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Tired but wired

Sleep is an essential element of our physical and emotional health. The rise of technology in our everyday lives has seen, for many, a decline in our sleeping habits. Lack of sleep can result in having less ability to control emotions or lead to irrational behaviour. (Denying sleep has often been used as an element of torture) As humans we are unique as we are the only animal to sleep in blocks of 7 - 8 hours (the recommended nightly amount). As we age our sleep can become more fragmented and regularly sleeping for less than 6 hours can make you more prone to sickness and disease.


We tend to sleep in 90 minute cycles - with 2 cycles of lighter sleep, 2 cycles of deeper sleep and 1 cycle of REM, which is when we dream the most. Dreams are significant in our emotional health as we tend to process the day's difficulties and traumas. Going to bed somewhere between 8pm and midnight is the right window in order to achieve 5 cycles of 90 minutes totally 450 minutes or 7 1/2 hours sleep.


The main factors that interrupt our natural sleep patterns are technology (all devices should be switched off and kept out of the bedroom for an hour before sleep) whilst alcohol and coffee affect the depth of our sleep. For the best type of sleep, it is essential to be asleep between 2am and 6am. For night shift workers they would make adaptations to their sleeping routine according to their work hours.


For me, I have been a night owl for as long as I can remember. I was born at 11.30pm at night, so always believed that was when I truly came alive!! As a kid, I would have a torch under the blankets reading or colouring hours after Fat Cat said goodnight. I disliked being sent to bed first (I was the youngest) and even now I will stay up ridiculously late for no real reason. But then I'll also sleep very late, so I'm not missing out on sleep just my body clock is usually functioning in the wrong hemisphere! If I had lived in a tribal environment, I would have been the person staying up all night stoking the fire and looking out for danger, then sleeping all day whilst the work was done!


Hypnotherapy can support finding out why your sleep cycles have changed. Audios will help with relaxation or introducing power naps to catch up on lost sleep. Just as oxygen, food and water is essential to our health and wellbeing, so is a good night's sleep. Are you getting enough sleep?




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