I am often asked how can EFT/Tapping help someone find sleep again naturally. That is a big question that I will try my best to answer in this blog. Every person struggling with sleep has different circumstances. I would advise anyone who can’t sleep to first check with their doctor to rule out any medical condition that needs to be addressed.
For most people, myself included, we live an extremely busy lifestyle. This busy lifestyle creates a lot of stress in our bodies and minds. If we are unable to process that stress and release it, it can disrupt our sleep pattern.
How many of you can relate to a scenario similar to this one?
You had a really busy day at work running off your feet trying to accomplish a very big to-do list. You even skipped your lunch break so you could get a few more things done. You then rush home and need to make supper, take care of your kids and bring them to their activities. You need to find time to clean the house and do laundry. Don’t forget to try to fit in exercise or any other kind of self care for yourself. It’s 11:00 pm at night and you realize that there are still 10 things on your to-do list that you didn’t get a chance to even think about today and you didn’t take any time for your own self care. Your body is exhausted, yet your mind is fully awake. It’s starting a mental to-do list for tomorrow. Knowing you need to get up early you decide to finish your list tomorrow and go to bed. You try to distract yourself by either watching tv or browsing Facebook to help you fall asleep.
Once in bed, what happens?
Your mind keeps going because it’s not done processing all the things it needed to get done today. It’s not ready to shut off. It is remembering the other 10 things you didn’t write down on your list because you forgot about them and you are now remembering them. You tell your mind to stop worrying about it and you will do it tomorrow, however it’s winning this fight and you stay awake half the night feeling frustrated that you can’t sleep. You know you’ll be even more exhausted tomorrow. This feeling of dread overtakes you as you think of how you need to perform tomorrow but you already know you are going to wake up exhausted.
Day after day, this cycle continues.
You feel stressed and overwhelmed but you just keep going thinking tomorrow will be better. But the accumulation of these unprocessed emotions fills up your metaphoric cup. You function on caffeine to make it through the day. Your mind and body is working hard to process all the stress and it’s affecting your sleep.
Without sleep, we can’t function properly.
Usually by the time someone has stopped sleeping, it’s years of accumulated stress. It might be that they have one specific event that happened that caused their cup to overflow and they believe it’s the reason they aren’t sleeping. They aren’t entirely wrong. However, if they weren’t carrying all that extra unprocessed emotions from the past, they might have been able to deal with this additional event and still continue sleeping.
This is where people get even more overwhelmed and don’t know how to start using EFT/tapping to help improve their sleep. I’ll be really honest here and say it’s not a simple one session process. You first need to decide YOU want to make changes so you can start sleeping again. YOU need to find time to schedule your self care in your calendar, and that includes time to do your own tapping. Once you are ready for these changes, here is how I suggest starting.
First, start tapping with what is happening in the present moment. I often hear people talk about their lack of sleep all day long. They are so focused on this lack of sleep and it’s causing them stress just thinking into the future nights coming and knowing they aren’t going to be able to sleep. I ask my clients “just thinking about going to bed tonight, what negative emotions are coming up for you? Here are a few examples of a script we might use to be specific to their issue:
Even though, when I think about going to bed tonight, I feel anxious that I might lay there and not be able to sleep, I deeply and completely accept who I am.
Even though I feel this dread knowing that my mind won’t shut off when I try to sleep tonight, I deeply and completely accept who I am.
You need to keep tapping until you feel better about the thought of going to sleep tonight.
Afterwards, you need to switch your focus on a recent night where you struggled to sleep. What was the reason? What do you feel about that?
Even though last night I was awake from 3 am to 5 am unable to sleep because my neighbor came home with his loud vehicle, I feel this frustration because I was really tired and wanted to sleep. I deeply and completely accept who I am.
Even though I remember my husband snoring really loud last night, I feel this resentment that he gets to sleep well while I lay there awake listening to him. I deeply and completely accept who I am.
Once you’ve processed the emotions about your lack of sleep, then you need to start processing the emotions about your daily stress. If you take time everyday to process the stress that has happened in your day then it will be easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.
