The Journey to Peaceful Sleep: Insights from my Trauma-Informed Night

Aug 16, 2023

Lately, I've been delving into the realm of sleep studies, and I am eager to share with you the invaluable lessons I've learned about the importance of sleep, its connection to mental well-being, and the impact it has on overall life satisfaction.

As some of you may know, my personal experience with family separation at a young age significantly affected my mental health. Sadly, I didn't have access to professional support in my home country during those times, leading to the development of what I now recognize as a Trauma-Informed Night – a term I use to describe the link between trauma and sleep disturbances, such as sleep paralysis, depression, anxiety, and fear.

Recovery, I believe, is a lifelong process, and I am committed to healing and growing from my past experiences. Along this journey, I have explored various facets of sleep and its connection to our daily lives. One interesting discovery is that the state of peace we cultivate before going to bed profoundly impacts the quality of our sleep and dreams.

So, without further ado, I would like to share with you a few tips and practices I've found beneficial in achieving peaceful and restful sleep:

  1. Prepare Your Sleep Sanctuary: Make your bedroom and bed inviting by keeping them clean and clutter-free. Maintain a room temperature below 20 degrees Celsius (68°F) and ensure your bed stays cool and comfortable.
  2. Take Warm Showers: Like we do with newborns, pampering our bodies with warm showers can help us unwind and promote better sleep throughout the night.
  3. Establish a Night Routine: Consistency is key. Engage in calming activities before bedtime, such as meditation, keeping a gratitude journal, playing soothing music, or praying.
  4. Use Relaxing Supplements: Magnesium is a fantastic muscle relaxant that can aid in sleep. Avoid consuming caffeine, alcohol, or spending hours on screens right before bed.
  5. Practice Controlled Breathing: Managing anxiety before bedtime can keep intrusive thoughts at bay and prevent nightmares. Deep, controlled breathing can be helpful in calming your mind.
  6. Sleep Position Matters: If you experience sleep paralysis like myself, sleeping on your side may alleviate the frequency of such episodes.
  7. Keep a Sleep or Dream Journal: Maintaining a journal helps you track your sleep experiences, including any nightmares, and identify patterns or triggers.

But here's a surprising fact I came across in my recent studies – instead of suppressing nightmares, it is better to work with them. Nightmares often serve as signals that certain aspects of our lives need healing and recovery. As a trauma-recovery therapist, I am intrigued by this idea and plan to dig deeper into the topic, promising to share my findings with you in the next blog.

I hope these tips prove helpful in improving the quality of your sleep and ultimately your mental well-being. Remember, sleep is precious, and taking care of your sleep hygiene can lead to a more fulfilling and satisfying life. You can listen to this blog on Wholesome Counselling Podcast.

 If you're navigating these unique challenges and need support, I'm here to help. As a Family Therapist and Sleep specialist with a background in attachment-based frameworks, I specialize in addressing the impacts of dysfunctional family dynamics.

Feel free to reach out for counselling and support in your journey towards a healthier relationship dynamic.

Marvel C. Adeyemi, B.A, P. Grad.  M.Ed., M.S.W., AMHSW

Phone: +61 457846457

E: [email protected]

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