3 simple techniques to get a better night’s sleep


  • Are your relationships both at work and home being tested?
  • Do you feel you are being pulled in all directions, stressed?
  • Are there days you feel like chucking it all in?

Well believe me, you are not alone!

Did you know that the number one contributor to these issues is a lack of quality sleep.

Why can’t you sleep?

Problems sleeping is a major issue that is endemic across our western society where the pressures of our personal and professional lives constantly fill our thoughts, thoughts that never seem to stop racing through our minds and demanding our constant attention. The problem is that if this is happening when it’s sleep time, it is these very thoughts that prevent any chance of a good, restorative rest being achieved.

And when a lack of sleep, as caused by unchecked thought patterns running constantly in your head, lasts for long periods of time, then the impact on your relationships at work and at home can be very detrimental. Continued sleep disruption negatively affects your energy levels, moods and how much you are able to concentrate, which in turn have a negative influence on your ability to interact with others in a positive and constructive way.

How can you return to good sleep?

However, there are a few techniques that I teach my many clients that have proven useful to them in improving their quality of the sleep. Although I provide them with training in these techniques during our counselling and hypnosis sessions, they can be performed at home with a bit of practice and dedication. Here are three of those techniques that I would like to share with you now.

Technique 1 – The Belly Breath

If we liken our minds to an engine that’s stuck in second gear and is starting to overheat; if we stop for about 10 minutes, it gives the mind’s engine a chance to cool down. When we stop for a matter of moments and focus on our breathe, it gives the overheating mind a chance to quieten down.

Just take a moment right now! Press the pause button. Close your eyes and just notice how you are breathing. Make no judgement, just notice it.

Now, take in a few deep relaxing breaths and allow your breathing to resume back to its ‘normal’ breathing rate.

Put your hand on your belly now. Imagine there is a balloon inside your belly.

As you take a breath in, push your belly out as far as you can. You will feel your hand moving. When you’ve pushed your belly out, with your IN breath, now slowly breathe OUT, and let your belly relax. Collapse the balloon.

If you do this for about four or five breaths, you will notice your head feels a little light. It will pass. What you are effectively doing is scientifically oxygenating your brain.

When your brain is oxygenated, you make better decisions as you are no longer in fight or flight and the over revving mind has a quietened down. By focusing on your breathing and not on the constant thoughts going on inside your head, your mind has a chance to slow down.

If you did this simple exercise several times a day, what happens? It becomes a habit and you’ve effectively begun to take back control of the racing mind.

Know this; we cannot stop the mind’s flow of thought, however we can decide what to listen to and what not to listen to.

Technique 2 – Interrupt Interrupt Interrupt!

Constant worry has its own agenda which consistently interrupts other more useful thoughts in our minds.

We’ve all experienced being interrupted midway through an interesting tale, sometimes by an overbearing friend or maybe impatient child!

By catching yourself ruminating, simply say STOP! You might even like to use a completely random word that amuses you, like Big Ears, or Motor Mouth! Using your ‘word’ each time you catch yourself worrying needlessly or just ruminating about all and everything with no particular purpose, say your chosen word.

You might like to take a step backwards, or sideways when you say your word which indicates literally there is a break in transmission. This is based on an NLP technique called pattern interruption.

You can follow through having interrupted the thoughts, by offering up something positive and worthwhile to yourself; for example ‘I’m awesome; or I’m peaceful; I rock!’

Remember all change is only made through you by your thoughts, your choices and your decisions!

Technique 3 – The Sleep Routine

The technique that follows is one that I’ve taught a great many of my clients who have all found it very useful and effective. Why not give it a try yourself.

  • Sit quietly with eyes closed right now and just focus on an image of an open container ready to receive every issue on your mind.
  • See and name each issue or worry and imagine putting it into the container.
  • When no more issues come to mind, ‘put a lid’ on the container and place it on a shelf or in some other out of the way place until you need to go back to get something from it.
  • Once you have the container on the shelf, you invite into the space that is left in your mind whatever is the most important current thought or feeling.
  • At night, right before sleep, invite a peaceful thought to focus on while drifting off.

I’m here to help

I trust one or more of the above techniques will prove helpful to you. However, if your sleep disruption is severe and continues to affect you and your relationships negatively, then it may well be time to receive professional treatment. If this proves to be the case, then please feel free to reach out to me, Beverley de la Harpe, for professional assistance. I have used my skills and experience as a Master NLP Practitioner and Clinical Hypnotherapist (Dip) to help countless clients return to consistent, sound sleep, and as a result, restore their personal and professional relationships to a state of complete harmony. Call me today on 0412 777 111 for a free initial chat about how I might be able to help you will your sleep disruption battle, or any other form of mind-based stress or challenge you may be struggling with. It would be my pleasure to help you.

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