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Struggling to crack your sleep code? You might need some reinforcements!

If you’ve ever wanted to sleep well but thought it was a pipedream, then you’ll want to read this blog article. In this article, I provide an overview of 5 potential solutions to your sleep problem. 

 

After deciding to specialise in sleep counselling for professionals three years ago, I have learnt a thing or two about what works for adult sleep clients. Clients who come looking for solutions to get to sleep quicker and stay asleep have often read the top 5 sleep books and are still struggling to sleep well. They are also generous reviewers of retail products in the sleep market. I often receive unsolicited feedback about what they have tried and what helps them get to sleep and stay asleep.

 

As a psychotherapist and counsellor, I know that anxiety, even low levels, can affect sleep quality. However, I also recognise that falling sleep is the result of a combination of biology, mental and physical states coming together at the right time, in the...

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Struggling to get to sleep at night? How you can fix that in as little as 5 minutes a day

habit journaling sleep Nov 20, 2021

Is your busy mind keeping you up at night with its constant barrage of weird ideas and scary thoughts? This can lead you to feel even more anxious about getting a good night’s sleep, especially when you have a big day ahead of you, the next day. In this blog post, I’m going to take you through a proven, simple, cost-effective way to quieten your mind so you can fall asleep faster at night, and it’s all natural!

 

The average sleeper can take up to 20 minutes to fall asleep. If you are taking longer, then this strategy could be what you need to help you fall asleep quicker.  

  

Bedtime worry is a significant contributor to staying awake when we’d rather be sleeping. Research shows that writing about our worries can help us fall asleep. [1]

 

What is a Sleep Journal?

You are forgiven if you thought a sleep journal was a place to track your sleep patterns. That is a sleep diary, or a variation thereof. A sleep journal is something you...

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A sleep divorce is not your only option

Sleep studies around the world are showing the same results: almost a third of adults are not getting enough sleep, and it’s the same in Australia! In a desperate attempt to reclaim better sleep, adults are considering a sleep divorce but it needn’t be your only option.

 

What is a sleep divorce?

A sleep divorce refers to what is considered by many as an unusual sleeping arrangement. A couple with this type of arrangement sleep in separate beds, often in a separate room on permanent basis. While this type of arrangement is not unusual amongst shift-workers and new parents, it is considered unusual in a healthy couple who have relatively similar sleep and wake times.

 

While there are many reasons a couple would choose to change their sleeping arrangements, it is essentially due to one or both of the couple experiencing a change in their sleep profile. This could be where one sleep partner may become a light sleeper over time and as a result the existing sleep...

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Sleep Panic Attacks are real

Do you get Sleep Panic Attacks?

Many clients who come to see me to improve their sleep, share they regularly suffer from what I call sleep panic attacks. A panic attack is when you experience a sudden intense feeling of anxiety accompanied by a feeling of impending doom and frightening physical symptoms, such as a racing heartbeat, shortness of breath, or nausea. A sleep panic attack is when you experience an intense fear that you aren’t going to be able to enjoy a good night’s sleep when it’s time to and these thoughts spiral out of control as the day progresses. Sadly, they also become the self-fulfilling prophecy for many. There is no specific trigger for it except there is a history of poor sleep, so the prospect of a bad night’s sleep is somewhat real.

 

Poor sleep affects 1 in 3 people and if this isn't you, then it’s possible you know someone who suffers sleep panic attacks. It is challenging for these people to sustain new intimate...

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Is mouth breathing making you sick?

breathe energy sleep May 29, 2021

For many of us breathing is an automatic activity, one that we don’t have to think too much about. "Thank goodness", I can hear you saying, because you have enough on your plate!

 

However, breathing is fundamental to your ongoing health and work performance. If you are eating well, hydrating your body and allowing enough time to sleep but still struggling to feel fully awake, mouth breathing could be the culprit. Some signs you’re mouth breathing includes dry mouth, bad breath, teeth grinding, night waking, snoring and dark circles under the eyes.

 

"Mouth breathing occurs if you breathe with your mouth open or with parted lips."

 

What mouth breathing does:

1. Reduces your energy: even though mouth breathing allows up to 6 times the amount of oxygen into your respiratory system, it doesn’t get to go where it needs to and as a result has to come back out again. For oxygen to be transported in our blood it needs carbon-dioxide, so having...

