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.