Updated: Mar 29, 2022
How can something so easy be so difficult?
Are you waking up at night? Are you having a hard time falling asleep? Is your lack of sleep and increased anxiety about sleep making it harder for you to sleep? If you are struggling with sleep, you are not alone.
The National Institute of Health estimates that 30 percent of the population have sleep disturbances. About 1 in 4 Americans will develop insomnia at some time in their life.
If it is not you, it is someone you know.
As a therapist, I have seen first hand the factors that can impact sleep. This can cause a cycle of anxiety which lead to sleep disturbances.
I have found that a whole person, mind and body, approach to improving sleep is the best option for overall improved sleep and reduction in anxiety.
A very helpful tool to address your sleep disturbances is to stop the negative thoughts that you have about sleep. Sleepio is an online CBD-I psycho-education course that is a helpful for you to document and learn about your sleep patterns. It's a class and sleep diary. You log hours on your phone or computer. This helps keep track of your sleep every night in the sleep diary and weekly classes help you make changes to improve your sleep.
What is going into your body is just as important as what you put into your mind. Focus on nutritious foods that help get your sleep and nervous system back on track. Reduce carbs and make sure that you are eating enough protein and fat. Reducing wine, chocolate, and caffeine can help you have a better night's sleep.
Consider supplements such as Magnesium Glycine before bed and NAC in the morning, which can support sleep and reduce anxiety.*
Acupuncture can be helpful in treating insomnia. At the Corca Sleep Center, Damiana specializes in sleep and also has an online "class" that you can go through. Here is a link to her website and Bio: https://corcasleepcenter.com/about-us/damiana-corca/
Developing good sleep hygiene is an important part of having a better night's sleep. Things like meditation, yoga, essential oils, and bubble baths can all be implemented into your daily sleep routine. You can pick up a pair of low blue light glasses if you need to read to something on a screen in the evenings, otherwise no movies, or electronics after 7 pm, until you get your sleep habits under control. Try the Calm app for listening to sleep stories and meditation to help prepare you for a good night's sleep.
Finding the right therapist to help support you with the things you learn can also help you with the stuck thoughts that keep you up at night.
*Please see a medical professional for advice on medications, supplements, and nutrition. It is always most important to rule out any medical conditions causing changes in your sleep. Your Primary Care Physician can rule out any existing medical conditions. I am not a Physician and I cannot prescribe medication, these are things that I have found helpful, however should not be taken without proper care of a physician.