Sleepless in Norwich

Posted on 29th May 2017 | Category: CBT

One of the most common problems that affects the post-industrial man and woman is stress. But what does this stress actually look like? Well, one of the main symptoms of being on edge and anxious is a lack of sleep. And being sleepless in Norwich could be effecting your job and lifestyle.

Some people have full on insomnia and cannot sleep. Others have trouble getting off, but when they are asleep they could rest for day. And finally there are those that have a shallow sleep cycle and wake up frequently during the night. It is this last portion of poor sleepers that we are going to focus our advice on.

When it comes to waking up in the night, one of the principle reasons why we cannot get back to sleep is the endless chatter of forebrain activity in our minds. What is the best way to quieten down this noise of anxiety and stress?

Some people prefer a practical approach and make lists of everything they need to do in the following day or have a ritual before they go to sleep to put their mind at rest. Shutting windows, checking doors are locked twice and even going outside to get some assurance that the car alarm is on are all practices that can stop the worry wheel from turning over in your head.

It’s when we wake and start to roll over events of the future in our heads that we start to find the anxious space that prevents us from achieving a deep night of sleep. In these instances it can be helpful to look at the different causes of this light and shallow sleep.

One of the principles reasons for this is over-tiredness. Sometimes we are almost too exhausted to sleep. The body has become run down and activities during the day-time can stretch us so thinly that we tumble into bed feeling strung out and wired.

In these instances the important realisation is that you are fighting a losing battle. It is in fact better to take a day off at the weekend from any important activity than to keep on trying to muscle on through, as resting in the day will actually mean that you are more relaxed when it comes to bed-time.

There is also now an increasing awareness over the effect of visual media on sleep patterns. Smartphone screens that belt out light at a similar intensity to that of the sun are said to trick the brain into thinking we are in the middle of the day.

Similarly the high adrenaline and nervous energy produced by certain kinds of films and video games can produce a spike in heart rate that isn’t conducive to getting off to sleep.

What to do when you actually wake up in those early hours and start stressing about getting back to sleep? Well the first thing to do is observe your breathing pattern. Place both hands on your lower abdomen and concentrate on your breath. Take long slow deep breaths whilst lying relaxed on your back. If you do this quickly after waking it will sometimes get you to sleep on its own.

Otherwise the important thing to realise is that when you are in bed this is your rest time. Enjoy it. Savour it. Free yourself up to do nothing and tell yourself you are going to lie there till the alarm goes off regardless of whether you sleep or not. It’s a time for you to recuperate. And don’t look at your phone.

Hypnotherapy can help you find a pathway back to sleep and give you personal access to the mindset that promotes sleep. To find out more why not call me and book a free consultation appointment and we can discuss how you can get better and more effective rest and you can overcome being sleepless in Norwich, Norfolk or anywhere in the UK.