Insomnia is difficult to deal with not least because when you’re tired, emotional thinking takes over. This is often where our minds spin out of control with thoughts, songs and even daydreams keeping us awake.
Here are some tips to help you increase your chance of a good sleep;
1. Cut down on the coffee
We all know that caffeine is a stimulant but did you know it has a half–life of over 5 hours? This means that 10 hours after your last cup, a quarter of that coffee is still in your system. This is why afternoon caffeine keeps you awake at night. Reduce your caffeine intake during the day and avoid it completely after lunchtime. (Remember that tea, colas and even hot chocolate contain caffeine too).
2. Have a good bedtime routine
Create a relaxing bedtime routine. Our brains love habits and a relaxing bedtime routine tells it when to wind down for the night. At the same time each night, have a bath, a warm drink (not coffee!), maybe read a good book; take your time and don’t rush.
3. Switch off that computer/TV/phone/tablet
The blue light from electronic screens confuses your brain. It’s been known for over 10 years that the blue background light stimulates the brain in the same way that daylight does. So switch off those laptops, mobiles and tablets when you begin your bedtime routine.
4. Stop trying to sleep
‘Trying’ to sleep does two things. Firstly it means you’re concentrating on something so your mind doesn’t switch off and secondly it can focus you on the fact that you’re still awake. Instead, simply allow yourself to rest. Sleep will happen when you’re not looking!
5. Fall asleep listening to me!
Download the free Hypno-Slumber mp3
which I’ve written and recorded especially for subscribers to September’s TBTalks. Listen to it every night at bedtime for a month. Notice the things that let you know you’re already becoming more relaxed.
If these don’t help, it may be that underlying anxiety, depression or stress is behind your insomnia. If you'd like to talk through whether Cognitive Hypnotherapy could be for you, do get in touch. Contact me here.
Sooner than you might think, you might be having that peaceful night’s sleep once more.
N.B. Insomnia sometimes has a medical cause. If you suspect this might be the case, seek medical advice.