So stressed and anxious that you can’t get to sleep? Problem solved or not?

Have you ever been so stressed and anxious that you just can’t get to sleep and if you do, you wake up, too soon, feeling exhausted and irritable? Lying awake each night watching the time ticking by is no fun! When it goes on for weeks at a time it starts to interfere with all aspects of your life, I was so tired, and sleep deprived that I couldn’t think straight and was barely functioning. It all began with a 48-hours of extreme anxiety and sleeplessness, that quickly progressed to constant low level anxiety and intermittent panic attacks.

This is how the vicious cycle that is insomnia began for me.  The more trouble I had going to sleep the more anxious I became and the less likely I was to actually get to sleep. It was so frustrating, and my stress levels went through the roof. As I like to get to the bottom of things, I took myself off to the GP, there were several recommendations none of which gave me much relief. I tried mindfulness, mediation and yoga which all gave me some relief temporarily, but have you ever tried to meditate when you are incredibly anxious or having a panic attack? For me the triggers began to increase, and sleep became my obsession.  I Just wanted a good night sleep so desperately.

So began my ingenious idea of a sleep routine, I am sure I am not the first and won’t be the last to implement a sleep routine to overcome insomnia and finally get some rest! I combined some of the things that had been suggested to me along the way. It was very strict and rigid and if anything, ever got in the way …… I can tell you it wasn’t a pretty sight!  So, began another cycle for me of preparing for sleep in such an inflexible way it became the only way I could get to sleep and even though it did produce some longer sleep it gave me another thing to be stressed and anxious about! It was complexed and involved a lot of steps to get to that elusive destination of restful sleep! A warm bath with lavender oil and soothing music playing, a cup of camomile tea, dull lighting, going to bed before my husband, and getting to sleep before he could go to bed (this was not well received but he was better placed to deal with me when I was well rested), listening to a meditation CD…. (all the while having minimal human interaction) It was exhausting but it did work.

I really had just put a band-aid on my insomnia and one that involved a lot of irritation if it was interrupted or not followed precisely.  On reflection it really was just another nightmare! So many years later I see the trap of my routine and wish that I had known about EFT aka tapping. Just the simple act of tapping can reduce the stress response and has been proven to lower the stress hormone cortisol in the body. If I had tapping, then this may have been an easier journey for me and my unlucky family. Tapping is a take anywhere tool that can help in so many situations, sleep deprivation causes stress and to be able to relieve this with tapping is so empowering.