September 2019 - Now Wellness
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September 2019

Sleep

5 Steps for Improving Sleep after Trauma

By | Mental Health | No Comments

Is it Really Possible to Get a Good Night Sleep?

Sleep is often the first thing that is disrupted when we experience Trauma. We have a hard time keeping our minds occupied and busy, so we often have obsessive thoughts, worries, and fears that are on constant replay. This makes it a struggle to even fall asleep.

But what about when you are asleep? Then we run into our subconscious mind. This is where we would often dream of our problems, and we are mentally trying to figure them out, or some of us often relive our trauma over and over again. This can lead to clenching/ grinding of the teeth, which in turn leads to migraine in the morning and a very sore jaw.

What Can We Do?

Let’s talk about getting to sleep first. Taking these steps to help improve you falling asleep will also help improve better overall sleep. Your subconscious mind is a lot more work, and often needs the work of a professional to help process through thoughts and feelings.

We need to create a sleep routine, almost a pattern that we are going to do every single night before bed. This will help trigger our brain that, “ok, it is time to go to sleep.” Developing these steps take time and patience. To some this may come easily and naturally, others may find this redundant and challenging.

5 Steps that Can Help Create Change

Lights:

This is huge. Our Brains produce this chemical that is called Melatonin when it is time for bed. However, this release can be disrupted by constant light exposure. This includes, lights in the home, the screens on your phone, and your T.V. Ensure your phone has a red light app to change your back screen lighting to a hue of red to help trigger sleep. Ensure you are in a dark area of your home to help trigger this Melatonin production.

Electronics:

A lot of people don’t know that your phones, T.V or and devices that are powered by electricity give off an electromagnetic field. This also causes sleep disturbances. It is encouraged not to have any electronics in our bedrooms. This can be a chore for some as they use their phones as an alarm clock. Even if they are just outside the door. I also know that some people like to watch videos to help fall asleep as it keeps the thoughts at bay. I recommend getting some Ferns or Himalayan Salt for the bedroom if you are going to have electronics and they help to mute the EMF (Electromagnetic Frequenices.)

Meditation:

I know this is hard. You can do it from the comfort of your bed if you wish. However, I recommend doing this before you get into bed. Setting yourself up for sleep. There is an App call Insight Timer, that is free and I highly recommend. You can choose short meditations eg. 1-2 minute long ones and ones that are specifically designed for sleep. This helps retrain your brain into more positive thoughts, it helps block out negative thoughts and allows the body to feel calm and relaxed.

Yoga:

Again doing this before bed can help relax the body. Kundalini Yoga is a great yoga for this or Yoga Nidra. There are some great free resources online. Again just make sure the screen has a red hue app.

Affirmations:

You have probably been told this a million times. But really guys, It is something that needs to be done every day multiple times a day. Look into that mirror and tell yourself: ” I am beautiful, I am confident, I am abundant, I am strong, I am willing and determined. I will have a good sleep, I love myself.” This helps retrain the brain into more positive thinking. How many times a day do you look in the mirror and wish something would change? That creates negative thoughts. Our brains don’t know the difference. If you tell yourself that you are ugly, then that is the way your brain is going to make you feel.

Creating Routine

Will this work if I do this once a week? Unfortunately, No. This is something that you have to work every single day. It will be hard, and challenging. But it will also be one of the most rewarding things you can do.

I challenge you to start creating a new routine for yourself. One of the best things we can do for our brains when we have experienced Trauma is to create a routine. Just like the mornings.

Need Support?

I offer and run many different support channels. One is through my facebook group that you can Click Here to Join! 100% safe and confidential. Or you may join my Women’s Warrior Circle which is a Support Group for Women who are Sexual Assault Survivors. This includes all forms including domestic violence. If you feel like you need more immediate help I encourage you to check out my Support Tab at the top of the page to find a local resource to help guide you through this.