Blog

sleepless man

Causes of insomnia

Posted by Brenda Doherty on July 4, 2015 at 12:39 pm
  Share with your friends
Share on Facebook
Facebook
Share on Google+
Google+
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Print this page
Print

 

So many of my clients and students complain about their noisy mind driving them crazy when they are trying to go to sleep.  Do you have a busy mind?

Let’s have a look at 3 key causes of sleeplessness that may be getting in the way of you not getting the great sleep you’re craving for.  Each one followed by a practical sleep tip that you can use from tonight to help change things around.

Top of the list is  –

1. The Busy Mind

We may go to great lengths to create a quiet environment for sleeping. Perhaps train the family not to slam doors, get the TV turned down, fix that dripping tap, get the noisy neighbours to quieten down and have their dog stop barking, sound proof the windows, wear earplugs, all those sorts of things, but for most of us the most disturbing noise is often the noise in our own head.

Those endless inner conversations, relentless worrying, tunes and jingles playing over and over, conversations being planned – the whole clutter, jumping hither and thither.  Phew!

The busy mind is a potent driver of sleeplessness.  If the mind is busy and restless, then sleep will be busy and restless.

TIP:  Develop the habit of gently focussing the mind when settling down in bed for sleep.  Your focus could be on observing the sleeping posture of your body, noticing the breath gently flowing in and out of the nostrils, noticing the feeling of letting go of tensions in the face, even perhaps noticing the feeling of sinking down in to the bed.  As the mind gently focuses it will quieten and so too will the body.  This is a great lead-in to getting a good night’s sleep.

2. Stress 

blog_stress-and-sleep-700px

With the speed and pressure of daily life at work, with family and friends; incessant noise of traffic, background music, continual talking, the persistent striving to accomplish dreams and desires, it is no wonder sleep is flying out the window as a deep restlessness and inability to feel comfortable with quiet and stillness develops.

The impact of stress also disturbs the delicate homeostatic balance of the body and can lead to the development of health troubles such as heart palpitations, obesity, diabetes, hormonal imbalance, headaches, constipation, perhaps skin rashes, sweating of the hands and feet.

Stress and sleep are the worst of bedfellows.  Stress robs us of sleep and ultimately robs us of health and happiness.

TIP: Firstly, an overall plan of action for stress management is essential. This can involve several things – prudent lifestyle changes, learning the essentials of relaxation, seeing a professional for guidance and support.  Secondly, from tonight create a pre-bedtime 10 minute breathing practice session for yourself.  Simply lay down on the floor and take yourself through five full breaths slowly and mindfully.  A full breath is associated with the relaxation response and will create a ‘sleepy atmosphere’ for your body and mind.

3. Heat

Strange as it may seem, you need to be cool to nod off. Remember those sweltering summer nights when you couldn’t sleep well?

blog_heat-and-sleep-700px

As part of your body’s natural sleep mechanisms, your body is cooling down as evening time progresses in to sleep time. For the most part we are usually unconscious of this process happening and may just put it down to the fact that because it is evening it is getting cool. In part that’s true, of course, but the magic of your own body is already preparing you for sleep in a few hours time by steadily bringing the body temperature down.

TIP: Ensure your bed is not over-heated with electric blankets, doonas or too many blankets. When settling down for sleep tune in to any excessive heat being created by the coverings. Even the slightest adjustment to lowering the temperature can have a huge effect on helping you sleep better. Having a partner in bed can disrupt the temperature gauge in more ways than just the obvious. Much better for you both to have your own separate bed coverings. You and your partner can then have the ease of being able to adjust the coverings to your own requirements for temperature control. Also there would be little chance of blankets being dragged off you when your partner turns over in bed.

Getting a better quality of sleep often lies in simple, pertinent changes. Try out the three above and see for yourself.

Next blog I will discuss Anxiety and Sleep and give you some practical guidance to help you feel calmer and develop more confidence in your ability to sleep better.

 

 

  Share with your friends
Share on Facebook
Facebook
Share on Google+
Google+
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Print this page
Print
Newsletter Sign Up CONTACT US
Take control of your sleeping habits.
Tailored workshops to meet your employees needs.