Are You Struggling With Sleep?

Published on 5th March 2019

Most of us are well aware of how important good quality sleep is.  Sleep allows the body to rest and restore itself and gives the mind the opportunity to process everything that has happened during the day, allowing us wake up with new ideas and solutions to problems. 

Up to 45% of the world’s population suffers from sleep problems and, according to the Office of National Statistics, this affects more women than men.  Sleep deprivation can lead to poor work performance, slowed reaction times, obesity, higher risk of long-term diseases and even substance and alcohol abuse.  Chronic insomnia causes extreme fatigue and an inability to concentrate which adversely affects mood and wellbeing. 

Adequate sleep is vital for our health and wellbeing and improves the likelihood of physical, cognitive and emotional health.  Good sleep in young adulthood and middle age is thought to reduce the risk of obesity and hypertension and protect against age-related cognitive decline.  There is, therefore, a lot to be said for giving good quality sleep a high priority in our daily lives.

What can you do, aside from counting sheep, to aid a good night’s sleep?

Doctors suggest that you adopt good “sleep hygiene” habits such as:

  • Going to bed and waking up at the same time.
  • Don’t nap for more than a maximum of 45 minutes during the day.
  • Avoid alcohol, spicy or sugary foods for at least 4 hours before bedtime.
  • Avoid caffeine for 6 hours before going to bed.
  • Don’t use your bedroom for work related tasks or general recreation.
  • Use comfortable bedding and dimmed lighting to engender a relaxing atmosphere in the bedroom.

There are many natural ways to induce sleep – here are some to consider:

Acupuncture

Traditional Chinese Acupuncture is an ancient practice that has been linked to improved sleep.  During an acupuncture treatment extremely fine, sterile needles are strategically placed in specific points along the body. The British Acupuncture Council advise that it is safe to use acupuncture alongside conventional medical treatment.

Massage

The National Institute of Health (USA) has advised that massage can reduce fatigue and improve the quality of sleep.  This is likely due to the relaxation and release of stress which clients report after massage.  Research carried out by the American Massage Therapy Association suggests that massage has been shown to improve sleep in infants, children, adults and the elderly alike.

Aromatherapy

A professional therapist will use a blend of oils which will aid sleep and relaxation.  These are used in conjunction with long, slow, flowing massage techniques to aid relaxation.  It is recommended that oils are left on the body for 24 hours after the massage in order to gain maximum benefit from an aromatherapy treatment.

Reflexology

A reflexologist will use pressing techniques to stimulate the bodies organs via reflex points on the feet.  Receiving regular reflexology treatments can be effective in helping battle against insomnia.

Indian Head Massage

This treatment can really help calm the mind and is deeply relaxing.  It is a popular treatment and uses firm and gentle techniques to release muscular tension in the neck and shoulders to soothe away stress and thus induce sleep.

Hypnotherapy

For people with insomnia, hypnotherapy may help to allow both the body and the mind to deeply relax and release any anxiety that not being able to sleep can create.

Many people imagine that hypnotherapy involves a swinging pocket watch and looking deep into the therapist’s eyes!  The truth is much less dramatic and usually involves the hypnotherapist drawing you into a deeply relaxed state using words such as “relax”, “leg go” and “deep”, in order for your conscious mind to quieten and let your subconscious come to the fore.

However you decide to tackle your sleep issues, there is help available and we will soon have you sleeping like a baby!

 

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