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what are sleep affirmations and do sleep affirmations work?
Andy Garland Therapies - Counselling Cardiff - Mental Health Services Cardiff - Cardiff Therapists - What are sleep affirmations and do sleep affirmations work?

Do sleep affirmations work? Our experts reveal how this night time practice can benefit your wellbeing. If you struggle to nod off, you've most likely exhausted the majority of tried-and-tested methods to help you fall asleep faster. But, what about talking yourself into a good night's rest - also known as sleep affirmations? "Do sleep affirmations work?" I hear you ask.

When it comes to questions about our sleeping behaviours, those such as "What does it mean when you dream about someone? (opens in new tab)" or "Why do I sweat a night? (opens in new tab)" are perhaps more easily answered. Sleep affirmations require you to do the work, practice and have some degree of patience.

'Reading sleep affirmations or saying them out loud, especially before bed, can have a powerful effect on our mental state and our ability to sleep well,' says sleep and dream expert Charlie Morley (opens in new tab). 'And if we say them in the alpha and theta-rich hypnotic trance-state of the hypnagogic, this effect is supercharged.' Theta waves occur during light sleep or deep relaxation, while alpha waves occur when people feel relaxed, and when the brain is resting, without concentrating on anything. So, if you're wondering 'Why do I keep waking early? (opens in new tab)' or 'Why am I so tired?' (opens in new tab), sleep affirmations might be the solution to those long, sleepless nights.

What are sleep affirmations?

Sleep affirmations are positive statements or phrases that you repeat to yourself before hitting the sheets. These are especially helpful if you often experience a lack of sleep. 'They are intended to help you focus on positive thoughts and feelings, and to reinforce positive beliefs about yourself and your life,' says Martin Seeley (opens in new tab), sleep expert and CEO of Mattress Next Day. 'Sleep affirmations can be used to reduce anxiety, improve self-esteem, increase motivation, and promote a sense of calm and relaxation.'

Sleep affirmations can be as simple as repeating a single phrase, such as "I am calm and at peace," or they can be more complex statements that address specific areas of your life, such as "I am worthy of love and respect," or "I trust myself to make wise decisions." The key is to choose affirmations that resonate with you and feel meaningful and authentic.

How do sleep affirmations work?

Sleep affirmations are most effective when you are relaxed, which is when your mind is feeling more open to change. 'One way to make the most of your open and relaxed mind is to practise some simple self-hypnosis techniques,' says Charlie. 'We enter natural states of hypnosis over the course of the day, and like hypnosis, self-hypnosis is simply about passing on helpful messages to your subconscious.'

The subconscious mind likes to please, and it is there to serve us, so if you can connect with it (which is easier than you might think) you are sitting on a goldmine of opportunity, just waiting to be untapped. 'You can get yourself into a relaxed state using a Progressive Muscular Relaxation (PMR),' says Charlie. 'Dr Edmund Jacobson invented this technique way back in the 1920s as a way of helping his patients deal with anxiety. The technique simply involves working through various muscle groups, first tensing and then releasing them.'

It usually starts with the feet and then works up through the body slowly and smoothly. Not only does this help promote sleep, but it also works well as one of the relaxation techniques for stress (opens in new tab), through releasing the day's tension held in the body. 'It can be done at any time of day or night, but if we practise it while we're drifting through the hypnagogic, it may lead to an even deeper level of relaxation,' says Charlie.

Andy Garland Therapies - Counselling Cardiff - Mental Health Services Cardiff - Cardiff Therapists - What are sleep affirmations and do sleep affirmations work?

Want to give it a try? Follow Martin's tips for trying sleep affirmations for the first time:

1. Choose your affirmations: 'Start by choosing affirmations that resonate with you and feel meaningful and authentic,' says Martin. You can choose from our list below or create your own based on your own personal goals and desires.

2. Create a routine: Incorporate your affirmations into your bedtime routine (opens in new tab).'This could include taking a few minutes before bed to sit quietly, meditate, or journal while repeating your affirmations to yourself,' says Martin.

3. Use present tense: Phrase your affirmations in the present tense, as if they are already true. For example, "I am calm and at peace" rather than "I will be calm and at peace."

4. Visualize: 'As you repeat your affirmations, try to visualize the positive outcomes you are affirming,' says Martin. Imagine yourself feeling calm, confident, and happy.

5. Be consistent: Try to practice your affirmations every night. It may take some time to see results so be patient and persistent.

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