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Poor sleep? Read on for sleep tips plus info. on my unique SLEEP BETTER, Yin & Pin Workshops

Sleep unsettled? Light sleep, broken sleep, can’t get to sleep, waken early? You are not alone. We are experiencing a sleep deprivation pandemic. Sleep, nature’s free medicine, is remarkable. We go to bed deplete and awaken replenished. Sadly, lack of sleep is significantly affecting the quality of many of our lives.

I am a professional acupuncturist which is a part of Chinese medicine. According to the Chinese 'nourishment of life' tradition, mind and emotions, diet, exercise and sleep are considered the keys to health. They are like the four legs of a chair;

"When all four legs are strong, the chair is stable.  If even one leg is weak or broken, then the chair becomes unstable, and increasingly so if more than one leg is defective.1"

Your sleep may be affected by a weakness or break in any one or more of your chair's legs: mind and emotions, diet and exercise.  This means that when you are looking for ways to improve your sleep these areas of your life may also need to be examined.

The internet is swamped with sleep help information. In this Blog I begin by taking each of these legs in turn, sharing a few sleep tips. I then introduce you to my SLEEP BETTER, Yin & Pin workshop.

Take time to eat well, exercise and relax and hopefully you should sleep better.  But remember, you are unique and so is your sleep pattern. 

1. Diet for Better Sleep

When to eat

  • avoid eating late at night - food will sit in your digestive system overnight stagnating

  • avoid drinking liquid a few hours before sleep if you get up for the toilet

What to eat

  • avoid rich and heavy food, stimulants (i.e. caffeine, sugar), alcohol, tobacco and drugs as the interfere with your body’s biorhythm.

  • be aware that if your diet includes prescribed medication these may have sleep disturbance as a side-effect.

2. Exercise for Better Sleep

  • any sort of stretching before bed should help sleep.  Naturally, my choice is yoga.  Yogic pranayama (breathing techniques) may help deepen and slow down breathing. As the breath settles the mind follows.   

  • train your mind …

3. Mind & Emotions

  • avoid over-stimulating your mind before bed - no strong emotions or even happy chatter! No study, reading, watching intense films. Keep it bland.

  • worrying and fretting can be habitual. Our minds flit from one anxious thought to the next. Luckily, you can train your mind to be more present in the here and now. Mindfulness training can really help. It teaches you how to strengthen your mind - your muscle of Mindfulness.

  • have you tried a course of acupuncture?

Other Sleep Tips

  • ensure your bedroom is dark, quiet and cool. Even small amounts of light stimulate your pineal gland

  • you dip in and out of deep sleep so there are times when even a slight noise may wake you

  • get physically comfortable - your aches and pains may be waking you up

  • sleep lying on your side in a foetal position

  • bathe feet in hot water before bed, to draw active energy from your head down to your feet

  • keep to your sleep routine whether you are a night owl or an early bird.

Changing lifestyle habits you've had, sometimes for years, can take effort over time.  It's not just your bedtime routine that may need an overhaul. Look at how you spend your day, how you wind down, what you do/how you react if you wake up at night, your morning routine. 

It's a balance, you weigh up how much good sleep matters to you with how much you are happy to modify how you live.

SLEEP BETTER Yin & Pin - Yin Yoga & Acupuncture Workshop

I am a traditional Chinese medicine trained acupuncturist with over 15 years clinical practice. My experiences as an acupuncturist flavour my yoga classes and workshops. My SLEEP BETTER Yin & Pin workshop is a unique blend of Yin Yoga and acupuncture.

SLEEP BETTER Yin & Pin is intended as a deeply relaxing experience. It is not presented as a cure for insomnia

Yin Yoga and acupuncture complement each other. The long, deep, mindful postures of Yin Yoga encourage the free-flow of Qi (or energy) in the meridians. Acupuncture works to bring the body's energy back to balance also by stimulating the meridians (please note that this is a massive over-simplification. I trained extensively to become an acupuncturist, so I'm mindful that I highlight that yin yoga and acupuncture are not equivalent!).

We begin this workshop with a series of specially chosen Yin Yoga postures which target the meridians commonly associated with healthy sleep. After the Yin Yoga we will relax into a guided Better Sleep visualization. In this guided visualization I encourage your mind to settle comfortably for the night. Throughout the journey your mind will be invited to rest on chosen acupuncture points.

It is during this relaxation that you may experience optional clinical acupuncture.

Take some time for yourself to relax, replenish and let go.

Please note: it is a requirement of attending this workshop that a health questionnaire be completed.

Spaces are strictly limited.

Remember: acupuncture is a complex medical model and 'cookbook' protocols (i.e. for insomnia press x) are for you to try.  If they help you that's great.  If not, it may be that you would benefit from a bespoke acupuncture consultation.  Remember you are unique and so is your sleep pattern.

For more information about how acupuncture may help insomnia and sleep disorders contact me.

  1. Reference: Live Well, Live Long. Teachings from the Chinese Nourishment of Life Tradition, Peter Deadman, 2016, C&C Offset Printing co. Ltd. China (p.4)


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