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Health and wellbeing resources

Relaxation and sleep techniques

Relaxation

We have produced a relaxation recording for you to listen to during the day to help learn calming techniques and manage anxiety.

  • Find somewhere comfortable to lay down, close your eyes and listen.
  • The technique will be most effective if you play the recording at least once a day and soon the tools will become second nature.
  • Practice as often as you can throughout your normal day and particularly when you notice stress levels building.

This will make more sense when you have a listen - I talk about a dial from '0' to '5' where '0' is completely relaxed and in control and '5' is the worst unwanted feeling you could have. Observe where you are on your dial and then use the simple techniques or calming tools. The more often you do this as soon as you notice your stress or anxiety levels increasing the quicker you will find the simple techniques will work.

Please do call me if you would like more support with how you are. 

Andrea Lodge, centre manager

Managing stress and anxiety

Here are some videos that have been recorded by our psychology team at the hospital to help people manage strong feelings - many are finding these useful.

Sleep

Here is a hypnotherapy recording for you to listen to which will help you drift into a peaceful sleep. You can also listen to it if you wake in the night.

If you share a room you can purchase pillow speakers which attach to your phone or device and go under your pillow. Many people have found these recordings very helpful and we hope you do too.

Solutions to sleep problems: 

  • Keep regular hours. Going to bed and getting up at roughly the same time every day will programme your body to sleep better. Choose a time when you're most likely to feel sleepy.
  • Create a restful sleeping environment. Try to keep your bedroom for rest and sleep. Keep it as quiet and dark as possible. It should be neither too hot nor too cold. Temperature, lighting and noise should be controlled so that the bedroom environment helps you to fall (and stay) asleep. 
  • Make sure that your bed is comfortable. It’s difficult to get restful sleep on a mattress that’s too soft or too hard, or a bed that's too small or old. If you have a pet that sleeps in the room with you, consider moving it somewhere else if it disturbs you in the night. 
  • Exercise regularly. Moderate exercise on a regular basis, such as swimming or walking, can help to relieve some of the tension built up over the day. But don't do vigorous exercise too close to bedtime as it may be too stimulating and keep you awake. 
  • Less caffeine. Cut down on stimulants such as caffeine in tea or coffee, especially in the evening. They interfere with the process of falling asleep and they prevent deep sleep. The effects of caffeine can last a long time (up to 24 hours) so the chances of it affecting sleep are significant. Have a warm, milky drink or herbal tea instead. 
  • Don’t over-indulge. Too much food or alcohol, especially late at night, can interrupt your sleep patterns. Alcohol may help you to fall asleep initially, but it will disrupt your sleep later on in the night. 
  • Don’t smoke. It’s bad for sleep. Smokers take longer to fall asleep, they wake up more frequently, and they often have a more disrupted sleep - research by Coventry University 2013 utilised by Macmillan Cancer Support 
  • Try to relax before going to bed. Have a warm bath, listen to quiet music or do some gentle yoga to relax the mind and body. Your doctor may be able to recommend a helpful relaxation CD or try the HOPE Relaxation and Mindfulness CD. 
  • Write away your worries. Deal with worries or a heavy workload by making lists of things to be tackled the next day. If you tend to lay in bed thinking about tomorrow's tasks, set aside some time before bedtime to review the day and make plans for the next day. The goal is to avoid doing these things when you're in bed trying to sleep. 
  • Don't worry in bed. If you can’t sleep, don’t lay there worrying about it. Get up and do something you find relaxing - like reading - until you feel sleepy again, then return to bed. 

Please remember if you need to speak to us just give us a call. If there is no answer leave a message and we will call you back as soon as we can.

For more information and sleep tips visit www.sleepcouncil.org.uk/how-to-sleep 

 

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