While many of us may be under the impression that once we close our eyes and drift off to sleep we remain quietly still in our beds… for others night can in fact be a very active time!
When something unexpected happens in the middle of the night while you are asleep but the activity makes those around you think you are actually awake, it is likely due to a category of sleep disorders called Parasomnias.
Parasomnia is defined by involuntary physical activity while you are asleep, possibly the result of an active automatic nervous system. Although you will be unaware of what you are doing, those who share your bed with you will most definitely have awareness. It is not uncommon to find out about your nocturnal activity through a loved one who may be struggling to sleep due to your unconscious disturbance.
Symptoms of parasomnia can include:
Reduced Cognitive Function
Sleep disorders within this group include sleepwalking, sleep related eating, sleep talking, headbanging/bodyrocking and teeth grinding (Bruxism) which is what I’m going to be talking about today in this blog.
Bruxism is a common parasomnia in which people unconsciously grind their teeth and clench their jaws all night during sleep. Unlike some of the other sleep disorders this cannot be ignored, if left untreated it can ruin your teeth and result in tooth loosening. In addition it can affect your jaw muscles, cause jaw popping, headaches and earaches.
Causes of Bruxism can be physical, psychological and genetic, including:
Stress and Anxiety
Poor lifestyle choices
Abnormal Bite / Missing crooked teeth
Bruxism affects woman more than men and those who are affected by it are commonly more tense and suffer from chronic stress when awake. They also tend to bite items such as pens, fingernails and ends of their hair.
Signs and Symptoms of Bruxism:
Teeth worn down for no obvious reason
Facial, Jaw and Neck Pain
Sleep disruption (you and partner)
Popping or clicking noise in the temporomandibular (TMJ)
Surface teeth are flat
*We advise you always consult your doctor and dentist to establish the cause of your symptoms
It’s important that you seek advice initially from your dentist before considering psychological therapies such as Hypnotherapy or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). They will be able to make an accurate diagnosis and determine if the source of your facial pain is resulting from Bruxism. Once they have established the damage they may recommend you wear a mouth guard/mouth splint to protect your teeth from grinding.
SO HOW CAN HYPNOTHERAPY HELP?
Hypnotherapy provides intervention at a subconscious level and can help identify and address the underlying cause of Bruxism. Like sweating and blushing the grinding is automatic but with the use of hypnosis the habit can be altered by changing the thought pattern.
This can be achieved by:
Identifying unresolved emotions that may be creating and increasing anxiety. It is important to reduce stress and anxiety as both aggravate grinding.
Unresolved anger can also increase Bruxism and such underlying issues can surface at night while asleep in a subconscious state and manifest as teeth grinding.
Self-hypnosis to increase relaxation and deal more effectively with stress.
Reducing habitual clenching and grinding.
Help you make lifestyle changes such as reducing alcohol consumption, caffeine and quit smoking.
If you would like help dealing with Bruxism or any other parasomnias you can contact us here.
Written by Nicole McKendry
#bruxism #hypnosis #sleep #dental
We all know there is nothing better than that feeling you have when you wake up after a good nights sleep. The only problem is, how often does the alarm go and instead of feeling refreshed, recharged and raring to go you find yourself feeling sluggish,sleepy and reaching for the snooze button?
Struggling with the inability to sleep restfully is now one of the top reasons people are visiting their doctor and The Great British Bedtime Report has found that a massive 74% of us are sleeping for less than the recommended 7 hours a night and 12% of us are not even managing to get our heads down for at least 5 hours out of 24. Its no wonder that so many of us are struggling with a lack of energy, negative effects to mood and health and suffering with the detrimental impact this is causing on work and life relationships.
It has been well documented that we should leave our emails, midnight snacks and social media at the door to our bedrooms along with any of our bad blue light emitting devices and that we can improve our chances of catching some z's by blocking out the light, smelling the lavender and relaxing our minds.
But have you tried the power of pink noise?
You may have heard of white noise which is also known for its ability to send its listeners to sleep and for a long time white noise was the go to sound for insomnia relief. It has proved itself useful over the years by acting as a very effective noise blocker for all the little sounds that can often act as distractions when trying to drift off. However, it looks as if pink noise is about to steal the sleep crown. Unlike the monotonous, usually synthetic sound of white noise that is created by combining multiple frequencies at an equal level, pink noise is a use of high and low frequencies that mean it is often quieter, more natural sounding and a lot of us seem to find the noise just that bit more relaxing.
Not only does it sound more relaxing but scientifically it is not just sending us to sleep but actually improving the quality of the sleep we are having.
The steady sound that pink noise produces has been linked in multiple scientific studies to the regulation of our sleep. This happens as our brains activity including the patterns that control levels of sleeping are all influenced by sound. Pink noise slows the waves of our brains down and as they fall into steady patterns it allows our brain to settle itself down for a good nights rest and actually increases our levels of stable sleep, which is the most restful kind there is.
