Episode 75: Super Simple Snoozing Strategies, Part IV
On today’s show we cover the surprising basics about getting a good night’s sleep, what’s really going on when you fall asleep to the TV, plus learn about the relationship between sleep and weight in children. Finally, Renee answers a listener's question about what to do about uncontrollable middle-of-the night eating episodes!
Renee Stephens: Welcome to Inside Out Weight Loss. I’m your host Renee Stephens, and together we’re accessing and adjusting the control panel of your mind/body spirit system, bringing ease and joy to your weight loss journey and fullness to the rest of your life. A special welcome to new listeners to this show. We’re delighted you found us. I encourage you to jump right in to today’s episode, and also go back to the beginning, starting at the prologue where I share the Inside Out Weight Loss and Renee method philosophy, as well as why I care so darn much about ending the weight struggle. Inside Out Weight Loss is here to help you. We blend cutting edge behavior change tools with a foundation of unconditional self-acceptance, to give you a whole new experience of weight loss. And I’ll be right up front about it; I have a hidden agenda. Yes, I want you to be slim and fit and healthy. I want you to easily lose weight, absolutely. But even more than that, I want you to discover the rest of your life. I want you to find and pursue your passions. I want you to create fulfilling relationships. I want you to be fully present to your friends and family. I want you to explore and express your creativity. Whatever it is that excites you or could excite you about life. Whatever it is that’s on your ‘someday’ list, or ‘I’ll get to that when’ list. And you’ll find a thriving listener community dedicated to this show. Links are available at my blog, personallifemedia.com/renee. And hey, post a comment while you’re there. I’d love to hear what you’re thinking and what you’re experiencing.
Renee Stephens: Lets go ahead now and drop inside, as I share a moment of bliss, courtesy of blisstrips.com. Stare into the baby’s eyes, so bright with wonder and wisdom. Let yourself fall deeply into the vast pool. Get lost in the swirl of potential and possibility, the budding opportunities of life. Remember that time? Remember when? Long before you were who you are now. Have you ever had that sensation of looking into the eyes of a baby and seeing directly into their soul? Or the sensation that they’re looking directly into yours as you connect soul to soul, free of judgment, preconceived notions or stories, but rather with sheer curiosity and wonder. I love that about small children. I love that about infants. Their eyes seem to be deep pools into infinite existence. And something about looking into their eyes and seeing their utter helplessness, their utter informedness, inspires an expansive love and acceptance. What if you looked into your own eyes that way the next time you look in the mirror? Or even in your mind right now, see that window to infinite existence in your eyes. And go ahead and set your intent for this episode, perhaps to get exactly what you want, or exactly what you need.
Renee Stephens: And as you sink further into this episode, I’d like to share with you this question from a listener. Dora writes: “Throughout the day I’m pretty good about food, body and edge and eating well. However, my problem now is that I’m awesome all day, and after I go to sleep I wake up in the middle of the night and eat all the bad food then. Or even if it isn’t bad food, I always, every night, wake up and have something to eat, hungry or not. It’s definitely setting my weight loss back and reversing it too. Not to mention that in the morning my stomach hurts and I generally don’t feel well and have to talk myself out of guilt tripping myself over the whole thing, especially since it happens every night. Do you have any suggestions for this habit? I’m sure I’m not the first one, only but it sure seems like a solitary problem to me right now.” And thank you Dora for writing. I suspect that your problem is much more common than you might think. It sounds to me like you’re extremely controlled during the day. You use the words ‘good’ and ‘bad’, which show that you’re giving a value judgment on everything that you eat. So that suggests to me that somehow you, your subconscious mind, your body, it needs an outlet. It feels like it’s too controlled and restrained during the day, and so you’ve become very, very clever and creative, or at least your subconscious mind has, and decided that, “Well, in the middle of the night I can, I can eat what I wouldn’t allow myself to eat all day long”. It’s like an escape valve or a pressure release valve. And another way of looking at it is it’s just like there’s a conflict, where the daytime Dora is the