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Street marijuana is not a sleep aid

As smart, highly independent people we tend to find our own answers for problems. Rather than asking for help, we tend go looking for it and sometimes in the wrong places. Some of my clients who have been struggling to sleep have resorted to smoking marijuana to help them enjoy a better night’s sleep. They are not using medicinal cannabis which is available on prescription.  

 

Their inability to sleep or insomnia has been triggered by a variety of situations; a long-term relationship break-up, need for increased stress management techniques or high anxiety due to changes related to COVID to name a few; and the solution they have settled on is a bong of marijuana. Only to find their life unravel more.

 

Cannabis is a plant that we commonly call marijuana, ganja in herbal form or hashish in resinous form. It’s use became prevalent in the 20th century when cannabis was used for religious, spiritual, medicinal and even recreational purposes. To date, the use...

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Are you losing sleep due to sugar?

hangover sleep sugar May 03, 2021

It wasn’t long ago that we were being advised to cut back on salt. Then, we were told to cut back on sugar because researchers linked it to obesity, type-2 diabetes and a raft of other health problems.

 

Since 2016, the general advice has been to drop sugar from your diet altogether. This is, of course, not easy as so many of us have a ‘sweet tooth’, thanks to diets that are rich in sugary tastiness. Unfortunately, the more sugar we have eaten over the years, the more our body craves it now.

 

In Australia around 74% of foods available in the grocery stores or supermarkets contain added sugar (1), and it’s estimated that the average Australian consumes 18 teaspoons of sugar a day. This is higher than the recommendation from the World Health Organization (WHO) who suggests the recommended maximum daily sugar intake is 12 teaspoons a day, which is also on the high side.

 

If you’re thinking, I’m ok because I use sweeteners,...

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Is dehydration waking you up at night?

Did you know that if you do not drink more fluids than what you lose during the day, you could wake up during the night? Well, it’s true.

 

Dehydration can happen to anyone, anywhere, and at any time. It can happen when you don’t drink enough, through heavy sweating, heat, exercise, airplane travel, or the occasional hangover. Mild to moderate dehydration isn’t dangerous and can be corrected by drinking more fluids.

 

How does it affect your sleep?

Dehydration is in its most basic form is a lack of water in your body. A lack of water in your body is a result of your body losing more fluid than it is receiving. When you are asleep, you have no way of drinking or obtaining fluids. Therefore, it is natural for your body to lose more water than it receives during sleep.

 

Interestingly research shows adults who sleep only six hours per night have a higher chance of being dehydrated, compared with those who sleep 8hrs.

 

When you are...

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All YOU need to know about Sleep for the holidays

holidays sleep wellbeing Dec 13, 2020

The holidays is the perfect time to focus on getting your sleep routine back on track. Depending on how much your sleep is disrupted it could take up to a week for your body to settle into its natural sleep routine.

 

Sleep occurs as a result of three interconnected processes occurring simultaneously; the opportunity for sleep, the ability to sleep and the need for sleep. When these three processes don’t overlap, we start to experience problems with our sleep. Sure, it’s normal to experience a couple of bad night’s sleep however it is important to take note of it as for some people a bad night’s sleep can become a learned habit which will then need to be unlearned at a later stage. No matter your situation, age or life stage these three processes need to intersect in order to experience restorative sleep.  

 

Opportunity for sleep

While for many this may seem obvious, i.e. we need to set aside time for sleep, it is surprising how many...

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How Sleep protects YOUR health

insomnia sleep wellbeing Nov 16, 2020

Until the 1950s, most people thought of sleep as a passive activity. We now know it is essential for our survival and wellbeing. It provides the opportunity for our body and mind to repair themselves and it is critical for maintaining good physical and mental health.

 

Sleep allows us to conserve energy, consolidate and reconsolidate memories, process information, regulate body temperature and stimulate various nerve circuits within the brain to ensure its proper functioning. The sleeping brain also helps the body’s stress response to switch off.

 

Sleep is not a luxury.

 

We’ve all suffered through days of headache, fatigue and irritability after a bad night’s sleep for whatever reason. Sure, you can make up for it with a power nap or by sleeping it off the following two nights. But when insufficient sleep becomes the norm and you’re not getting anywhere from 7 - 9 hours of quality sleep each night, then problems start developing. 

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