This One Trick will help you Sleep
A surprising number of people have trouble falling asleep. The problem has definitely gotten worse in the last decade or two due to electronics being ubiquitous in the home. It’s the rare person who doesn’t sleep with their cell phone beside their bed.
I do. I’m almost always playing some kind of hypnosis when I fall asleep. It doesn’t play all night, just once. My cell phone is face down so the light doesn’t keep me awake or wake me up in the middle of the night when a notice comes in. And it’s on silent (except for the hypnosis playing), but it’s there.
Although I trained myself to fall asleep within minutes, I’ve struggled with waking up in the middle of the night almost my whole life until the last year or so.
Sleep deprivation affects everything
Sleep deprivation is just . . . well . . . awful. It affects everything – your health, your productivity, your relationships. You feel like a zombie the next day or sometimes for days on end. It can cause accidents, affect your sex life (oh no!), lead to depression and increase anxiety. I can’t tell you how many people I talk to who get anxious about sleeping and the lack thereof, who get anxious about insomnia.
According to WebMD, chronic sleep loss can put a person at risk for the following:
- Heart disease
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
- Irregular heartbeat
- High blood pressure
And according to Sleepstandards.com, 6 Effects of Sleep Deprivation are:
- Stress and Depression
- High Blood Pressure
- Memory Issues
- Lower Sex Drive
- Weight Gain
- Skin Damage
How to Fall Asleep Faster
Practice the 4-7-8 breathing technique developed in ancient India and made popular by Dr. Andrew Weil.
Caution: If you’re reading this and you’re pregnant, skip the 7 part. You shouldn’t hold your breath when pregnant. Use the 4-8 breath below.
That’s it? Yes, that’s it. You Inhale to 4, Hold your breath to 7, and Exhale to 8. Repeat for 4 breath cycles. How fast you do it doesn’t matter. That you practice it regularly is what matters. Dr. Weil says you must practice it twice a day. I’m not so sure I agree (see the 4-8 breath below).
An ancient yoga breath is the 4-8 breath. It’s a widely used breath for meditation and pain relief and is the breath featured in the popular HypnoBirthing series to prepare women for childbirth.
The 4-8 breath is Inhale to 4 – Exhale to 8. That’s it. Very simple. Very effective. Practice for 5-8 cycles of breath, particularly when you lie down to sleep or nap. Over time, you’ll be able to fall asleep very quickly, often within minutes or even seconds. Do you need to practice this every day? Do you have to practice it every single day, twice a day? My experience with clients, with myself, and with countless yoga students is no, you don’t need to do it every single day. Don’t stress yourself out because you forgot to practice your breath.
Try for once a day when you lie down.
Practice it twice a day if you can.
Try to make it a part of your daily life.
All of that will help you fall asleep quickly.
Staying asleep is a different problem. What did I find last year that solved a problem that had been going on my whole life? Hypnotherapy and hypnosis for sleep. I began doing custom hypnoses for people and eventually did one for myself that helped me sleep all through the night. It felt like a miracle after struggling for most of my life with insomnia. I still wake up occasionally but then I use the 4-8 breath and fall back asleep pretty quickly.
So my phone will remain beside my bed, face down, on silent, except for the hypnotherapy for insomnia file playing while I fall asleep.
If you would like to reduce your anxiety and you live in the Broward County and the Fort Lauderdale / South Florida area, please call for a free consultation 954-309-9071.
Yours in health,