Why Can't I Sleep at Night?
Why Can't I Sleep at Night?
World Sleep Day (WSD) is celebrated each year in March and is an annual celebration of sleep - and a call to action on important sleep issues.
It is fair to say that sleep has been hugely affected for a large proportion of the population since the pandemic began.
To mark World Sleep Day we asked our practitioners to look at some of the questions people ask about sleep…...and give us some tips and advice for those that may be struggling to get a good night’s rest.
Why can’t I sleep at night?
What should I do when I can’t sleep?
Why can’t I sleep even though I’m tired?
Why do I have insomnia?
Practitioner Ben Calder gave us this advice….
NO blue light stimulation after 9pm. Ideally using blue light filters or glasses from sunset to stop the brain thinking its still daylight and disrupting hormone balance. Blue light is one of the biggest modern hormone disruptors for women and children especially.
No caffeine after 4pm Ideally not after lunch and should ideally be taken after food, not on an empty stomach.
Regular alcohol consumption can disrupt and reduce the quality of sleep. Cutting back to having alcohol two to three times a week at most will help to prevent this.
Consider herbal teas. Chamomile, lemon balm (Mellisa), mint, nettle anddandelion in the evenings can help calm the nerves.
Think about what you read. Watching or reading racy or stimulating material after 9pm can disturb sleep.
Reduce water consumption after 7pm. This will reduce the chances of waking in the night.
Massage. Massage, especially the feet, before bed helps to move attention down from the head to the feet. This can be done by hand or using some tennis balls - massaging the Kidney 1 point behind the ball of the foot will help to promote sleep and is an old eastern insomnia cure.
Essential Oils. Vaporise essential oils such as lavender, bergamot, frankincense, valerian, chamomile, cedarwood, sandalwood, sweet orange, vetiver and clary sage.
Bathing with epsom salts. Using these salts (magnesium sulphate) will help to relax the muscles and promote sleep.
Taking supplements. Taking magnesium, calcium, 5HTP or Tryptophan an hour before sleep can also help. NB it’s advised you seek consultation from a kinesiologist to confirm usefulness and dose.
If you are, despite all efforts, still struggling to sleep, Ben urges you to contact him https://integralhealthshrewsbury.com/about-us/our-practitioners/ben-calder/ so that he can help you work out what the missing link is.
Practitioner and counsellor Lucy McIvor has these top tips for sleep….
Lower your room temperature to 18 degrees. There have been many research studies to prove we sleep longer and deeper in a colder room.
Manage your caffeine intake. Each of us reacts differently so it will be about working out what works for you. A good rule is to refrain from drinking caffeine 4-6 hours before bed.
Stretch. Yoga has many proven benefits one of them is improving the quality of sleep.
Monitor when you eat. Eating a heavy meal 2 hours or less before bed can have a marked effect on your sleep. It is important to manage what you eat too. Studies have revealed eating a fatty meal in the evening can have an impact on how well you sleep.
Create a bedtime routine. Just like you would a baby, create a bedtime routine is a great way to ensure you drift off to sleep easier. Your body recognises gentle cues, this helps you to wind down.
Limit screen time. Switching your screen to night mode can relieve the strain on your eyes. Also, a blue light filter will protect your eyes and help you sleep more easily. Check-in with yourself to see the impact of watching TV right before bed has on your sleep vs reading a book.
Journal. Write down your worries from the day or of the day to come. Make a vow that once you have written down this worry you will leave it there, you can pick it up again in the morning if you choose to.
Many people battle with waking up throughout the night and struggling to fall back to sleep. This can be because of a whole host of reasons but a main contributor could be down to stress.
Lucy says if you are finding you are experiencing intense dreams right now you are not alone.
“This is generally down to increased stress levels and suppressing our emotions. We process our emotions from the day during our REM (rapid eye movement) phase of sleep.
“This can mean our dreams are vivid and sometimes frightening, and in tow, wake us up. A great way to combat this is to manage our emotions during the day.
“Talking about how you are feeling releases these emotions, this doesn't necessarily have to be to someone although that would be preferred.
“If you find yourself struggling to get back to sleep and then clock watching and putting pressure on yourself because of how much sleep you are missing out on, GET UP! You are stuck in a cycle and it needs to be broken.
“You can break this by doing something different. Go into a different room, read a book for a little while, meditate, listen to some relaxing music, just change the situation.”
If you would like to talk over your emotions with Lucy to help to process them during the day, rather than impacting upon your dreams, and in tow your sleep, then you can get in touch with her here https://integralhealthshrewsbury.com/about-us/our-practitioners/lucy-mcivor/.
Practitioner Marcus Matthews has a sleep course focusing on insomnia and his five daily small steps would be:
One - Set a wake-up time and stick to it
Two - Stop caffeine by 2pm
Three - Limit alcohol three hours before bed
Four - Limit exercise four hours before bed
Five - Get 15 minutes of sunlight every day
And his top tip - if you write down 5 things you are grateful for before you go to sleep, you will induce better dreams.
And if you’re still struggling get in touch with Marcus https://integralhealthshrewsbury.com/about-us/our-practitioners/marcus-matthews/ or try his online course - https://mylc.thinkific.com/courses/deep-uninterrupted-sleep
- Practitioner News (115)
About the Centre
The Centre for Integral Health was started in 2013 by director Ben Calder after studying Integral theory since 2011 and over 10 years of professional practice of kinesiology and Bowen fascia Release Technique, coupled with the desire to explore the application of the Integral Model in relation to health.read more