Are you a lark, an owl, or the average American?
About 15% of my clients want to work on the inability to sleep well through the night at some point in our work together. 95% are sleeping better by the evening of the first session. It’s one of the easiest things to turn around with EFT. There are many books, including the popular I Can Make You Sleep, that include EFT in their methods. Before I show you what you can do on your own, let’s explore some of the last research in the field. On one end of the spectrum is the lark. Larks fall asleep as soon as the sun sets and doesn’t wake up until dawn. On the other end, owls stay up very late, and then tend to fall asleep as the sun is about to rise. They don’t usually wake up until the day has already begun for most people.
Melatonin is a hormone that is released at night and light tends to reduce it’s production in the body. In the summer the melatonin cycles in your sleep are short and in the winter it’s extremely long. This explains why many of us in the Northwest, where summer days last until 10 pm and winter days seem to last only until 3pm, feel out of sorts in the middle of those seasons. If we just lived like our ancestors and hibernated in the winter we’d all be better off but how realistic is that? Winter blues is linked with problems of the circadian sleep rhythms almost as if one’s body were telling them it’s winter – time to turn inward. Very alert phases are characterized by the opposite triggers telling one’s body it’s summer – time to be super active.
There seems to be a lot of controversy about taking melatonin but there are some other things you can do.The general consensus to improve sleep habits is to avoid caffeine 2-3 hours before you intend to go to bed. By the way, your mother was correct in advising you to drink warm milk as it’ss high in tryptophan which helps in the ability to get to sleep .Two other valuable tools in attracting Mr. Sandman is having a light box with the ability to turn the lights up gradually at the time you are to wake up. Then there is sex. You’ve heard me say it before that if you want to regulate your hormones and sleep peacefully, have intercourse.
The average American sleeps between 6-7 hours instead of the recommended 8. It’s also been reported that 70 million Americans have sleep issues. Turns out that these numbers including the recommendation for 8 hours of sleep is put out by sleep labs run by pharmaceutical companies! Experts at the recent National Institutes of Health Consensus Conference state, “Improved sleep behavior and attitites do more good than sleeping pills for the treatment of insomnia.” One study even found that taking a pill 30 or more times a month has as much as an impact on your health as smoking a pack a day. Take between 15-20 pills a month didn’t improve that outcome by a significant degree.
Here’s how to use EFT to help you fall asleep, stay asleep, and bring you back to sleep if you wake up in the night. First make sure you understand if EFT in general tends to activates you or helps calm you down. If it calms you down then definitely tap before bedtime. If it’s stimulating then do it in the morning or afternoon at least 4 hours before bed.
Phase 1. This should be done every day for a minimum of 20 minutes for 21 days straight. Tap on the fear of not getting to sleep, the fear that you’ll wake up, the fear that you’ll be tired and can’t accomplish things the next day, and the fear that you’ll never get over the problem. If you wake up in the night you can tap or rub the points and work on all the fears about being able to get back to sleep. Don’t turn on the lights, even if you have to go to the bathroom, and avoid eating.Rubbing the points and whispering or silently tapping won’t disturb your partner if you sleep with someone.
Phase 2. Tap on anything and everything that worried you about your day. In this phase you will need to apply EFT to your list of everyday stressors twice a day for 10 minutes. Be as specific as possible about what’s bothering, “Even though I feel all this fear about paying my rent today, I don’t know where the money is going to come from, I deeply and completely love and accept myself” is better than “Even though I have all this fear I don’t have enough money….”
Phase 3. After the 21 days of tapping you will need to do a few more days of tapping on the fear that this isn’t permanent and you’ll go back to your old sleep pattern.
For this to work completely you’ll need to address any secondary issues around sleeping. If you have a partner who snores, then you’ll need to find a way to get him/her to stop, buy earplugs, or sleep in a different room. If you have sleep apnea please consult with a doctor. If you work the night shift then you’ll need to either learn to live your life on that schedule and make sure other people in your life respect your needs. If you are in a pattern of going to bed late because you need to get work or other things done, you’ll need to work on why you put your body last instead of first. If you think you need that quiet time at night to be by yourself and relax, you’ll need to tap on the reasons why you can’t make that happen for yourself during the day.
Lastly if you think that your hormones are to blame, listen to Dr. Oz who said, ” Your hormones follow your emotions, not the other way around” Luckily we have a little tool to help us out with that!