Several years ago, I was preparing to apply to graduate school by taking classes during the day while working third shift as a sorter at UPS. Given my schedule, I was lucky to get five hours of sleep on a daily basis. I was chronically sleep deprived for a year and a half. I knew that my schedule was contributing to being sleep deprived, but I thought there may have been something more serious going on. For me, going to sleep is usually not a problem, but having an uninterrupted sleep is.
As a child, my mom would get nervous because she would hear me stop breathing during the night while I slept. To help fix the problem, I had my adenoids removed which seemed to help the issue. While working at UPS, I decided to take a sleep study to determine if I was merely sleep deprived, or if something more significant was going on. It was determined I have mild sleep apnea and that working third shift was not conducive to me getting a good night's sleep. While at the sleep center, I learned tips to help me sleep better, as well as train my body and mind. In addition to these general tips, I’ll discuss how hypnosis can help you with sleep issues.
Tip One: Create a nightly routine
As a parent, you create a routine for your child. You have them bathe, brush their teeth, and possibly read a bedtime story. These tasks are an excellent method that helps them go to sleep. Adults are no different than children in this respect. It would be helpful for you to have a nightly routine – to help you prepare your body for the habit of sleep. It could be a relaxing bath, read a few pages from a book, or meditate. Reflect on things that help your body to relax.
Tip Two: Don’t take naps in your bed
To keep your body trained to know when you lay in bed, that it is time to go to sleep, try to avoid taking naps in your bed. Find a couch or another place to nap to avoid confusing your body between naptime or bedtime.
Tip Three: Avoid caffeine & alcohol
You don’t have to give it up but pay attention to how late into the day you consume caffeine. If you are craving a cup of coffee late in the day, try half decaf and half regular, or choosing a less caffeinated tea. You may find that alcohol helps you go to sleep, but according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, once the alcohol has metabolized and left your bloodstream, it may interrupt your sleep. (https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh25-2/101-109.htm)
Tip Four: Journal before bed
If you are having trouble sleeping due to issue going on in your life, try to journal about them. Do you have a busy day ahead of you and just can’t seem to get your to do items out of your head? Write them down. Or, if you are having difficulty going to sleep because you are excited about…. Get the thoughts, feelings, and emotions out on paper, so you don't have to dwell on them while you are asleep.
Tip Five: Self-Hypnosis
I have shared some simple tips you can use to help get a better night's rest. I want to share a technique I use with clients during my hypnotherapy sessions that you can use for yourself. I utilize a method called “the control room”. The control room can be used for many things, and to be able to have a good night's sleep, is one of them. I will walk you through the process so you can use it on your own.
First, lie down and get comfortable. Look up to the ceiling and begin to count down from ten to one. With each number, you will open and close your eyes. When your eyes are open, you will focus on a spot on the ceiling.
10…. Close your eyes and feel a wave of relaxation come over you.
Open your eyes and close your eyes 9. Feel another wave of relaxation come over you.
Open your eyes and close your eyes 8. Feel another wave of relaxation come over you.
Open your eyes and close your eyes 7. Feel another wave of relaxation come over you.
Open your eyes and close your eyes 6. Feel another wave of relaxation come over you. Open your eyes and close your eyes 5. Feel another wave of relaxation come over you. Feel another wave of relaxation come over you. Open your eyes and close your eyes 4. Feel another wave of relaxation come over you. Open your eyes and close your eyes 3. Feel another wave of relaxation come over you. Open your eyes and close your eyes 2. Open your eyes and close your eyes 1. Feel another wave of relaxation come over you.
Now imagine a control room in your mind. In the control room, there are levers, buttons, and dials. Ask your subconscious mind to adjust any levers, buttons, or dials, that are preventing you from having a good night’s rest. Ask your subconscious mind to change any other leavers, buttons, or dials that would be in your highest good. (E.I. reduce stress, relax, happy button, etc.)
You can use this technique anytime you would like to have a better night’s sleep. You have the power within yourself to make this change.
Check out this video to see the control room technique in action. In the video below, you will see how I helped a client reduce stress and utilized the control room technique for a better night’s sleep. (The control room technique begins @ 7:21 minutes in the video)
If you would like assistance to have a better night’s sleep, give me a call! For a free 15-minute consultation, please call 619.880.7010.
Primary photo of man sleeping: This photograph is considered public domain and has been cleared for release. If you would like to republish please give the photographer appropriate credit. Further, any commercial or non-commercial use of this photograph or any other DoD image must be made in compliance with guidance found at http://www.dimoc.mil/resources/limitations.html , which pertains to intellectual property restrictions (e.g., copyright and trademark, including the use of official emblems, insignia, names and slogans), warnings regarding use of images of identifiable personnel, appearance of endorsement, and related matters.
Sleep Study Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/armymedicine/11191238585