Posted: 3rd April 2017
To me, people will say things like: “I’m really struggling with sleep, for many reasons. I’ve tried guided meditation and lavender. My mind wanders when I try to meditate. I’m only getting about 4 hours sleep a night”
Sleep is so important. Lack of sleep can affect all aspects of your life, leaving you mentally and physically exhausted and causing a number of health concerns as well as potential issues with your relationships.
There are so, so many reasons for insomnia and so many ways to try and beat it. Sadly, there is usually no ‘quick fix’ and more than one treatment and/or therapy needs to be applied, on a daily basis, for them to start to be successful.
Although people say they don’t want to bore me with details, if I had a consultation with them, I would want to know those details so I could start to think of the right treatments for them.
Although I never believe in a one-size-fits-all approach, here are some questions you could ask yourself, and some ideas based on the potential answers to those questions.
Mediation and/or self-hypnosis.
Both are difficult to practise and be successful at. And, they do need practise. If you are trying any of these, I would suggest, keep at it. If your mind wanders, try and bring it back to the present, focus on counting your breaths until you start to empty your mind again. With daily practise, you can achieve from 2 minutes per session to 2 hours (if you wanted to, which I never have, lol). Try and do it more than once per day. It does get easier.
How and when are you exercising?
Are you exercising during the day or late into the evening? It could be that your body type is not one that wants to exercise too late as it continues to be awake and have its metabolic rate still going, as well as the various hormones which keep the body active internally, even if we are not physically active. If you are exercising in the evening, up to 4 hours before starting to wind down, perhaps you need to change your routine?
Do you have a fixed bed time routine?
This is something I teach a lot. A switch off routine is incredibly important. Things like: When you have finished work, take a shower to wash off the day (or a bath with marjoram or chamomile oils would be better), change your clothes, prepare for the next day, drink chamomile tea, eat a light meal, no alcohol, no sugar, write your journal and switch off technology at least an hour before bed. Some people think this is the best time to listen to some hypnosis, meditation etc, but it isn’t if the therapist wakes you up. Listen to bed time ones where they don’t wake you up/bring you out of trance. Have a set bed time and routine and you will soon see the benefits.
Personally I am not a fan of lavender. Mainly because people do not realise that if they over-use it, lavender is actually a stimulant. Chamomile essential oil and marjoram essential oils are much better, in my opinion. You can also drink chamomile tea to calm you from the inside out. Chamomile tea with honey or maple has other, enhanced, benefits too and good if you don’t like the taste of just chamomile tea.
When are you actually taking time out for you? Naturally, I massively advocate a damn good aromatherapy massage to relax the whole you, inside and out, mentally and physically. Arrange one late in the afternoon, at least once a month (more to start with) so that you can relax for the rest of the day before bed.
Time out and mindfulness
How often do you just go for a stroll, preferably in nature? I don’t mean a fast walk, or calorie burning in any way, I mean, a dawdle along, being mindful and appreciative of the things around you, using all your senses. Try and practise being mindful every day too. It becomes easier with practice.
Do you journal? If not, why not? If you have a lot going on in your head, dump your thoughts on paper. Keep a separate appreciation journal, where the last thing you do, is write down a few things you are grateful for, every day.
If the things in your head are things that need to be said, but you can’t, then write a letter to the people involved, but a letter that is never sent.
This is not exhaustive but a few of the most common things I suggest to people. I don’t suggest you try them all at once, because that, too, will be overwhelming and so exhausting.
Let me know how you feel about any, or all, of these and tell me which ONE you are going to start with.
Naturally, I can help with a range of therapies to help you improve your sleep, all of which can be found on my website http://plumessencetherapies.co.uk/services/
For a no-obligation chat, please just call on 01889 808388 or 07803399594 or book an appointment using the web address above.
From the end of July, I am offering a new 6-session programme called Mind Body Business, where a range of subjects are covered for business owners. A healthy mind and a healthy body will help lead to a healthy business.
For more details, please just email your interest on firstname.lastname@example.org