Have you ever had problems with your sleep? I have and it has been an ongoing struggle at times. I know if I feel nervous about something It can trigger a night of waking at the bewitching hour of 3am.
We all need sleep as without it we would die. How much sleep we need is dependent on the person but the average is between 6-10 hours. A good way to test if you have had enough sleep is how you feel upon waking. If you feel refreshed and alert then you have had enough sleep! In a culture that seems to have being busy as a badge of achievement it is easy to become over stimulated and not put in the required time for selfceare Insomnia is an ever increasing problem and at the root of it is often stress- an ongoing feeling of overwhelm due to emotional needs not being met and this subsequently leads to sleep disturbances. There are also occasions though where capturing a healthy sleep response has just been deconditioned through unhealthy sleep habits and this is where behavioural therapy can work.
See what you think about this.
Set a time to sleep depending on when you usually get tired. For example my bedtime alarm is set for 9-30pm which means I have an hour to wind down before bed – then I have an alarm set for 6am each morning .
While you are retraining yourself these times must remain the same even at weekends.
If you go to bed and you are not asleep within 1/2 hour then get up and do something boring like cleaning, polishing, ironing, reading a book standing up, whatever nods to a tedious task for you, then as soon as you are tired go back to bed. If after 1/2 an hour you still aren’t asleep get up and do the same thing.
Keep doing this until you sleep through until the morning. This helps to create an association of your bed being a place to sleep rather than be awake and trains the brain by associating a tedious task with being awake. This behavioural technique usually takes approximately two weeks to recondition and capture the correct sleep response. You cannot fall asleep at any other time of the day while retraining either!
The wind down period before sleep is of course important. Do not start doing your taxes or anything that will be remotely stimulating an hour before bedtime. Make sure you have blackout blinds if necessary or you’re wearing sleep mask to block out any light that may come in to your room as daylight breaks. Drinking a camomile tea or spraying lavender on your pillow can also be helpful. Do not work out too late either as this can rev up the nervous system too. I often use the Calm app because the sleep stories are very soothing and have lots of rich metaphors in them which your brain can find it’s own meaning too.