Julie Morley   (MNCS Accred, Hyp.dip, dip.psysextherapy, Adv.dip.CP)

Personal Psychotherapist

Market Deeping, Peterborough, UK

Mob: 07761 065 726    Email: [email protected]

Personal Psychotherapy Practice

& Women's Stress Consultancy & Counselling

Sleep and Insomnia

With sleep being a delicate system, it means it might needs addressing from many various angles, some of which are listed  below.

Devices

Dont use devices after 8pm including if you wake in the night. This includes phones, laptops and tablets even with the special screen on them. The screen wont be any help to prevent the stimulation involved in using the devices which can disturb sleep.

Sleep Calculator

Below is a link to an online sleep calculator. This calculator works with our natural sleep cycles which are scientifically known.  It can be helpful to go to sleep at a certain time so that you wake up better at the time that you need to.   Sleep Calculator


Prescription Medications

Check the side effects of Prescribed medications as some can affect your sleep and then talk to your Doctor.


Food and Drink

EAT REGULARLY

Eat Breakfast as this can stimulate all the brain the areas which helps towards informing the entire system that this is morning and this goes to wards the re-programming of the sleep system.  Making sure you eat lunch and then dinner and maybe a small supper too.


Reduce or eliminate Caffiene, alcohol and have no energy drinks.


INCLUDE

Ensure your diet includes foods with calcium, Pottasium, Magnesium, Iron and B vitamins.  (Bananas, Nuts and seeds, red meats, green vegetables like spinach with your salad, milk and malt drinks)


Maybe take suppliments to ensure you get these vitamins and minerals.

Plan for waking in the night

In the beginning of addressing sleep problems ,and also on some random nights in your life and also during stressful periods in life, you will experience waking in the night and difficulty sleeping.  This is normal. 

This means that it is a good idea to plan for waking times and choose what might be a good thing to do when you waking in the night.  Usually, most people are ready to go back to sleep after 60-90 minutes as long as they do the right thing.   A general rule is to get up out of bed to spend this hour or so, elsewhere with the lights dim and as little stimulation as possible. 


Some ideas some people have are:

Reading a book

Continuing a netflix series with the lights out

Making a warm drink (no caffiene) and reading


Your Bedroom

Room Temperature

Check the temperature in your room.  Your bodies temperature needs to drop before you can fall asleep and so your room needs to be as cool as possible.   While asleep, you will wake up often if you are too room and wake up wide awake if you are cold. (not that these are THE reason you are waking, but sometimes it might be). 


Windows need to be open so that you are getting fresh air.


Noise Levels

What noises are happenning in the night or in the early hours?  Does traffic start to increase outside the front of the house or do the birds in spring make a lot of noise?  Consider moving rooms in the house, using white noise or ear plugs. 


Partner Sleeping in the room

Are you being disturbed by a partner either moving, snoring, coming to bed after you or getting up during the night. Consider sleeping elsewhere or requesting they do, at least for a trial.  It is a myth that couples should sleep in 1 bed together sharing one quilt.  For instance, people often need different weighted Duvets.

Lifestyle Check

Use the Daylight

Go outside mid-day for definate but if possible go outside morning, mid-day and afternoon.  Some people need to access the natural environment simply for the sleep system to work, and sometimes this can be effective for re-establishing sleep if a problem with it has occurred. 


Exercise

All bodies need exercise and this can balance our brain chemicals (hormones) too, including the ones needed for sleeping and eating.  At the very least do brisk walking 3 times a week for at least 20 mins per time, preferably in a natural environment with trees.


The natural environment has been proven to be relaxing because it has an effect on the brain because it is the natural environment our physiology responds to.  This may well help towards better sleep.


Bedtime routine

Don't expect to sleep well if you have had a night out, done exercise later in the evening or had big discussions or even conversations with friends or family. This includes in person or on devices.


Morning Routine

The morning should also have it's routine.  Everyone has to refresh, wash or shower, clean teeth, make ourselves presentable and have a drink like a cup of tea in bed.  Try to do an order that suits you.


General life routine

How stressful is your life. Are you able to reduce the amount of things you are responsible for and or reduce your committments?


Hormones

The hormones required for sleep and staying asleep and indeed waking up are wrapped up with all the hormones we make in our brains and bodies.  Making sure we burn off natural adrenaline and cortizone with exercise, not over eating or under eating helping our hormones related to food and addressing any disruptions involved with using contraception, antidepressants or recrational drugs or alcohol can help go towards the overall balance of hormones.


Herbal Suppliments

Herbs have been used since humans became bipedal and possibly before, as do some mammals.  Research which herbal teas or tablets might help you.  Take a look at camomile Tea, Melatonin as tablets, St John's Wort tablets  and Tablets that contain Valerian. (Always consider any medications that you are on and if herbs can impact negatively on you if you mix them.  For example, some herbs can counteract the contraceptive pill.

Aromatherapy

Lavender has been proven to be a relaxant and the essential oil can be bought cheaply from any good chemist and on Amazon.  A couple of drops on your pillow can have a powerful effect.  Lavender products are also sold but buying the pure essential oil is a more effective way to use this oil.  Other aromatherapy oils can aid sleep too and a few oils to use to ease Psychological or emotional issues are listed on this link.


Weighted Blanket

There has been some good evidence that a weighted blanket can help keep a person asleep, interupt bad sleep habits if used just sometimes and help you relax better and quicker.


Children and babies

Some sleep problems are created by being a mother and responsible for babies and children and them waking in the night.  CBT can help with this type of sleep problem that has been created because of these early years.


PMR

Progessive Muscle Relaxation has a significant effect on sleep issues as well as anxiety, stress and tension. Use the PMR recordings on YouTube every night until sleep improves and then use them just sometimes as and when needed.


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Hypnosis

Massage Reflexology

Sleep Journal

Dream Journal

Normal Journal before bed- blessings


Dusk to Dawn lamp

Magic



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