Hypnotherapists see many clients over time and we also hear many stories and experiences. One problem that occurs over and over is the need for good healthy sleep and the frustration of not being able to do something that is so very basic to our overall well being. Many people suffer sleep deprivation; this occurs for many different reasons, the slick answer is that our lives are so busy that we have trained ourselves to be available 24/7. That it is becoming more and more difficult to switch off after an eventful day.
Let’s look at a simple step that any of you can take for yourselves to help re-learn this important “switch off” step and let you sleep when you need to and for as long as you need which is just as important. Some individuals can get by with 4 -5 hours sleep a night. Note the term “get by” this is not the same as saying that is all the sleep they need. Getting by allows you to manage a busy life style for a time, however the need to balance your natural sleep requirements with your current practice is worth looking at.
Recent research has placed in doubt the practice of catching up on the weekends and banking credits or reducing deficits of sleep. Again for some of you this will be enough especially when you are young and your body is more vital and flexible, however learning to get good restful sleep, to make the very most of it will be far more beneficial to your long term ability and health. For more mature people setting realistic paterns in place and getting proper sleep is better, safer and will be more enjoyable. So I will outline for you a simple technique that may allow you to understand exactly what gets in the way for you.
Today we will look at the problem of “getting to sleep” in a future post I will talk about staying asleep and also getting back to sleep if you wake several times each night. Understanding what keeps you awake is the first step to solving this dilemma, do you know; have you taken the time to notice, is it comfort/security; or is it that busy mind of yours unable to switch off. Are you running over all the days problems organising yourself for tomorrow, living ahead all of the time?
Understanding this vital point is your starter; so here is a technique that allows you to focus and see for yourself what’s going on in your head! Create a routinue that lets you sit quietly and focus, a mindfulness practice; if you live with others find a quiet spot and using whatever works for you; music -quiet thoughtful music – or colour – a particular part of your house – space – even if it is outdoors, and give yourself ten minutes or so to quietly consider your problem.
Slow your breathing and on each outward breath tell yourself that you are relaxing, letting go of tension… slow breath in and hold then let your breath go and focus on how your body feels, the pleasant warm feeling, the heaviness of your muscles, concentrating, letting go, no questions here… just notice what is happening, you are an observer, noting and connecting your body and your mind, very quiet, very peaceful, very comfortable, just practice this, no more for now, noticing your physical resonses, letting your mind wander, just keeping in mind what is it that keeps me awake. After you have practiced this first step for a few nights and can easily begin to relax yourself you can begin to focus your mind and ask yourself “What do I need to do to help me fall to sleep easily and quickly?” thoughts will enter your mind, if necessary write them down; leave the notes for awhile then read them, use what you have written for the next few nights and then use this as your next step.
If you have any questions on this technique, please write here or email me and we can share your thoughts. For now I have used all my space for this blog, I will be continuing with this subject matter in the next couple of blogs. Good luck with your practice be consistant; relaxing is not as easy as it sounds, we are losing the knack!