Exposure Technique : Counting Sheep? Sleep Management.

We all know that a hot, milky drink and a warm bath are supposed to relax you before bed, but many of us still can’t slip into slumber.

With insomnia becoming a more and more prominent issue for many people, for various reasons I thought I’d share some techniques taught to me during exposure therapy. Trutjfully jeepi g a sleep jornal seems cheesy but it honestly does help pinpoint what is the route problem, keep track for a week of what you eat/drink/do for a few house before bed. Note down how many times you wake and when and how many his sleep you had. Through the following week try some of the suggestions below and keep track also, see if you can find your trigger andmdnd route issue. For now, onto the suggestions!

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Set up a Sleep Space: Make sure your bedroom is for sleeping, dressing and sex.

We all know that the more interactive your bedroom is the more time you will spend in it. While watching shows or movies in bed is a good way to wind down every now and again, spending too much time on your bed watching the TV or gaming or messing about on your laptop sends your brain the idea that your bed is a place of being awake.

Limit what is available in your room to interact with, currently the only thing I’m guilty of is reading in bed.

Make your bed you safe haven from being awake, make it comfortable for you. The second you slide into the sheets you picked out and lay your head down it’ll help you towards drifting off.

 

Squeeze and relax: Tense and untense.

Anxiety expert Charles Linden says: “Lying on your back, take a deep, slow breath in through your nose and, at the same time, squeeze your toes tightly as if you are trying to curl them under your foot, then release the squeeze.”

On another slow breath, curl your foot up toward your knee, then release. Breathe again, contract your calf muscles, then your thighs, buttocks, belly, chest, arms, and so on until you have moved all the way up your body, squeezing and releasing the muscles one by one.

Relaxing all your muscles helps to fall asleep before bed. When you have gone from head to toe, your breathing should be steady and you should feel ready for sleep.

 

Try to stay awake: Play minds games with yourself.

Challenge yourself to stay awake – your mind will rebel. Keep your eyes wide open, repeat to yourself ‘I will not sleep’. The brain doesn’t process negatives well, so interprets this as an instruction to sleep. If pared with closing your eyes and rolling them up three times while closed its a pretty nifty technique thats worked failry often for me.

 

Press here: Reflexology.

There are special points in the body which promote sleep when pressed gently but firmly. Put your thumb on the point between your eyebrows at the top of your nose, where there’s a slight indent. Hold for 20 seconds, release briefly and repeat twice more.

 

Take a breather: Control your breathing whilest trying to sleep.

Breathing naturally slows as you fall asleep. Amazon has many products that are said to aid berthing control, such as the Night wave Sleep Assistant which projects a low blue light that slowly rises and falls on the ceiling. Synchronise your breathing with the wave as it becomes slower and you should fall asleep after a few cycles.

 

Make a worry list: Don’t think before you sleep.

Going over a to-do list in bed is a major cause of insomnia. Over thinking is a great disrupter of sleep so before bed, write your list on paper so you can forget it until next day.

 

Set aside some Calm Time: Get yourself ready for bed.

Make sure there’s some wind down time and hour before bed, time mind you that isn’t spent on your phone or playing a video game. Drink some camomile tea or take a warm bath, you know what relaxes you most but make sure it’s nothing overly stimulating. Some people even say yoga before bed relaxes them.

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Hopefully these are some little tricks and techniques you can try out. Let me know if any work or suggestions for more in the comments below and, until my next post…see you all online. Charlotte x

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