Sleep disorder / Insomnia

Earning good sleep starts when you wake up. The Limbic System – where your sleep button rests – needs to feel safe. Subconscious triggers or stress interrupt sleep. 

Types of Stress: Poor diet. Lack of exercise. Too much exercise. Smoking. Alcohol. Infections. Too cold. Too hot. Chronic pain. Past trauma (stress events) in childhood or adulthood that are unprocessed.

Before sleeping, it is essential to use the body to calm the limbic system. Try this program – Calming the Limbic System

Meditation might not be what you think it is. It’s not a time to stop thinking, but more a time to calm your brain, teach your brain to switch off and relax.

Meditation will help the brain to calm down – the more you meditate, the more alpha and theta waves go through your brain, calming your fight, fright, flight area of the brain.

All you need to do is focus on your breathing and when your mind drifts off, notice it, and haul it back to focusing on your breathing. In the beginning this will likely happen every few seconds. As you practice, you will find that you are able to focus more and more on only your breath.

Please don’t undertake meditation unless cleared by your health care provider. 

Website for sleep management:

CBT for insomnia

Here is a great video to watch by one of my favorite doctors

What can I do to help sleep?

Here is another video to try 

Another link to helping improve poor sleep

Dr. Sheila Garland’s guide to better sleep habits

You tube has many different guided sleep meditations.

Here are other resources. I do not endorse any products or sites, merely add them for you to explore and decide on yourselves. Sleep Website

Some patients have told me this device works. Some things work for some people and not other people.  Device

Yoga Nidra for Sleep

Try these and look around on you tube for others that appeal to you

Sleep Hygiene
1. Exercise – early morning up to lunch, and not later than 2 hours before you go to sleep. Yoga stretches 5mins after breakfast. 10mins before sleep. Walks – as many as possible. As long as possible.
2. Warm bath 2 hours before going to sleep.
3. Need relaxation time and space – just for yourself
Meditation, Tai Chi, Chi gong, listen music, – quiet time
4. Worry time if you tend to be a worrier – Make an appointment time for worry – writing down and thinking about “worries” for at least 15 – 30 minutes daily
5. No alcohol
6. Avoid more than 2 cups of coffee or tea, green tea and codeine. Do not use any caffeine after 2pm.
7. It sometimes help to have a small meal at night around 9 pm: for example a handful of peanuts or a small bowel of cereal.
8. If you are a woman and over the age of 40 and not yet in menopause, you are quite likely to be in a premenopause state which could influence your sleep – causing poor non restorative sleep. Speak to your doctor.
9. Do not go to bed too early. You only need 7 to 8 hours of sleep. Go to bed about 8 hours before you plan on getting up.
10. Don’t use the bed for reading, or watching TV. Use your bed for sleeping (or intimacy) only.
11. Use dim lighting as bedtime approaches. Avoid ipads, cell phones, computers before bedtime
12. Best mattress: One that is not too hard or not too soft for you
13. Avoid new smells, even lavender if new, could make you more alert. However some people have had improved sleep using some drops of lavender on their pillow at night.
14. Pulling or tugging of blankets by partners can disrupt sleep. Use your own blankets.
15. For a man – how he sleeps affects his interactions with his partner the next day. For women, their sleep that night depends their interactions with their partner that day.
16. Herbal medicine – chamomile tea, Skullcap, valerian root, California poppy
17. Try soaking feet in cold water, Epsom salts or bath oils, then vigorously massage to stimulate up to 72000 nerve endings in your feet. *(readers digest )
18. Breath in for 4, hold for 2 and breath out for 6. Concentrate only on your breathing. PACED ABDOMINAL BREATHING diaphragmatic breathing
A good restorative sleep is essential for healthy neurohormones (chemical messengers of the nervous system). Poor sleep can cause
 Fatigue
 Poor concentration
 Multiple body aches, including headaches, Chest wall pain, neck and other muscle and joint aches