Getting enough quality sleep is essential to so many areas of our wellbeing, both physical and mental, and waking up suddenly in the small hours with a head full of stuff is a sure sign that you're overstressed.
Dreaming is the primary way our brain processes the challenges of the day, but it can only deal with so much at once. Processing all that worry and stress takes a lot of energy, and when your brain's had enough ... it'll wake you up. Between 2.30am and 4.30am seems the most common time for this to happen. Sound familiar?
If your heart sinks when you wake in the night and look at the clock, you're not alone ... many, many people experience this, and especially in these current stressful times. Inactivity, isolation, and the resultant late night doomscroll, screen binge, fridge raid and tipple or four don't help matters - they're not helping you 'switch off' even if it seems they are.
There are, of course, many additional reasons why getting a good night's sleep can become a problem, for example chronic pain and hormonal changes such as menopause to name just two.
Boring I know, but getting into good habits to destress in the evening will help to a degree. Stretching, talking things through or writing them down, going to bed before you nod off on the sofa (to sleep, not to scroll on your phone obv) will help, but if you're still waking up at 3am with the weight of the world on your shoulders, it may be time to think about how you manage other the areas of your life that are causing you difficulty. Problems seem so insurmountable in the middle of the night, and of course some issues just can't be solved right now, but small changes you can make in your thinking and behaviour around the things causing you anxiety can really lead to big differences in how you feel ... and sleep ... over time.
Take a small positive step, then another, and another, and you might be surprised how easy it is to leave that sinking 3am feeling behind you.
How can hypnotherapy help?
Solution Focused Hypnotherapy can help with sleep issues immediately by helping you relax. It can also 'switch off' the body's sympathetic 'fight or flight nervous system, and stimulate its parasympathetic, 'rest and digest' system, helping to keep stress and related hormones at manageable levels, and help reduce focus on worries and physical discomfort.
Over time, solution-focused techniques and questioning can help you explore ways of making positive life changes for greater overall wellbeing and life satisfaction, leading to a better night's sleep.
Check out more Wellbeing Tips for hints on how to feel better now.
Check out Snippets and FAQs for more information on Solution Focused Hypnotherapy.
Contact me for help and support.