Do you dread going to bed?

Do you dread going to bed?

If you are anxious and fearful about sleep, or the lack of it, you could be suffering from sleep dread.

When you google the definition of dread, it is:  “anticipate with great apprehension or fear”.  When I feel like that about my bed, or even just the thought of going to bed, then it’s not easy for me to fall asleep and stay asleep all night.

What about you?

Do you feel dread when you think of going to bed?

Do you dread knowing that you’ll be laying there awake for hours unable to fall asleep?

Do you dread waking up in the morning exhausted again from another terrible night’s sleep?

Most people don’t realize that this can cause anxiety, fear and an out of control feeling that impacts our sleep.  Our mind then creates a belief that no matter what I do, sleep just won’t happen for me.

Here are 3 tips for dealing with this feeling of dread:

  1. Create awareness

Just by reading this blog, it might have already done that for you.  Being aware that this is a real issue for people is the first step in fixing it. 

  1. Write down your feelings.

I like to call this doing a “brain dump”.  Write down your feelings and thoughts about going to bed.  By writing it down you will create more awareness and clarity on why you dread going to bed so much.  Then I like to rip up that paper and discard it – visualising putting all my worries in the garbage along with that paper.

  1. Release the emotion using tapping (my favourite way of course 😀).

By acknowledging what you are feeling, you can use tapping (EFT) in order to release the feeling of dread.  This will shift to an empowering belief about your sleep that will help you reclaim your sleep. 


If you need help releasing the dread that is stopping you from your optimal sleep, book your Optimal Sleep Assessment today.

We will look at the things getting in your way of your sleep that you might not even be aware of and get clear on the number one thing you can do to improve the quality of your sleep.

Until next time, sleep tight!

Could the reason you are not sleeping be hiding in plain view?

Could the reason you are not sleeping be hiding in plain view?

Stress can be sneaky.  It comes from many different areas of our lives and it can accumulate without us being aware of it.   

When I was struggling with sleep, my stress came from my work as well as from some family illnesses.  As someone who can usually handle everything, the accumulation of stress caught me off guard.  And the result was that I was no longer able to shut my brain off and I couldn’t sleep because of it.

How could I not see what was right in front of me?

Because I was tired and exhausted. Honestly, I did not understand how stress can activate our nervous system to the point of it being constantly on fight or flight mode.

When we are in a fight or flight mode, our bodies release stress hormones (adrenaline, norepinephrine and cortisol) in order for us to be able to do the task at hand, which is helpful.  However, when you are constantly trying to put out fires in your life (urgent emails, hospital visits, cooking extra food for loved ones, etc…), your body keeps secreting all these stress hormones over and over.  My switch to turn OFF these stress hormones after a task was done got stuck ON, creating a constant state of fight or flight in my body.

Does this sound like you? 

Do you find yourself really stressed all day and you just can’t figure out why you can’t regain control?

When we look at these tasks individually, we could handle each separate event on it’s own.  Sending an urgent email might create stress for a few minutes, but then our nervous system calms down again when the task is over.  But when we have an abundance of tasks to get done, and we go from one to the other, we never give our nervous system the chance to calm down.

What can you do to create awareness of where your stress is coming from?

Evaluate these 5 areas of your life and give them a rating to see which area carries more stress for you. (0 no stress, 5 maximum of stress)

Health

Are you worried about your health?  Are you unable to lose weight, always getting sick and feeling sluggish.  When our health is poor, mentally or physically, it can add stress to our lives and affect our sleep.

Family

Are you lying awake at night thinking about your family’s well being?  Are you grieving the loss of a loved one, getting a divorce or taking care of an elderly family member?  Being a caretaker for your family can affect your well-being and disrupt your sleep.

Work 

Pressures in the workplace are unavoidable due to the demands of the contemporary work environment.  When that pressure becomes excessive or otherwise unmanageable it can lead to stress that can keep you awake at night.

Money

Are you feeling overwhelmed by debt, unable to save for retirement, worried about losing your job or living paycheck to paycheck?  Are thoughts of your financial difficulties keeping you awake at night?

Spirituality

Being spiritual means having a sense of connection to something bigger than ourselves.  When we don’t feel connected, we start searching for the meaning and purpose of our lives.  These inquiries into ourselves can keep us awake at night.


If you need help figuring out which area of your life you need to address in order to regain control of your sleep, book your Optimal Sleep Assessment today.

We will look at the things getting in your way of your sleep you might not even be aware of and get clear on the number one thing you can do to improve the quality of your sleep.

Until next time, sleep tight!

3 tips for setting boundaries in order to improve the quality of your sleep

3 tips for setting boundaries in order to improve the quality of your sleep

We all know that sleep is essential for both our mental and physical health.  

Did you know that just by prioritizing your sleep and setting boundaries, your chance of getting better quality sleep just exponentially improved?

Yup!

Setting clear boundaries in certain areas of our lives may be what you need in order to sleep better.

I get it, everyone needs you so it’s not possible for you to set boundaries.  I’ve been there believing I needed to be available 24 / 7 for my children, my parents and my work.  

Guess what?  

I was able to set some boundaries while being clear on my reason behind them and everyone respects them.  You can too!

Here are 3 areas of your life you could look at right now and see if you could set some small boundaries.

  1. Work

It’s easy to do extra work now that many of us are working from home.  Setting clear boundaries around your working hours will allow for other team members and your supervisor to know when you’ll be available and when your work day is over. That way you’ll be able to transition from work mode back into home life mode easily and not feel the need to constantly be looking at your emails in the evening.

If needed, having a conversation with your supervisor about this new boundary might be necessary.  That way everyone can be on the same page.

