Many people find themselves struggling to sleep. It may only be the occasional night, but for some, night after night is a struggle. Here are a few tips that may make a big difference. It’s not a case of picking the ones you favour, you really need to put as many in place as you can.
* Keep a fixed bedtime and getting up time even if your sleep has been awful.
* No reading, listening to the radio, watching television in bed.
*No computers, tablets, smart phones (the light omitted disrupts the release of melatonin, a hormone required to sleep) – the bed is strictly for sleep and sex only.
* Put your watch and alarm clock completely out of sight.
* Use ear plugs and an eye shade in bed to keep avoid exposure to sound or light during the night.
* Avoid caffeine (tea, coffee, fizzy drinks and chocolate) and nicotine from 2PM.
*Avoid exercise in the hour or so before bed.
* Eat a small snack several hours before bed.
* Spend no more than 20 minutes lying in bed trying to sleep.
If you can’t fall asleep within 20 minutes, get up and go to another room. This room should be warm and dimly lit. Then perform a relaxing activity (not doing daytime tasks which act as a ‘reward’ for staying awake).
When you start to feel sleepy, go back to bed. If you are still awake about 20 minutes later, repeat the process.
* Absolutely no naps during the day at all.
* Just prior to going to bed perform a relaxing activity.
* Once in bed switch off the light immediately.
* Always remember that sleep will come to you naturally and that different people need different amounts of sleep.
* Remember difficulty sleeping is very common, it is not as harmful as you believe. Getting upset about it will only make it worse.
Good luck in putting these strategies in place.
Remember, sleep is a passive process, the harder you try to sleep the harder it will be.
Contact me if you wish to book an appointment to look closer at any sleeping difficulties you may have. Alternatively visit www.insomnia-treatment.co.uk
Until next time. Steve
You may wish to know that Steve is now offering therapy sessions via Skype Please contact us through our website @ www.stevecliffordcbt.com
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Steve Clifford Senior Accredited Integrative Psychotherapist. Accredited Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist.