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  • Jenna @ North Park Hypnotherapy

Sleep anxiety: latest research & ways to help

Updated: Feb 8, 2022

We all know that scenario where we need to go to sleep as we have to get up early in the morning and need a good nights sleep but we just cant no matter how hard we try. You start clock watching and worrying how late its becoming and how many hours you have left to sleep. You tell yourself over and over again, "I need to go to sleep, its getting really late, I have to get up in the morning, go to sleep, go to sleep', but its not working. You start to try counting sheep, pretending your asleep already, looking at your phone to distract yourself, but the harder you try the more awake you feel.

In our busy modern day lives we have so much to think about, so much to worry about. We seem to have never ending to do lists, never ending chores and work to do and all this pressure mounts. We are wonderful at helping those around us and taking care of each other but lack this when it comes to self care. Almost to the point we feel guilty if we do take time out for ourselves. How dare we allow ourselves to rest and relax when we have so much to do! Let alone adding more pressure with a pandemic, bereavements, lockdowns, working and educating from home, job security and money worries. No wonder we are struggling to get to sleep!

36% of UK adults struggle to get to sleep at least on a weekly basis and almost 1 in 5 have trouble falling asleep every single night. The term 'How to sleep fast' is searched for each month on average 6,700 times, with google trends revealing that the majority of these searches are made between 1 and 4am. Searches increased between January and April 2020 with the pandemic and lockdowns being the most possible cause. Leading to an increase in searches for sleep medication such as melatonin.

Now sleep problems are very common and usually sort themselves out within about a month. It can effect anyone at anytime especially if they are anxious or stressed, but there are a few simple ways in which we can help ourselves to get a better nights sleep.

  • Have a good bed time routine. Allow yourself time to settle down in the evenings, switch off the phones and relax.

  • Don't use the bed as an office. This association will make you think about writing that last work email or scrolling through your to do list and wont help you to settle yourself. Try to create a restful environment.

  • If you are struggling to sleep don't fight it. Allow yourself to just rest in bed or do something relaxing (read a book, have a bath) and try again once you feel more settled.

  • Try to cut down on alcohol and caffeine close to bedtime as this can stop you from falling asleep and prevent deep sleep.

  • Go to bed and get up at regular times. This will help teach your body to sleep better.

  • If you are anxious or worried. Write these down ready for the next day which may help you to settle for the night. Speak to someone as most of the time talking about what is worrying us will help us feel better and sleep better.

  • Take extra care of yourself. Make sure you take time out for you, its ok you deserve it! There will always been difficult and challenging times that we have to deal with but we cant deal with them if we don't take care of ourselves.

If you are still finding things difficult and cant sleep there are many treatments that can help including hypnotherapy, so if you need extra support for anxiety, stress or sleep then get in touch. Longer spells of bad sleep can start to affect your life, health and relationships making your situation harder to overcome.

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