Sleep - you'll regret not sorting it

I n the swirl of time, I like to think of mistakes as lessons to be learned, a yardstick for measuring what has been and what is yet to come, writes hypnotherapist John Cooper.

Sunday, 18th March 2018, 12:00 pm
Updated Sunday, 18th March 2018, 12:10 pm
Trouble sleeping can be overcome

I try not to have regrets (as Edith Piaf used to say, ‘Je ne regrette rien’ ) but I do wish I hadn’t just eaten that Lindt Lindor chocolate truffle Easter egg in three minutes flat.

Regret makes us sad and there’s no use in that. Acknowledging that we made a mistake, however, can help us to learn. Straying from the path helps us to find new solutions to old problems. Then there is the quote misattributed to Einstein or Mark Twain about the definition of insanity: repeating the same action and expecting different results. If something is wrong and it’s been wrong for a long time then maybe you should come up with a change of tack.

I have a friend who hasn’t had a good night’s sleep for five years. He has young kids. The second kid in particular has less in common with Goldilocks and more with Margaret Thatcher (by which I mean she doesn’t like to sleep; her appetite for the oppression of the working classes remains hitherto unknown).

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He’s exhausted. Once a lively, dashing sort, he now has bags under his eyes that you could see from outer space. He is like an extra from the Walking Dead but lacking the energy to lurch about. (I’d like to point out here that I have no advice on how to get babies to sleep through the night, so don’t write in.)

Sometimes a pattern is created that sticks about long after it is useful. It’s possible that years after his little girl is married with her own kids, my friend will still be jumping out of bed at 3am at the sound of a cat gently meowing three streets away.

So many people suffer from insomnia or other sleep problems. When we don’t sleep well, we can experience low energy, irritability and anxiety. Chronic sleep depravation can lead to obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, depression and diabetes.

Stress can flourish when there isn’t a television or mobile phone to distract us. In the silence of night, our thoughts can spin out of control.

Alcohol might help you to drop off but it inhibits REM sleep, a vital part of rest and recovery.

I teach my clients self-hypnosis. It’s good to relax the mind and to process the issues of the day so that you are free to sleep peacefully.

It’s possible that the reason you aren’t sleeping is down to a faulty connection. There is a part of you that wants to be awake and a part that doesn’t. There is an internal struggle raging in your bed.

I bet Edith Piaf slept like a log. When you re-learn how to get a good night’s sleep, the only thing you’ll regret is not tackling it sooner.

You can contact John and find out more about his services via