It’s not an overnight process. It might take a few weeks or even a few months to find sleep again. It takes time to deal with the accumulation of stress we have that is keeping us awake. I like to break it down in 5 different areas that can affect us and work through each one with my clients. These areas are family, work, money, health and spirituality. Start with the area that you are feeling the most stressed about and work through those events/situations.
I also recommend working with a practitioner. A skilled practitioner can help you find events in your past that might still be contributing to your lack of sleep today. I wrote this blog https://carolrichardeft.com/why-do-we-resist-going-to-sleep/ about a client of mine (with her permission of course). She was still resisting going to sleep and it was due to some childhood events where she was made to go to bed at 6:00 pm when all her friends were outside playing. She still resisted going to bed as an adult because she didn’t want to miss out on anything.
Each one of you has a different reason why you aren’t sleeping. Once you find your reason, then you can tailor your tapping to your own specific issues and hopefully sleep will come back naturally for you.
Until next time, sleep tight!
I was walking down the street about a year ago; it was during my lunch break. I had my headphones in my ears and listening to a podcast of some sort, I believe it had something to do with finding abundance in your life. This is when a co-worker saw me and said that she had never seen anyone walking down the street looking so peaceful! That is when I knew my life was right again.
Let’s rewind to April 10, 2017. The worst day of my life at that time, but looking back on it today, the best day of my life. I’ll explain the best part later.
Here is the worst part.
It was 4 am and I started crying. I couldn’t stop. My husband just held me all night and then drove me to my doctor’s office the next morning. I could not function physically and/or emotionally. I had lost all sensation in my hands and feet. I was scared and didn’t know what was happening to me.
Diagnosis: Brain tumor? Why else would lose the sensation in your hands and feet. Not according to my doctor. It was STRESS from work/ life and my body was telling me to slow down and breath. I had not had a good night sleep in about 2 years, taking two sleeping pills and only sleeping a maximum of 2 hours. I was exhausted and couldn’t find a way out of this mess I had created in my life.
Prescription: She wrote “off work due to stress for 2 months”. This was just the beginning of my time off, we would re-evaluate in 2 months to see how I was doing. I needed to go home, rest and find myself again. She did not prescribe any medication such as anti-anxiety or anti-depressants because she trusted that I would find my way out once I was able to rest. I needed to continue the sleeping pills for now, but start weaning myself off once I was able to fall asleep by myself again. I set an appointment for 2 months later for a recheck.
Feeling completely loss and helpless, what did I do?
I came home and cried. I was not prepared to deal with stress and I didn’t know how to cope. I had panic attacks numerous times a day and could not even go to the grocery store by myself. I had never experienced anything like this and I considered myself as someone who was very strong emotionally. In the last 2 years of my life, all self-care I used to do (exercise, eating properly, hanging out with family and friends) went out the window so I could work more just to stay afloat in my day job. Work was my number 1 priority.
During my first month of “stress leave”, I repainted the inside of my entire house. I needed to keep busy. I started listening to the Hay House summit to keep my mind occupied. I felt so much shame and guilt for leaving my co-workers behind to pick up my workload. It was during those days that I heard Nick Ortner speak about “tapping”. Being curious in nature, I started researching what this “tapping” thing was. I always believe in energy work and tapping sounded like another energy modality I could try.
How did I try tapping?
For two weeks, I would drive to the Bonshaw trail and find a quiet spot to sit by the river. I would tap, even if I wasn’t really sure what I was doing. It couldn’t do any harm. Right? I learned that EFT is really forgiving. I would bring up the emotion of shame or guilt that I was feeling about my inability to go to work and I followed the instructions by tapping on all the energy points on my body. Within 2 weeks, I was no longer having panic attack. I will always remember the first time I was able to sleep without a sleeping pill. I had a nap on the couch and when I woke up; I realized I had fallen asleep by myself, without the help of a pill. I knew then that I was on the right track and to keep doing this “tapping” thing.
I started exercising again and I also started meditation. Walks on the beach became part of my routine that summer while I recuperated. Once I returned to work 5 months later, I made the move to a less stressful position. I was seeing life completely differently and was not willing to let the stress of a job/life get to me again like that. Self-care was my number 1 priority.
