Move over New York, with 92% of the Hong Kong Population demonstrating signs of sleep deprivation and 15% of the workforce confessing to severe sleeping problems, it seems like Hong Kong is more worthy of the title ‘The City That Never Sleeps’.
Aurélia Antoskiewicz, our Sleep Specialist, reveals how to overcome insomnia with actionable tips that will revolutionise your quality and duration of sleep.
Lost Count While Counting Sheep?
Insomnia is a debilitating disorder characterised by sleeping difficulties. The numerous adults and children who have to contend with it will be familiar with how sleep deprivation impacts their day-to-day life. Drowsiness, lack of attention and irritability are only a few of the undesirable effects that people are aware of, but what might come as a surprise to many are the factors which influence insomnia.
More Control than you Realise
People generally know that stress from work or answering those last minute emails at midnight directly affects their sleep, but feel that it is not something they can immediately change – unless they quit their job! If that sounds familiar, then you are in luck. Little known fact, there are other easily controllable physical and environmental factors that are scientifically proven to have a clear impact on sleep quality. Lighting, ambient noise, the type of food, the time you eat and irregular sleeping patterns can wreak havoc on children and adults alike. When these aspects are adjusted correctly, they can go a long way to aiding you into that deep, all-embracing sleep.
Already Tried those Tricks? No Problem.
That is ok – there could be other factors denying you that relaxing melt-in-the-pillow moment. Psychological factors such as stress, worries, indebtedness, emotional shock (divorce, or a losing a Loved One) can play an important role. Good news, there are small steps that you can take to reduce stress, or increase your resilience by yourself by following our tips below. However, the reasons why people develop insomnia are often complex, which is why many people find that turning to treatments and therapies gives them a little helping hand.
Since 2003, where almost 3 million Hong Kongers of the population sought solutions, more and more people are benefiting from treatments and methods such as Reiki, Lithotherapy and Acupressure. Why? Insomnia is infamous for being difficult to treat as it sets in motion a series of behaviours: if you do not sleep you feel emotionally unbalanced, and because you are emotionally imbalanced you cannot sleep.
Naturally, having a treatment from a qualified professional can help break this cycle and ensure that, when you finally get that good night’s sleep, that it is here to stay.
Tips and Tricks: Empower Yourself to Power-Off
- Caffeine: ahh the blessed cup of coffee, unfortunately you need to avoid this after 2pm. Why so early? There is a reason you feel super human after just 1 cup. Caffeine can be so effective that if you were to drink the coffee at 4pm, your body will still feel the effect at around 10pm.
- Alcohol: But you feel so sleepy after that glass of pinot you say?! Although alcohol is infamous for lulling anyone into soft haze, it will actually disturb your sleep by waking you up every 90 minutes.
- Exercise: Great for your health, but better to practice it in the morning. If this is not possible, avoid exercising 3 hours before sleeping.
- Keep it Cool: Studies have found that, in general, the optimal temperature for sleep is quite cool, around 15 to 26 degrees Celsius. Temperatures that fall too far below or above this range can lead to restlessness.
- Log Off Before you Nod off: forget using Ipads, laptops, PCs, Mobile Phones or T.V before you go to sleep. It is scientifically proven that screens emit a blue light which stimulates your brain making you alert. If necessary use computers with a yellow/orange overlay to override this process like G.flux which is free!
- Sleepy Reads: Reading a book for 30 minutes before bed relaxes the mind and prepares you for a good sleep.
- Red Meat: Full of toxins and a chore to digest in comparison to green vegetables, soups, white meat and fish. Best to avoid red meat before bed.
- Immerse your Senses: Add a few drops of Aromatherapy oils such as Lavender, Lemon balm and chamomile to a hot bath to help relax and release the tensions of a busy day.
- Pink Quartz: finally, tap into the the lithotherapeutic powers of the Pink Quartz stone by placing it under your pillow.
Everyone is different and by all means everyone should find what works for them best. In my professional opinion, I find my signature therapy (which is a mix of therapies based on Reiki, Lithotherapy & Acupressure) to be the most effective in inducing a deep and sound sleep.
Based on traditional knowledge relating to specific Chakra points, I focus on clearing negativity and releasing tension in the spine. I then combine this with two other elements, Lithotherapy (which harnesses the therapeutic effects of precious stones, gems and quartz) and Acupressure points (which stimulates key specific points of the body).
The result is a release of tension held in both the mind and body, which restores the mind-body balance. Naturally, this allows you to finally relax into an unperturbed sleep.
Find Out More
Read more about Aurélia Antoskiewicz
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