  1. Family members in our homes. 

Let them know you’ve decided to set a bedtime routine for yourself and during this time, you are not available.  Make them aware of your decision to set this boundary and the reason why it’s important to you. 

If you’ve always been the person they go to when they need anything, then it might take a bit of time for them to get adjusted to your new boundaries.  But they will get used to it and ask for help earlier in the day.  If they forget and come to you after the agreed time, then gently remind them that it’s your time now and it can wait until tomorrow.  

Of course, if it’s an emergency you will definitely help them.  But if it can wait, then make them wait.  You are taking responsibility for your sleep and it’s important.

  1.  People outside of your household.  

I often hear, “yeah but my kids don’t live at home or my parents are in assisted living facilities, what if they need me at night?”

Have a conversation with them.  Let them know that you are now prioritizing your sleep and that after a certain time, you won’t be available to them, unless it’s an emergency.  Come up with a plan together of how they’ll contact you if it’s an emergency(or if required). And also, get clear on what you consider an emergency so they know when to call on you or when to wait for the next day.

Hint: you can set your phone on “do not disturb” and select which calls you want to be allowed.  That way you won’t miss a true emergency when you are needed.


I know, you might think people won’t respect your boundaries.  But it is up to you to set them and stick to them.  You can do it.  I know it.  

If you need help setting boundaries and/or help figuring out what is getting in the way of your sleep, book your Optimal Sleep assessment today.

We will look at the things getting in your way of your sleep you might not even be aware of and get clear on the number one thing you can do to improve the quality of your sleep.

Until next time, sleep tight!

Is your resistance to relaxing causing your lack of sleep?

Is your resistance to relaxing causing your lack of sleep?

I’ve had a few clients show up lately all with the same issue. They are unable to relax enough to get a full night of sleep. One in particular can feel her nervous system activating as she gets ready for bed.

What is going on?

Well, it’s not our natural state for us to be able to relax.  Our nervous system is built in such a way to be on alert all the time to look out for danger and keep us safe.

And in today’s world, we are no longer talking about a tigger jumping out of the woods and attacking us.  It’s the rush of our lives that keeps our nervous system in a state of fight or flight.

To understand this you need to look at human brain development and observe some basic elements.  One major feature is our instinct to survive.   

Our natural state is to maintain our sense of alertness in order to protect ourselves.  

Relaxation implies that we let down our guard.  It means turning off our internal system that is meant to keep us alert in order to keep us safe.  This translates itself in today’s world as the items we didn’t accomplish on our to-do list.  Or the emails we didn’t have time to reply to.  Or all the chores we need to do at home for our family.  Or the dishwasher that needs to be unloaded.  Or the laundry that needs to be put away.  You get the picture?

Unfortunately, our natural built-in system does not come with an on – off switch.  It is hard wired and always working.  Therefore, when we try to relax, we are often unable to.

So, how do you relax and can anything be done to achieve a relaxed state?  

The answer is a “yes”.  It can be done.   However, your expectations need to be realistic.  When you haven’t been able to relax in a long time, it’s going to take time to retrain your nervous system to recognize the state of relaxation.  

Your first step is recognizing that you aren’t easily able to relax and then making the choice to change your daily behaviours in order for your nervous system to learn what it feels like to relax.  Just like any new skill you are building, small daily consistent actions will do the trick.

Here are a few ways you can train your brain to relax:

  1. EFT/tapping.  At its core, it is known as a stress management technique.  Most people who do just a few minutes of tapping will feel a sense of calm come over them.  Do this on a regular basis and you are training your nervous system to relax.
  1. Meditate.  Countless studies are now suggesting that meditation practices have the potential to balance our nervous system settings and help us deal with stress.
  1. Exercise. Exercising like running or walking can help to reduce the feelings of anxiety and clear space in your head.

Until next time, sleep tight!

Why should you prioritize your sleep?

Why should you prioritize your sleep?

Because sleep powers the mind and restores the body.  It’s what we need to function at our best each day.  

According to the National Sleep Foundation, young adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep and older adults need 7 to 8 hours of sleep.

Are you getting in those hours?  

I’ve been reading Brendon Burchard’s High Performance Habits and I was pleased to read he also prioritizes his sleep.  He realizes that in order to perform well in your life, you need sleep.

Here is a quote from his book found on page 115.

“Well, I’ve become successful sleeping only five hours, so sleep isn’t a factor for me”. 

And then his next though was:

“Imagine how much MORE successful I would be with just two more hours of sleep.”

Goosebumps…. He’s right.  How much MORE could I accomplish towards my dreams and goals if I prioritize my sleep?  I know for me, it has changed my life in amazing ways.  I am able to have better relationships with my family, be more present in my life and it has allowed me to be more creative with what I choose to do with my waking hours, because I am rested and ready for anything I set my mind to.

In my blog “The benefits of sleep“, I explain the sleep cycles.

Our bodies are able to function on 5 to 6 hours of sleep.  That’s because when we are in Stage 3 / 4 sleep our physical body is restoring itself.  And this stage of sleep happens more during the beginning of the night.

When we decide to cut our sleep short by only sleeping 5 to 6 hours, we are cutting down on our REM sleep.  Our REM sleep happens more towards the end of the night.  It’s during REM sleep that the magic happens.  It’s where our mental restoration happens.  

Imagine, if you only slept another hour or two how much more rested your mind would be.  A better rested mind allows you to be more alert and aware.  You’ll be able to concentrate better and feel less foggy.  You’ll be able to be present in your life and in the life of others around you.

You don’t have to believe me, try it out for yourself.  Start prioritizing your sleep and see how much better your life can get.

Until next time, sleep tight!