4. MANAGING ALCOHOL, NICOTINE AND CAFFEIN
The consumption of alcohol before going to bed often leads to falling asleep quicker. Many people like this effect of „turning off“ quicker at night. But: alcohol is quickly transformed and in the second half of the night you might have problems with the sleep becoming irregular and fragmented. That’s why one normally doesn’t feel very recovered after a night of sleep „induced“ by alcohol. Every kind of attempted self-therapy of sleeping problems based on alcohol, cannabis, tranquilizers and sleeping pills will most probably increase the problems in the long run. These substances can only produce relief in a short time frame. On a longer time frame, they only aggravate the problems. Recommendation: avoid drinking more than one glass of beer or wine before going to bed. Smoking Consumption of tobacco changes your sleeping profile. Normally it causes difficulty in sleeping a whole night or you feel that sleep doesn’t bring enough recovery.
Recommendation: you’ve been trying to quit smoking for a long time?
The quality of your sleep should be enough of a reason. Try to quit this habit with a „Quit-smoking-CD“: firstname.lastname@example.org Coffee and tea Drinks, which contain caffeine, have a long-lasting, stimulating effect on the control centers of the sleep-wake cycle in your brain. The stimulating effect can last for up to 10 hours after consumption.
People suffering from sleep disorders should avoid drinks containing caffeine after lunch.
5. THE TIME BEFORE GOING TO BED
What do you usually do about two hours before going to bed? How do you manage your free time? Do you have a hobby? What do you like to do and what brings you joy? Sleep disorders are often caused by looking at a screen (computer or television), right before going to bed. There’s a simple rule for everyone having sleeping problems or who wants to avoid getting them, it sounds like this: allow yourself a time frame of two hours right before going to bed that is free of looking at a screen, work or problems. Recommendation: 1. Plan your evening. You can make a list of what you’d like to do with your partner or alone. When was the last time you went to the cinema or theatre, listened to an audiobook, knit or played with someone, tried out yoga, Pilates, etc? Copyright Dr. Birgit Zottmann, www.nychypnosis.us 25
6. A GOOD PLACE TO SLEEP
- Do you feel comfortable in your bed?
- Is your bed a place of safety and well-being?
You can’t control your sleep. It will arrive when you allow it to and create the conditions for this. Your bed is no arena for fighting or a place for failures. Turn your bed into a place of well-being. Then it’s only a matter of time that you’ll fall asleep.
Representation: the experiences in your bed determine the reactions of your body.
Make it as comfortable as possible in your bed. Why not try out the so called Pillow mist. These are natural scents for your pillows. The smell of lavender might for example remember you of your last holidays, or of nice, relaxed summer days and makes you feel well. You could listen to relaxing music or listen to an audio book. You can fall asleep slowly. You could also listen to an hypnosis-CD and notice how you’ll get more and more relaxed and your thoughts start to transition into the background. You could also try an audio book, when you wake up at night. It is perfectly normal to wake up at night and normally you will fall asleep again after that. Even if you feel you hadn’t slept at all, remember that this is normal for the sleep in the shallow sleep phase. You will still have recovered your body. Stay cool about that! A simple breathing exercise for when you wake up during the night Focus your attention onto your breath and watch it, as it comes and goes. If possible, put your hands on your heart and diaphragm. You don’t have to do anything other than watching your breath. If you start having thoughts, simply count your breath. But only count up to 10 and then begin with 1 again.
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