Insomnia is such a common complaint I see in clinical practice. Nearly every client has some sleep related issue whether its trouble falling asleep, waking during the night or just feeling exhausted in the morning. There are many causes of insomnia, each with their own specific treatment. However, I thought I would share some simple tools you can implement to help you switch off and gain a more peaceful night sleep.
1. Avoid anything too stimulating an hour before bed. This may include computers, TV, exercise or heated discussions. Instead try something relaxing such as a warm bath, some meditation, listening to calming music or writing in a journal (which can be a great way for removing all the thoughts that swim around in our heads).
2. Make sure your bedroom is conducive to a good night’s sleep. It should be dark, quiet and still with no electrical appliances such as mobile phones near the bed head and your bed should be comfortable.
3. Stimulating foods should be avoided after lunch time. This means no coffee, alcohol, very spicy foods or sugar after 2pm.
4. Have relaxing herbal teas in the evening (but not too close to bed time to avoid waking with the need to urinate). Try chamomile, passionflower, lemon balm or valerian tea!
5. There are some specific pressure points to hold that can also help with sleeplessness. Place one hand on your coccyx and the other under the ankle bone of the opposite foot. Hold this position for ten minutes or until you feel pulsing in the fingers and then swap sides.
6. Consume foods that contain tryptophan in the evening such as turkey, milk, almonds, banana or eggs. If you feel like a snack in the evening a banana smoothie or a few nuts and seeds are a good option.
7. The body likes routine. Make an effort to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. In the evenings spend a few minutes looking at the moon and go outside first thing in the morning to get some sunlight. This helps to regulate the body’s circadian rhythm.