Having trouble sleeping

Written on Monday 13th January 2020

***Hannah's Helpful Hints***

The first in my new series. Every couple of weeks I will look at a different symptom or problem.

Today, my first topic is poor sleep as 2/3 people are affected.

Sleep is one of our key sources of energy, so it is no surprise that ongoing sleep problems will have an impact on our emotional state. Common consequences of poor sleep include reduced motivation, increased irritable, less rational thinking and increased stress.

A quick problem solving question I often ask clients in sessions:

"If you were babysitting a 5 year old, and wanted them to sleep through, what would and wouldn't you let them do before bed? and if they woke up?" If we applied this to ourselves, we wouldn't go far wrong.

Changes to make:

* Reduce use of devices, particularly laptops/tablets before bed, and phones in bed

* Reduce caffeine

* Avoid food late at night
* Introduce exercise earlier in the evening
 

* Introduce a wind-down or relaxation routine. Think of activities that engage your brain whilst not stimulating it, such as reading, or listening to music, colouring in or puzzles. 

* Make your bedroom environment relaxing

* Only get in bed when planning to sleep (not for TV etc)

* Avoid clock watching

* If you wake in the night, get up,  spend more time trying to relax, then try again

* Avoid lie ins or daytime naps

-

Hannah's Helpful Hints is a series of self-help information and advice. A new symptom or problem will be covered every couple of weeks. If you'd like to subscribe, send me a message with your email address.


Similar Articles

Remote therapy advice for therapists

I have been delivering therapy via remote methods for over 10 years, so this is not new for me.I thought it might help to share some basic guidance for other therapists that are new to remote working.

17 Mar 2020

Hannahs helpful hints: Panic attacks

Panic attacks can be extremely scary, particularly if they feel as if they come out of the blue. Common symptoms include: feeling hot, feeling sweaty, heart racing, tight chest, difficulty breathing, clammy hands, feeling sick, feeling dizzy, stomach churning, blurred vision, lightheaded, numbness, pins and needles and tingling amongst others.

10 Feb 2020

FAQ: What do you offer that's different

Choosing a private therapist can be difficult. There's lots of us out there. I often get asked what I do that's different, and it's useful for prospective clients to know what makes me - me.

4 Feb 2020

Awareness day: sexual abuse

Today is Sexual Abuse Awareness Day. Sexual Abuse statistics do not make for easy reading. But it's so important to continue to raise awareness and share the realities.

3 Feb 2020

Hannahs helpful hints - low mood

When we look at why we do things, it's usually because we want to, or we know we will enjoy it, or get some other positive feedback afterwards. As human beings we do look for quick results.

27 Jan 2020

FAQ: When do you offer appointments

In order to offer flexibility, I offer therapy sessions between these hours. I have a maximum number of appointments I offer each week and work a maximum of 35 hours.

2 Jan 2020

Can CBT help my phobia

The impact of phobias is ofter really under-estimated. So many clients I see report others saying things to them like "that's ridiculous", "don't be daft" or laughing at them, leading to feelings of embarrassment and wanting to hide their problem.

14 Nov 2019

Are remote therapy sessions effective

Increasingly the world we live in is become distanced, and that's often viewed as a negative change. So how does remote therapy compare to face to face therapy? that's what people want to know.

7 Sep 2019

Why am I still not happy

You've ticked all the boxes you thought were needed for a 'happy' life. Successful career, house, car, partner/kids all ticked off. Over the years you've kept thinking “When I just …, then I'll be happy and able to enjoy my life”.

19 Aug 2019

Are you being the real true you

There is the “real/true” version of ourselves, and then there is the anxious/depressed/angry version that's the life we are living day to day.

3 Jan 2019

10 tips to improve sleep and poor appetite

Are you experiencing problems with your sleep? You're not alone. 2/3 adults in the UK experience sleep problems.

24 Jul 2018

Emotions and destructive coping approaches

When we are experiencing emotional distress - whether depression, anxiety, anger or something else, we want these feelings to go away. No one wants to feel emotional distress, and understandably so to.

18 Jun 2018

What actually makes us happy?

There are a lot of assumptions about what things will make us happy. Often in this list are often things like money, job promotions, relationships, having children, holidays etc. However if this is the case, how do we explain the large volumes of suicides by people that have all these things?

14 Jun 2018

What is mental health?

There's a lot of misconceptions and stigma around the words 'mental health'. In reality we are all somewhere on the continuum of mental health, just like for example physical fitness.

1 Jun 2018