed, such as an oatcake and nut butter. This has both protein and slow releasing carbohydrates so will balance your blood sugars.

Still can’t sleep?

  • Go to bed when you feel sleepy. If you are still awake after 30 mins then either try meditating in bed or get up and meditate or read a book for a short time (do not go on your phone or watch TV!). Then try to sleep again.
  • Consider having some Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT/Tapping), Shiatsu or Reiki sessions. For more information please feel free to contact me.