Agony Aunt

Patricia Marie, MBACP qualified counsellor is a member of The British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, practising in Harley Street, Essex and Scotland. She has many years experience of dealing with domestic violence, relationship problems, bereavement, depression, addictions, post traumatic stress and many other emotional issues. If you have a dilemma, please email

I can't sleep

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Thursday, 29 January 2015
Dear Patricia Marie,

Every night for the past 2 months I have struggled to get to sleep. When I eventually do I wake up feeling like I haven't rested at all. This started when I began my new job and I just can't seem to switch off. Is there anything you can suggest I try as it is naturally effecting my mood..

Thank you.

Patricia Marie says.....

You say you have been unable to sleep since you started your new job, so what is happening in your place of work that is preventing you from sleeping? Any concerns must be resolved as lack of sleep effects our emotional state, and if prolonged can have serious consequences on our health.

Writing a list in the evening is a good way to organise your thoughts, clearing your mind of any distractions.You would still be dealing with matters, but putting them aside until the morning when you are rested.

The most important thing to achieving a good night's sleep is working out a bedtime routine that works for you and sticking to it. A bedtime ritual teaches the brain to become familiar with sleep times and wake times. It programmes the brain and internal body clock to get used to a routine.

Winding down is a critical stage in preparing for bed. This could be in the way of a warm bath, followed by a milky drink, then settling down with a good book. Avoid watching television or anything that stimulates the mind.

Ensure you fall asleep in a quite, dark room, which is not overheated. If you do wake up and struggle to get back to sleep, get up. If anything is playing on your mind, write it down, so it becomes removed from your thoughts, or read for a bit to clear your mind of clutter. Then once calmer, get back into bed. If you have to repeat this pattern many times during the night, don't worry, you should soon decrease the times you get up, until your waking stops altogether.

In addition to this, you could try some yoga classes, where you will be taught light yoga stretches and how to breath correctly - promoting relaxation.

You may also benefit from hypnotherapy which helps treat psychological problems that causes sleep disturbance. Hypnosis puts you in a deeply relaxed state allowing one's body and mind to become rejuvenated.

Contact the British Society of Clinical Hypnosis (BSCH) for a qualified therapist in your area.
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