Amazingly lots of examples of pink noise can be found in nature and may in fact be part of the reason that many of us feel more rested while on holiday, as we are exposed to pink noise sounds that we may not usually find at home such as:
waves lapping on the beach
leaves rustling in the trees
the steady trickle of running water
Fortunately there is no need to pack our bags and leave in order to find a good nights sleep. There are multiple apps available right now that offer pink noise options and can be played directly into the room (although still leave any devices at a distance and resist the urge to bring them into the bed). Alternatively one of our personal favourites for at home pink noise is the humble house fan which not only gives off those relaxed sleep inducing frequencies but also acts as a temperature regulator and helps to keep the bedroom at a steady 16-18°C (60-65°F) which is thought to be the ideal sleep temp.
Please be aware that if stress or anxiety are keeping your eyes open late into the night it may be time to talk to someone that can help and if you are dealing with a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea or have underlying medical conditions that effect your ability to achieve a full nights rest the best way to help your sleep situation is to contact a medical professional.
“I’m so protective of me now I’ll cut someone off for simply having the wrong energy”
Did you breathe a sigh of relief when the red roses and love heart haze of Valentine’s Day cleared? No, this isn’t another blog on the trials and tribulations of being single, let’s face it plenty of us chose to remain on our own… relishing in the solitude, after all sole control of the TV remote controller can have its benefits! So who am I talking to? Well… the simple answer is YOU… the person that’s afraid of being in a relationship, even though you may well be in one right now as you’re reading this.
I was listening to Spotify while writing this article and Sam Smith started to play with his haunting song Too Good At Goodbyes. It’s a fantastic song and as I lost my concentration to the music and lyrics, I found myself deleting what I had been writing and absorbing instead his reflective lyrics…
“I’m never gonna let you close to me, Even though you mean the most to me…”
I realised what had started as a blog on Toxic Love had now morphed into a post about our own toxic behaviour in relationships.
Being in a committed relationship involves risks… it’s almost impossible for love to grow without authenticity of self which can be daunting. Failed relationships can make us question who we are and being in love can force us to self-reflect and even worry about how future partners will view us… how many of you have asked the question “is there something wrong with me?” Yet, it is through trust and vulnerability that we create intimacy but that in itself requires us to open our hearts and with that may come the fear of abandonment. When you open yourself fully to the potential of love, you are also opening yourself to being left, hurt, and afraid of being hurt again like you have been in the past. It’s these fears that can mean some of us find it easier to keep people at a distance, not letting them get too close so they can’t hurt us again.
The toxic view we hold over our own relationships can mean we never truly allow ourselves to love fully. The fear of abandonment can actually result in some people thinking it is better to not love at all than to be hurt again and left. Yes it hurts when a relationship ends but carrying pains and insecurities from past relationships keeps you just there... in the past! We all carry wounds but for those that have not allowed their wounds to completely heal from previous relationships, you are only prolonging the pain and stopping yourself moving forward in finding a lasting and healthy relationship.
The fear of abandonment can be toxic and without realising it you could be unintentionally sabotaging your relationship. If you answer yes to any of the below, then it might be time to step back and be honest about your feelings and fears:
I’ve been hurt before, so I never allow myself to open up fully to people
It’s better to protect yourself, so I keep those I date at a distance
I don’t really need anyone to be there for me I’m fine on my own
I don’t see the point of loving anyone when they just leave anyway
I get out first before they leave me
I’m not suited to relationships
I can’t trust anyone
People always cheat and can’t be trusted
You can move beyond the fear of abandonment and instead of being too good at goodbyes, let those old love wounds heal, learn to invite real intimacy and trust into your life and more importantly be open to a genuine and lasting love. Consider this… everything that you want from a relationship could be on the other side of that fear of abandonment.
Only when you let go of that fear can you attract a lasting love into your life. When you’re in the right relationship you will feel safe and the fear of being left will go, so “Love like you’ve never had your heart broken.”
Written by Nicole McKendry
#love #relationships #fear #trust
Broken hearts, broken promises and broken dreams… love can shatter our world and leave us feeling lost, exhausted and disillusioned. We empower those who have hurt or left us to define our future and align our happiness and ability to love another within the constraints we bind ourselves in after a painful break up.
“You can search through the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.” – Buddha
There is no one, not even the ‘perfect partner’ who can make you feel happy and loved if you have failed to create a space within yourself for self-love. Loving and accepting ourselves is the key to our own wellbeing and happiness. Self-love is finding what makes you happy and only you. It’s about developing an intimate relationship with yourself that does not rely on someone else’s approval or love. Too often I see clients that have given up on love because they are unable to overcome the pain or betrayal of an ex-lover and have resigned themselves to being a “failure in love”.
