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The Importance of Sleep

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As 17th March is World Sleep Day, I wanted to talk about the importance of good sleep and how it can benefit our overall health and wellbeing. Unfortunately, for more than 30% of the British population, insomnia can be a real challenge. Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep, waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to fall back to sleep or waking up too early.

There are many things that can contribute to insomnia, including stress, anxiety, poor sleep hygiene, and even certain medications. But there are also things we can do to improve our sleep and create an environment that will bring about good sleep naturally. Here are some top tips for sleeping well:

  • Stick to a consistent sleep schedule. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
  • Create a relaxing sleep environment. Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet, and invest in a comfortable mattress and pillows.
  • Limit your exposure to screens. The blue light from electronic devices can interfere with your body's natural sleep rhythms, so try to avoid screens for at least an hour before bed.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed, and don't eat a heavy meal too close to bedtime.
  • Take time to de-stress and relax before bed, whether that's through meditation, self-hypnosis, yoga, or simply reading a book.

Unlike many other challenges in life where putting in more effort usually results in success, treating insomnia is the opposite, the harder you try to sleep the further away it seems to get. One of the best things we can do is to create a positive mindset around sleep. Rather than getting frustrated or anxious when we lie in bed awake, try to embrace the idea of simply relaxing in bed. This will help to condition your mind and body to associate the bed with feelings of comfort and relaxation, making it easier to drift off when the time is right.

Bedtime Body Scan

To help promote relaxation and calm before bed, try this short body scan relaxation exercise. Simply lie down comfortably in bed and close your eyes. Starting at the top of your head, focus your attention on each part of your body in turn, taking a few deep breaths and consciously relaxing each muscle group as you go. Imagine a wave of relaxation washing over you, and allow yourself to sink into a state of deep relaxation and peace. With practice, this exercise can help to calm your mind and prepare you for a restful night's sleep.

Remember, good sleep is essential for our health and wellbeing, so make sure you're taking care of yourself and prioritising your sleep. If you need further support for sleep, hypnotherapy can help. Get in touch for more information or book a session with me here. Happy World Sleep Day!