Why do I say it’s the best day of my life?
Because if I had not reached such a low point in my life to bounce back from, I am not sure I would have listened to my “wake-up call”. I am not sure I would have had the courage to follow my dream to become an EFT Practitioner coach in order to share this wonderful tool with other people. I started removing the things in my life that caused me stress and then I started following my dreams. I started creating Vision Boards. I found an EFT Level 1 and Level 2 course I attended, which was the first step towards my certification. Then I went completely out of my comfort zone and contacted EFT tapping Training Institute and asked Dr. Craig Wiener to be my mentor. One of the best decisions of my life! And while following this process, I tapped regularly on any fears that would come up. I completed my Certification as an EFT Practitioner Coach and can’t wait to see where life will take me next.
I wake up every day thanking the Universe for giving me this lesson in my life. Without it, I would not be who I am today. Walking down the street that day and having that co-worker comment on how peaceful I looked, I knew that I had found myself again.
After reading the book “Why We Sleep” by Matthew Walker, PhD, I am more convinced than ever of the importance of a good night’s sleep. Both the World Health Organization and The National Sleep Foundation recommend 7 to 9 hours per night of sleep for adults aged 18 to 64.
In his book, Dr. Walker states that the World Health Organization (WHO) has now declared a sleep loss epidemic throughout industrialized nations. Two-thirds of adults throughout all developed nations fail to obtain the recommended eight hours of nightly sleep. It’s not hard to believe when you start noticing the amount of people who are voicing that they are struggling to either fall asleep or stay asleep at night.
Not getting enough sleep can affect us in so many ways and here are just a few of them:
- It can affect how we learn and process information.
- It can make it difficult to lose weight.
- It can lower our immune system, making us more susceptible to catching a cold.
- It can increase our chances of having cancer (since our immune system is compromised).
- It contributes to increasing symptoms of stress and anxiety.
- It can disrupt our blood sugar levels so profoundly that you would be classified as pre-diabetic.
- It increases the likelihood of your coronary arteries becoming blocked and brittle.
- It decreases your lifespan.
Dr. Walker suggests the following tips to create good sleep habits:
- Reduce caffeine and alcohol intake.
- Remove screen technology from the bedroom.
- Have a cool bedroom.
- Establish a regular bedtime and wake-up time, even on weekends.
- Go to bed only when sleepy and avoid sleeping on the couch early/mid-evenings.
- Reduce anxiety-provoking thoughts and worry.
I’ve bolded that last one because it’s the hardest one for us to deal with. How do we reduce anxiety-provoking thoughts and worry? This is where I introduce EFT/Tapping to you.
Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), also known as tapping, is a great tool to help you reduce stress in your life. You simply ‘tap’ gently on specific meridian endpoints located on head, face, and upper body while thinking about an issue affecting you and voicing positive affirmations simultaneously. EFT is often used to change our negative feelings and reduce self-limiting thoughts/beliefs. At its core, tapping is a stress management technique.
We have 5 different areas in our lives that can create these anxiety provoking thoughts. These areas are family, work, health, money and spirituality. Stress and anxiety in any of these areas can keep us awake at night. By learning how to use EFT for yourself as well as being guided by a skilled practitioner, you can reduce that stress and find sleep again naturally.
One of my favourite things to do is to teach others how to use EFT/Tapping in order for them to find sleep again naturally. I am writing this story with permission from one of my clients. She had a hard time getting herself to bed at a decent hour and knew that her lack of sleep was affecting many areas of her life. But she resisted going to bed and knew she wanted to change it.
When she first came to see me, she was only sleeping 4 to 6 hours per night and she never felt rested. She always falls asleep within minutes (once she decides to turn the light off) but she can’t get good quality sleep. And wakes up numerous times during the night and can’t fall asleep again. Never getting a good deep sleep.
Her goals for our work together:
- Get 7 hours of sleep a night,
- Go to her bedroom by 11:30 pm so she could read for half an hour,
- Turn her light off at midnight,
- Wake up at 7 am which would give her 7 full hours of sleep.