The truth is… they have fallen out of love with themselves! Self-love should be your first love not your last. It’s more than just feeling good, it’s an appreciation of self and it grows and strengthens from those activities and actions that support your psychological, physical and spiritual growth.
So for those of you spending Valentine’s Day without a date… now is the perfect time to start a love affair with yourself, it might just change your life.
Follow our guide below to starting a Self-Love Routine:
Being present in your life enables you to open up your heart and mind so you can feel what is it you need instead of what you think you want. Be mindful of who you are and act on this, rather than on what others think you want.
We should always be concious of what we say to ourselves because we are always listening. Set the intention to say something kind to yourself every day, such as “I am a beautiful and powerful person.” Affirmations are a great way to reinforce how we feel about ourselves and draw positivity into our lives.
Too often we struggle to say ‘no’ to work, friends or family. Create boundaries that nurture you and avoid committing to activities that zap your energy both physically and emotionally.
We all make mistakes, none of us are perfect and you know what…that’s ok! Instead of beating yourself up and worrying what others are thinking, let it go and move on. Learn from it and then leave it in the past where it belongs and give no more thought or time to it.
Pamper yourself, take a long soak in a candle lit bath with your favourite essential oil or herbal tea bath. Meditate or take up a hobby that you love. Find time to be in your own company doing the things that you love. Forget waiting for someone to buy you flowers, treat yourself to a beautiful bouquet. Listen to your body and mind, go for a run or walk, take time out for yoga or meditation.
Accept and Love Yourself
Be your own authentic self! It can be exhausting trying to be someone you’re not or being the version of yourself created by someone else. As Kurt Cobain once said “Wanting to be someone else is a waste of who you are.” Accept who you are and embrace that person. We are all unique and accepting and loving ourselves for who we are leads to happiness and equilibrium. Your wellbeing and happiness is an inside job. The only person that can take it away from you is you!
Instead of trying to avoid Valentine’s Day this year, why not ignite that love affair with yourself and fall back in love with you.
As I sit here with the wind howling down the chimney and rain lashing against the windows it is easy to understand why so many of us feel like crawling under the duvet and hibernating through the coldest months of the year.
But luckily rain clouds pass and it turns out that beyond the grey sky there are actually a few good reasons worth venturing outside for this winter.
Beat the Winter Blues
Time spent in the light of the winter sun can offer a helping hand when it comes to those living with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). This condition is one that has received a lot of attention over the last few years and although it is not as simple as a winter walk to deal with, spending time outdoors and in direct sunshine can offer you some of the light needed to alleviate a number of the disorders symptoms. SAD is caused by low levels of vitamin d and a reduction in the body’s melatonin and serotonin levels, which are thought to be caused by a reaction in a number of people to limited or decreased exposure to sunlight during the year’s darker months. This can leave those suffering with a biological condition that has very similar symptoms to depression.
Try a little wander in the winter sun even for just half an hour a day to make sure you are getting as much natural light as possible during the year’s shortest days.
But, if you do find yourself struggling with the effects of SAD don’t suffer alone, get in touch with someone that can offer support for your condition.
Find your Winter Workout
It’s a cliché but summer bodies really are made in the winter. Even though this time of the year is spent wearing jumpers and layer upon layer of clothing in an attempt to keep warm, now is the time to start thinking about your health and body goals. All too often people leave it until the last minute to try and lose weight for the warmer weather and that can lead to unhealthy diets and exercise routines that in the end may leave you temporarily lighter but ultimately much less healthy. A better thing to do is to establish a new way of life, new routines that are fun, active and sustainable. One way to start this is by getting outside this winter and avoiding the temptation to eat your own body weight in Christmas chocolates. Not only does exercise in the cold burn more fat as out bodies have to use extra energy to keep warm but it also gets your heart pumping which encourages an increase in the level of your body’s natural virus-killing cells which will come in handy for fighting off all the coughs and colds at this time of year.
Discover a Winter Wonderland
It would be impossible to complete this list without including the point that being outside in winter is actually incredibly beautiful. Even though many of us live in areas that will not experience the crisp crunch of deep snow beneath our boots we can take the time to appreciate the natural beauty of the world around us. The great thing is that not only will a winter walk allow you to discover your local area and experience the excitement of the great outdoors but according to Stanford University researchers walking will also lead to increased levels of creativity and an increase in brain function and mental focus. So, if you are feeling uninspired or if you simply want to get a head start on planning the year ahead why not wrap up warm and head outside to get the ideas flowing.
The best part about spending time outside this December is that once you have enjoyed the winter wonderland beyond your front door you can head back indoors for some well earned snuggle time under your trusty duvet.
#winterwonderland #winterwalks #outdoorliving #winteractivities
There's always room for one more on our Therapy couch... so whether you join us daily, weekly or just when you have time to stop by we hope that our therapy chatter allows you to take time out in your busy life, to unplug from your everyday stressors and simply breathe, listen and change!