Poor sleep is one of the most common health problems and can leave you feeling exhausted, impatient, stressed and run down. It can have a direct impact on the quality of your life both at home and in work.
- Do you feel that you are not getting enough sleep?
- Do you lie awake at night worrying?
- Do you wake up in the middle of the night not able to go back to sleep again?
- Do you feel that your everyday life is affected by a lack of sleep?
- Has something happened in your life that is getting in the way of a good night’s sleep?
If you have answered yes to any of these questions you may have a sleep problem and benefit from some guided help. It doesn’t matter if you have had sleep problems for a couple of days or for 40 years, this guided self-help programme can make significant changes to the quality of your sleep. By learning more about your sleep problems you can develop helpful skills and thinking patterns to help you improve your sleep within weeks.
With one to one consultation with a sleep specialist, over a few weeks, you will see an improvement in the quality of your sleep. Using a sleep plan developed by Dr Guy Meadows you can work out how to stop struggling and start sleeping. It is based on integrating mindfulness and Acceptance and
Commitment Therapy (ACT) techniques, without the use of sleep medication and naturally getting to better sleep pattern.
Mindfulness is an ancient Buddhist practice, it provides a simple but powerful way for getting ourselves unstuck by waking up and living in harmony with oneself and with the world. It examines who we are, questions our view of the world and our place in it. Through meditation it helps us wake up from the sleep of auto-pilot and unconsciousness, which can develop some unhelpful behaviours for sleep, and get us in touch with our own wisdom and vitality, allowing us to take charge of the direction and quality of our own lives, including relationships at home and work, the wider world and, most importantly, our relationship with ourselves as a person.
ACT promotes not trying to struggle, control and avoid your sleep difficulties, which can maintain the problem, but to engage in mental flexibility, willingness, openness and curiosity which helps us to notice, accept and let go of our negative thoughts and feelings. The ACT model appreciates it is perfectly normal to want to get rid of the pain and suffering we get when not sleeping, but it recognises the relentless struggle to control a sleep problem can make it worse, over the long term. Working towards, natural, deep and energising sleep.
Five steps to a better sleep (created by Dr Guy Meadows)
Step 1:What’s going on…. The principles of stopping struggling and starting sleeping. Look for the common triggers, the symptoms of the sleep problem and how you attempt to get rid of them. These could be having a negative impact on your sleep.
Step 2: Engage and accept…..Accepting your struggle: somethings we cannot change. Learn not to live in the past or future and be more mindful and in the present moment.
Step 3: Willingness ….Notice all of the unhelpful, thoughts, emotions, physical sensations and impulses that come into your mind and body when you are not sleeping well. Developing a willingness to accept the suffering and uncomfortable feeling of not sleeping.
Step 4: Plan and change……Work towards building a better sleep routine once you have understood and accepted step 1.2.3. The time for change and better sleep.
Step 5: Get on with your life… stop focusing on your sleep problems and live life both in the day and night how you would wish to and maintain good sleeping patterns.
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