One third of adults suffer from insomnia and many treatment approaches fail to fix the root cause. Sleep expert Elina Winnel overcame chronic insomnia and wants to raise awareness to help others unlock the missing piece of the puzzle for sleep.
‘Good sleep isn’t just about what you do before bed. It’s dependent on a combination of factors including beliefs and thought patterns but also a commonly overlooked key element called brainwave flexibility,’ says Elina.
The search for the most effective treatment methods
Elina developed chronic insomnia after a fast-paced career in finance. She exhausted the commonly recommended treatment options, with no results: meditation, acupuncture, psychologists, relaxation techniques. You name it, she tried it.
Elina travelled the world focused on researching and training in the most effective methods of treating insomnia. She studied a large array of modalities including hypnotherapy, neurolinguistic programming, coaching, sound therapy, cognitive re-patterning, and brainmapping with the highly regarded neuroscientist Dr. Joe Dispenzer. She finally found her sleep struggles disappeared. The key was learning about brainwaves, which seemed to be the missing part of the puzzle.
Brainwave flexibility helps sleep come naturally
It sounds obvious but sometimes you have to practice or re-learn how to relax. In today’s society we move at a fast pace with constant stimulation and pressure, which has resulted in a reduction in our brainwave flexibility. During the day when we concentrate, we are in a beta brainwave state. When we relax we go into the slower alpha brainwave state. When we are deeply relaxed (almost asleep) we go into theta.
If the brain cannot transition between these states easily, we lose our ability to be able to shift gears, slow down our brainwaves, and enter the delta brainwave state of sleep.
Practice regular relaxation
By regularly spending time doing relaxing activities that slow the brainwaves throughout the day, we can improve brainwave flexibility and achieve deeper sleep more easily.
Even though you may not be aware of it, busy modern day living can cause your body to produce stress hormones which adversely affect your levels of melatonin – a hormone that is important for regulating sleep/wake cycles.
Some tips to help you relax
Here are a few ideas to get you started with a relaxation routine:
- Turn off the computer/tablet/cellphone/television at least 30 minutes before going to bed. The light emitted from these devices can affect your ability to sleep well and the screen content can activate your brain just as you’re trying to wind down.
- Meditate – even if it’s only for a short time, try to quiet your mind.
- Stretch – ease out your muscles by doing a gentle stretching session.
- Take a stroll around the block to help clear your mind.
- Practice breathing – it may sound easy, but correct breathing should be deep and performed from your belly. Many people develop the tendency to take short, shallow breaths throughout the day. Start practicing by taking 10 deep, slow breaths through your nose that cause your chest and belly to rise and fall.
Image / FreeDigitalPhotos.net – David Castillo Dominici