It’s very important to set specific goals so we can measure the outcome as we work together.
I asked her how possible does it feel for her to actually go to her bedroom by 11:30 pm tonight. On a scale from 1 to 10, she felt it was a 4. We decided to focus our work for this first session on removing any resistance she had towards going to her bedroom at 11:30 pm. By the end of our session, she felt it would be possible at an 8 out of 10.
I also asked her to pay attention to her feelings during the week between our sessions and to journal and tap on any negative emotions that came up.
When she came back for her second session, she said she had noticed a resistance going to bed. She was getting ready for bed and said to herself, “Carol is not going to tell me WHEN to go to bed”. She realized at that moment that she didn’t like anyone telling her “WHEN” to go to bed. We began exploring that feeling that she experienced. As a kid, she was always made to go to bed at 6:00 pm. All her friends were playing outside and she could hear them, but she was not allowed to go play. Once, she got caught looking out the window and got in trouble for it. As a 7 year old, she felt invisible and not heard, put away in her bedroom where she would be out of sight. She realized the connection from her experiences as a child to still feeling that resistance today with going to bed.
As we continued our next few sessions, we focused on the two limiting beliefs we had uncovered.
- I am invisible felt true for her at 95%
- I am not heard felt true for her at 100%
We took each of these limiting beliefs and found specifics events that confirmed to her today that she was invisible and not heard. There were times when she was not heard at work by her supervisor. Times at home where she was not heard by her husband. Even a memory from childhood where her grandmother said, “Children should be seen and not heard”
By session 5 she was sleeping between 5 to 7 hours, which was an improvement. She still felt some resistance going to bed early and we explored that further. She remembered as a child having to be under the covers with a flashlight because the RULE was lights out at 6:00 pm. She wanted to go out and play “kick the can” with her friends and couldn’t because of that RULE. She was resisting any rule imposed on her because of it, even if SHE was the one trying to institute that rule. Knowing that she felt this way because of her childhood and the fact that she was made to go to bed so early, we focused this session on her feelings about being made to go to bed that early. How she rebelled by having a flashlight under the blankets and reading when she was supposed to be sleeping. All these rules as a kid where still ingrained in her subconscious today causing her not to want to turn the light off.
Session 6, she started out by saying “I slept 7 full hours last night”. The resistance she had about turning the lights off was gone, and she was feeling more rested. When we checked her 2 limiting beliefs discovered in other sessions, her feeling of being invisible was down to 50% and her feeling of not being heard was down to 25%. Still more work to do on those limiting beliefs but a great reduction already.
I am grateful for my work with this client. Knowing that the quality of her sleep improved, I know the quality of her life will also improve.
On Saturday august 17th, 2019, I arrived in this little village called Maisonette, NB (Canada) for a full week of deep personal work. My Reiki teacher, Marie Ange Michaud, puts on these retreats that are a full week long, which include 4 days of silence and inner reflection. Marie-Ange is 77 years old and has more energy than anyone I’ve ever met. She is such an inspiration to me and a great mentor. She teaches us to let go of the past and truly learn to love ourselves. To take control or our lives and live it with purpose. This was my 4th summer attending and this year our group was a total of 46 participants.
This year, I went with the intention to change some limiting beliefs I had. I went prepared with Dr. Joe Dispenza’s morning and evening meditation, Marie-Ange Michaud’s reiki teachings, my journal, my pendulum and the wonderful tool of EFT/tapping to really do some deep personal work. I was ready to clear as much negative stuff from my past as possible so I could create the future I truly want. To be happy and fulfilled with everything I do.
It’s funny when we open ourselves up to healing, the events from our past that we need to deal with will just show up in our mind. A few days before leaving, I was suddenly triggered by something someone said and I remembered an event from my past that I had forgotten about. I decided to write the event on a piece of paper I took with me so I wouldn’t forget to work on it. My transformation had already started and I hadn’t left yet….
