The Problem with Sleeping Pills
It’s So Confusing!
The first step is the basics: Sleep Hygiene. This means making sure your sleep space is ideal for slumber, and not much else! This means making it super dark, quiet, cool but not cold, and not watching TV before bed. It also means making sure you get to bed before midnight to get the peak ofyour body’s natural sleep hormone, melatonin. Bright lights, computer screens and other ‘screen time’ before bed is also bad sleep hygeine and shuts off your brains sleep hormones so you have trouble falling asleep
But I’ve Already Tried all That and I Still Can’t Sleep!
IF you’ve had a long time sleep problem, sleep hygiene along often isn’t enough to fix the problem. Often, you are suffering from something called HPA axis hyperactivity, when your body’s danger system goes into 24 over-alert mode and prevents your brain from being able to shut off before sleep. The first step to help shut off this overactive danger alert system so you can sleep is using relaxation techniques as part of your nighttime routine every night–it’s ultra important, and although it is not an overnight magic pill, it will help train the mind to prepare for sleep and lead to you sleeping deeper and feeling more refreshed in the morning so you have loads of energy to get through your day.
Relaxation training can be done in a comfortable sitting position in a chair, or lying down in bed if sitting is uncomfortable for you without getting poor posture or slouching. I use a number of different techniques for this practice including Yoga Nidra, Cognitive Behavioral Hypnotherapy, guided imagery for sleep and yogic techniques.