During this time of coronavirus many of us may have noticed that we’re feeling more emotionally stressed and anxious, perhaps not sleeping as well as we usually would. You’re not alone, many of us will be feeling like this. Perhaps you’re finding it hard to fall asleep when you first climb into bed? Or that you’re waking up in the middle of the night and unable to drop back off again?
I’m sure we all know that when we don’t sleep well we wake up feeling fatigued, can find it difficult to concentrate and feel less able to cope. If difficulty sleeping continues we become exhausted and the more we worry about not sleeping the worse it can get as we begin to anticipate that we aren’t going to sleep well and worry even more. As we worry more and more we get in a cycle of poor sleep and more worry, however, there are lots of steps we can take which will help to improve our sleep pattern.
Have a routine – try to be consistent in the time that you get up and go to bed, (this has been shown to be helpful in maintain the timing of the body’s internal clock.)
Reduce alcohol and caffeine particularly in the evening ( these are stimulants)
Short naps (less than 30 mins) can be helpful to provide relaxation and rejuvenation.
Be active – try to do some exercise every day.
Exposure to light – natural light particularly sunshine has beneficial effects on circadian rhythm ( internal process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle).
Social connections: – maintaining regular contact with family and friends; showing and receiving kindness; giving and receiving support, all of these help us feel connected and reduce stress which in turn will have a positive effect on mood and sleep.
Relaxation ; being able to switch off and fully relax is a very powerful way of dealing with stress and anxiety. Finding techniques that you enjoy for example, mindfulness or guided meditation, yoga or calming music/relaxation recordings can all help in shifting your thinking from worries to more positive thoughts. When we are feeling mentally relaxed we are more likely to be able to drift off into a good sleep. Repetition can be helpful, if we listen to the same relaxation recordings or music each night it becomes familiar to the mind which is then able to ‘switch off ‘ more readily allowing you to relax more easily and deeply.
If you would like to find out how hypnotherapy may help please do get in touch to have a chat.
In these uncertain times I’m currently offering online hypnotherapy sessions via Zoom at 50% reduction.