I got a nice little cottage a few steps away from the beach. Once my roommate arrived that evening, we had a great chat over a bottle of wine. During this chat, we both felt that we have never belonged in this world (first limiting belief uncovered). And we were both looking to figure out why that was. We found ourselves attending this same retreat year after year looking for answers. Little did I know it would all unravel for me this week.
On my first day of tapping, I decided to tackle the event that showed up before I even left. I had remembered being 17 years old, having joined the CAF on a part-time basis as a reservist and in basic training. I woke up one morning with the word “bitch” written on my face with lipstick. How could someone forget such an event I asked myself? As I worked through each emotion that came up, I could see myself standing in front of the mirror with tears in my eyes wondering what I did wrong to not belong with this group of girls? Why was I so different? I then found another event where something similar had happened and I was left to feel I didn’t belong. And all of a sudden I had this feeling like I truly do belong in this world. I was able to change my first limiting belief of the week and it was just day 1.
All week, I would do my Dr. Joe Dispenza morning meditation at 5 am, followed by greeting the sun at 6:10 am on the beach as a group (all 46 of us). Afterwards I would do one hour of tapping and journaling before going to meet the other participants at the rec hall to listen to Marie-Ange and all her wisdom. We had a 3 hour lunch break and I would tap for 2 hours of it. And after supper I would sit and tap again for a few hours before ending my day with Dr. Joe Dispenza’ evening meditation.
I would walk the beach everyday. I would uncover another limiting belief and ask myself which event from my past I needed to work to clear it. Always amazed that the right event showed up, and a lot of them I had completely forgotten about until that moment it showed up in my mind. This went on all week. By Thursday evening, I had uncovered and changed 19 limiting beliefs. I was grateful for my journal to be able to keep track of all of this.
I think my biggest breakthrough was when I finally let my inner child out of its cage (metaphor). All week, Marie-Ange would talk about the Ego and how we need to set it aside to let our inner child out. Not something I’ve been able to do in the past. But during one session of tapping, sitting on the beach, I felt my inner child take over and say goodbye to my Ego. That was powerful for me, but it came with some grief. For the last 45 years of my life, my Ego has been running the show, now I was leaving it behind on the beach of Maisonette and I wasn’t sure what the new me would be like? Would I be happier? Would I be able to have more fun and be less serious? Would it feel comfortable to smile? All little things but for me such big things internally. Walking down the beach afterwards in deep thoughts, I came across this old rusted cage. I felt it was so symbolic for what I just experienced a few minutes before. Where did it come from? I had walked that same area at least 5 times before but never seen it. I just smiled to myself and said “my inner child is free now, look at her broken cage”.
Another interesting thing happened while I was doing this work. In the past, I always blamed everyone else for things that happened to me. But during the week, that feeling changed. I was able to see my part in the past I had created for myself. I was able to forgive myself for things I had done that were wrong (and a few of those events came up where I felt deep shame for some things I had done or said). Once I was able to see my part in it, something clicked inside of me. It’s like all judgment I had against others just vanished. No one is to blame for how I feel today. It’s just time to get rid of it and enjoy the new me – judgment free.
Coming home was difficult. I missed my family so much and couldn’t wait to see them, but I didn’t want to leave this peace I had just found. I had to come back to reality. I just spent 7 days with no phone, no TV, no radio and no internet immersed in silence and deep personal inner work. I cried some the first two days home and had very low energy. That grief of letting go of the old me was very real. I tapped everyday and finally on the 3rd day, I started to feel more like myself. By the 4th day I was smiling and feeling so at peace I didn’t recognize myself but felt truly happy. I knew the work I did worked. Yes, it probably was too much at once. But in other years, things would come up and I would journal them never truly releasing them, just relive them without true freedom. I never had this great tool to tap away the negative emotions has they came up.
It’s been 9 days and a full work week since i’ve been back. I am excited for this new me. It just feels different in a way I can’t explain. It’s a knowing deep inside that I feel ready “to kick ass at everything I am going to do”. I feel empowered and full of life.
It was a gift to be able to take 7 days to myself. To leave everything behind and concentrate just on me by working through some of my personal peace procedure. It’s a gift I will continue to give myself every year. I deserve it and I am worth it!!!!