EAP
sleeping-difficulty-disorder

Did you know that one-third of our time will be spent on sleeping? Quality sleep is as essential as any other basic need, such as food and water. Without sleep, we cannot function physically and mentally properly. Sleep difficulty is a result of trouble falling or maintaining sleep. It may not be comfortable for some people to sleep continuously and end up waking up several times at night. Some people may find themselves sleeping more than required. Few signs of sleep difficulty are lack of focus, frequent headaches, irritability, daytime fatigue, waking up in the middle of the night or too early abruptly, and taking much time to fall asleep.

Sleeping disorder therapy

Sleep difficulty may arise due to stress, worry, depression, poor sleep hygiene, or changes in work schedules such as night shifts. Other causes may involve sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea.

Depending on the cause of sleep difficulty, sleeping disorder therapy will vary. However, you can try simple techniques to improve your quality of sleep.

Sleep hygiene

Sleep hygiene are the habits, rituals, behaviors one follows to regulate sleep. If you are experiencing difficulties sleeping, you can make slight changes in your lifestyle, such as following your sleep cycle, i.e.,

sleeping at a fixed time and waking up at a fixed time until the body gets used to the schedule. 

Avoid consumption of alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs and curb caffeine intake. 

Relax your body and mind by doing some essential stretching exercises or meditation before going to bed. 

Do not engage in mental activities such as working on pending assignments or browse social media on the phone right before going to bed. 

Keep a gap of minimum 10 to 15 minutes between gadget use and going to sleep. 

Other than this, check your bed, whether comfortable to sleep and dim lights before going to bed. 

You may also apply lavender oil on the head since research says that lavender helps relax the body and induce sleep.

4-7-8 breathing

4-7-8 breathing is a type of deep breathing exercise. It helps in relaxing tensed muscles, calming anxious thoughts, and slowing down heart rate, helping one fall asleep. Here, it would help if you sat in a comfortable position with eyes closed. Once you are ready, start to slowly inhale through your nose for 4 seconds, hold the breath for 7 seconds and later exhale through your mouth slowly for 8 seconds. Do this in slow-motion and feel how your body relaxes. After you have exhaled, take a moment and then open your eyes. It is one count. You can repeat this technique four times before going to bed. Guided imagery and visualization

Guided imagery and visualization are a method of relaxation. Here, one uses imagination to think of positive images, thus, reducing stress relaxing and thus leading to better sleep. To practice, visual imagery, you should find a comfortable place and sit with closed eyes. 

Make sure that you are not disturbed. Once you are ready, imagine being at a relaxing place such as a beach and continue to imagine all the aspects of a beach like the gritty sand, salty smell, soothing air, blueness of the sea. You can stay with the imagined scene for 5 to 10 minutes or until you feel relaxed. Once you are calm, take a moment and then slowly open your eyes. Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a meditation. 

A technique that is known to help people feel relaxed. Mindfulness believed to improve sleep by increasing mental focus, awareness of thoughts, and reducing stress. Here, a focal point is needed: Breath after sitting comfortably and focusing on inhaling and exhaling. Later, you can focus on the body’s different sensations as you inhale and exhale, such as the air going through your throat, pumping of the chest, or movement of the abdomen. The techniques mentioned above may help you to improve your sleep. In case you wish to know further and consult professional help, you can by booking a¬†Sleeping difficulty counseling¬†through the PinkyMind app.

Reference:

Borreli, L. (2015). A life hack for sleep: The 4-7-8 breathing exercise will supposedly put you to sleep in just 60 seconds. Retrieved from https://www.medicaldaily.com/life-hack-sleep-4-7-8-breathing-exercise-will-supposedly-put-you-sleep-just-60-332122

Cline, J. (2009). Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for insomnia part 1. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/sleepless-in-america/200905/cognitive-behavioral-therapy-insomnia-part-1

Cline, J. (2014). Mindful sleep. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/sleepless-in-america/201401/mindful-sleep

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for sleep (2017). Retrieved from https://www.tuck.com/cbt-insomnia/

Visualization and guided imagery techniques for stress reduction. Retrieved from https://www.mentalhelp.net/articles/visualization-and-guided-imagery-techniques-for-stress-reduction/

Walker, T. (2016). What causes sleep difficulty?. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/symptom/difficulty-sleeping

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