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Not Sleeping? What's causing your insomnia?

June 03, 20246 min read

“When the going gets tough, the tough takes a nap.” - Tom Hodgkinson

I often find that when clients approach me for help with sleeping, I need to determine what's most important, to establish the underlying cause first. Never yet have I had a client who has had trouble sleeping to find out it’s just that they cannot sleep.

8 Reasons

Why is sleep so important anyway?

Sleep is one of the most important things we need to do for our health, think of your brain like a computer hard drive. When the drive on the computer starts to get full, it may start to slow down, so = perform a defragmentation on it, this gets rid of the tiny gaps from files we deleted that were not needed, to allow space to be compressed and allow the computer to run better.

Your mind works the same way, during the sleep cycle of sleep your subconscious enters REM stage, this is when your brain defragments and stores the unnecessary information that your conscious does not need to know. Sleep helps us keep our cognitive ability, so that we can do every day tasks easily and without much thought for many of our normal functions. Without sleep after a few days we simply cannot function, put it this way its dangerous to go so long without it.

Think about it, even now when you’re reading this post; your eyes are moving. You are not even thinking about moving them. Your subconscious plays that role, so we don’t have to be aware when we do every day things like walking, picking things up, opening doors etc it's an automatic process.

Loss of sleep makes these things much more difficult, and means we have to put way more concentration on everyday things, so you see how important it is to get a good rest, just for us to function every day.


What is it that causes insomnia?

There are many things that can lead people to have sleepless nights. Typically the most common cause is caffeine. A well known legal stimulant, and to think it is not just in your coffee, it’s in soft drinks also. It keeps your brain wired, not allowing the receptors in your mind to start to shut down. So if you are drinking caffeine after 6 pm, it's a good idea to stop before to allow your mind to wind down.

Of course caffeine is not the only thing, many people say I cannot get my mind to switch off. I need to know what is on your mind, if you are worrying about something we need to get to the root of the issue, commonly I find these are work related issues.

Just because many professionals work the mundane 9-5; often longer, they still take their work home with them, and it plays on their mind.  Only then by tackling the cause can you truly start your mind to settle and find you will get better rest.

Is your bed comfortable? Simple things like when did you last change your mattress can mean you are losing sleep, statistically you should change your mattress every ten years. So if you have had it longer, it could be something as simple as what you are lying on to help you get a better night's rest.

Burning the midnight oil is never a good idea, personally I am a night owl. I find that I think more at night to plan throughout the day. You should absolutely not take a leaf out of my book and if you are, then you need a better routine. Here is my five step guide to getting a good night’s rest.

With that said, here are 5 ways to start getting a better night's rest 🛌

1. Cut out Caffeine by 6pm and Alcohol by 9pm

 You need to give your brain time to switch off, let it settle down for the night, by cutting out caffeine and alcohol by a certain time will allow the mind to start to relax. Many people think alcohol can help to make you sleep, it doesn't, fresh fruit juice and water are all you need to stay hydrated.

2. Relaxing Bath or Shower before Bed Time

I don't know about you but I love nothing more than clean sheets, going in the shower then climbing into bed. There is something about it that just makes me feel so comfortable and relaxed, a bath or shower with some essential oils like lavender, can help your body to relax and your mind to start shutting down.

3. Listen to a guided meditation or sleep story

There are many apps like calm, which can help you start to relax and unwind one of my personal favourites is a story Harry Styles reads, and the more he reads it the quieter it gets. I have a great eye mask which has also built in headphones, invest in your sleep time.

4. Focus on your breathing while you're trying to sleep

If your still tossing and turning, something is on your mind, you need to get rid of that for a time. Try focusing on your breathing with slow relaxing deep breaths and allow your mind to empty, when a though comes in let it go again, you will end up in dream land in no time.

5. Exercise can help

You may think I have slightly lost it, but gentle excercise starts to wear down the body, if you are not really up for a Gym session in the evening a gentle stroll or a bike ride can help, allowing you to release some adrenaline and let the body start to relax.

Sleeping Soundly

I am able to sleep but keep waking up why?

Could be many things, are you waking up to use the bathroom? If this is an easy fix, cut the liquids a good 2 hours before bedtime, if you really need them then simple sips of water will suffice but should not trigger your bladder in the middle of the night. If you feel you have an overactive bladder, consult your doctor for further advice.

Perhaps you are having strange dreams, and it’s affecting you then there is something on your mind you need to deal with. Dreaming is when you're in REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, which means your eyes are moving at a rapid pace. It’s believed this is what conjures up dreams, but dreams are also a way that your subconscious is dealing with whatever is on your mind. It’s unlikely that you are going to start getting Z’s until you deal with this, so seek some help from a qualified therapist or doctor for some advice.

Woman Hypnosis

You can start getting better sleep again

Whatever the cause, partly it has to do with habit, you are so used to not being able to sleep and have reached a point where you are lost. A no-obligation free chat with myself, can help you to pinpoint where the problem is and how to deal with the issue. The likelihood is that something major is probably not going to be the case, but the longer you leave it the more you will find your body won’t function as well, which will have a negative impact on your daily routine.

Hopefully these helpful tips will help you to nod off in no time, so if you are struggling to sleep give them a try. If you want to quiet your mind my helpful free guided meditation lasts for around 10-12 minutes leaving you feeling relaxed and ready for a good night sleep.

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Darren Johnson

I am a certified professional hypnotherapist, with a passion for helping people on a global basis. I specialise in helping professionals with work-related anxiety, such as threat of job loss, and toxic environments. Helping you to regain your confidence and motivation to get the career you always wanted. In addition, I can help you with such things as fears and phobias, weight loss and smoking cessation. Create a more powerful you in less than a month helping you to grow and flourish in your career. Book a call with me today.

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