Do you suffer from broken sleep?
As the Reflexologist at The Natural Practice, I find many of my clients suffer from poor quality sleep and this can lead to fatigue, irritability and stress. There are many reasons for this and these I explore with my clients during a Reflexology treatment and are obviously too numerous and individual, to cover here. So my aim is to share with you a few techniques you can try to help break the cycle of broken sleep. Failing this, you may wish to consider a Reflexology session where I can assist you further in getting to the root of your sleep problems and help rebalance your body.
The first thing to remember is sleeping is a habit and the good news is, like any habit, it’s possible to change it. Your aim is to develop some good sleep habits:
● Try and go to sleep and wake up at the same time.As sleep is a habit,this will help your body to recognise this pattern and conform to it.
● Limit caffeine and nicotine intake as both are stimulants. If possible, have neither (or cut down) in the afternoon.
● Try to avoid watching TV or using your phone whilst in bed. You want to keep your bedroom as a haven for sleep, your brain should associate it with calmness and rest, not electronic activity.
● Create bed time rituals,which your brain willr ecognise and accept that sleep is imminent. Whatever you choose, make it relaxing, eg take a bath, listen to calming music or read a book (ideally not a thriller!).
Do you find yourself wide awake in the middle of the night?
This is such a common complaint and anyone who has suffered from this will find it hugely frustrating. It may be 4 am and you are absolutely wide awake but know that by the time your alarm goes off, in a few hours, you’ll feel exhausted. The trick to this tip is to act as soon as you realise you are waking up at the wrong hour. So please imagine you are waking up when it’s pitch black outside and clearly too early, don’t be tempted to look at your alarm clock or check your phone for the time as this will encourage your brain to wake up even more. Instead, imagine you are hearing your alarm go off, really concentrate on the sound so your brain registers the alarm tone, then either imagine or physically reach out and pretend you are hitting the snooze button or switching off your alarm clock or your phone or whatever device you use (but don’t actually do it as it’ll wake you up more and you also run the risk of cancelling your alarm!). Once you have pretended to switch the alarm off, snuggle back down into your bed and you should go back into a lovely, peaceful sleep. You may have to repeat this a couple of times but hopefully it won’t take too many attempts until you drop off again. This technique is all about stopping your brain from fully waking you up and fooling it into thinking you’re giving yourself a lovely lie in!
Do you struggle to get to sleep as your mind is still busy with thoughts or worries?
This is such a common problem and is so frustrating when you are exhausted and ready to sleep but your mind is going through your entire “to do list” or stressing about whose birthday you've forgotten! The trick with this is to focus your brain on something else to distract it. This is my favourite technique as once you’ve learned it, you can even use it during the day if you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed. You will be creating a peaceful and relaxing image in your mind which is personal to you and one that you will look forward to escaping to. You can also use it if you wake up too early, instead of (or as well as) the two techniques above. During summer lockdown I made a short 5 minute video which teaches this to you - click here to listen.
I hope you find these techniques useful and helpful. Sleep tight and sweet dreams! Jane Pearce M.B.R.A.