one who is good and the nighttime Dora is the one who is bad, and the good part and the bad part are at opposite ends of the spectrum and do not get along. They seem to have the assumption that you’re either good or bad. So the first thing that I suggest you do is take off all those value judgments about being good or bad by forgiving yourself, especially by forgiving the part of you that’s eating during the middle of the night. How can you do this? Well one way is to recognize the positive intent of the part of you that gets you to eat in the middle of the night. You can do this by asking the question, “What is that part of me trying to get from me that’s good? What is that part of me trying to get from me that’s good?” It could be release. It could be relaxation. Or it also could be something like safety, security or protection, a part of you that absolutely does not want to be slimmer. And while you’re at it, ask the part of you that is “super good”, quote/unquote, during the day, what it’s positive intent is, and I think you’ll find that both of these sides, both of these parts of you have very positive intents, things that you too want. You want to be safe, you want to be secure and protected, but you also want to be slim and fit and healthy. It’s all good, not a bad one in the bunch. Now we move from the either/or paradigm—“Either I’m bad or good.” “Either I can be slim and fit and healthy, or safe and protected—to a both/and paradigm. “How can I be both safe and protected”… or whatever that positive intent was… “and slim and fit and healthy? How can I be free and relaxed and have fun and be slim and fit and healthy?” We go to a both/and paradigm. My guided audio journey, Sabotage, Self Sabotage, actually takes you through this structure in a guided trans state, to do the work at very deep levels. You might want to check that out, and of course it’s available at my website, mindforbody.com, m-i-n-d-f-o-r-b-o-d-y, dot com, or through a link at the blog, personallifemedia.com/renee.
Renee Stephens: Lets move now to talking about super simple snoozing strategies. As you may recall there are three pieces of super simple snoozing strategies, or three segments that we’re addressing. The first was prioritizing taking the time to sleep. Making sure you give yourself enough time to get the necessary amount of rest. The second is relieving anxiety about sleeping, because a bunch of people have a lot of anxiety about sleeping, especially if they’ve ever had trouble in the past. And then finally the third piece, learning what to do, what actually to do to fall asleep. And last episode we were talking about prioritizing self-care, and specifically what to do if you regularly bite off more than you can chew, so to speak. You know, we can learn a lot about ourselves through the metaphors that we use, I might add. And as homework I asked you to write about proving yourself. Who do you feel you have to prove yourself to? If you’re biting off more than you can chew, there’s a good chance that you feel like you have to prove yourself or earn your self-worth. So did you write about who it is that you’re proving yourself to? What exactly it is that you’re proving? Because what we’re actually talking about here is an underlying limiting belief. The belief that we have to earn our worthiness by doing, by proving. The assumption being that if we didn’t work our butts off doing, doing, doing whatever it is that needs to get done, succeeding and achieving, etcetera, etcetera, we’d be unworthy, unlovable, rejected. I mean, no wonder we work so hard. Now as you may recall from the series on limiting beliefs and how to change them, the way we change a belief is by first bringing the old belief, the limiting belief, into doubt, and that’s what you’re doing by answering the questions that I proposed. These questions cause you to loosen up the whole of the old limiting belief, allowing yourself to create a new empowering belief, something like, “I’m already whole”, for example.
Renee Stephen: Okay, I wanted to share with you another study that I just read on sleep, weight gain and children. It seems that a link has been found between the amount of time that children sleep and how much they weigh. Kids who get ten or less hours of sleep a night are much more likely to be overweight than those who get eleven or twelve hours of sleep a night. Hmm. So what’s true for adults is also true for kids. There seems to be a theme here. In other words, being well rested promotes being slim, and healthy for that matter. Now I’m going to give a caveat here, because if you sleep too much, or if you’re escaping from the world by hiding in bed for example or you’re depressed, that is not going to help your weight loss. Your weight loss will be helped if you get a healthy amount of sleep. In other words, go from a deficit, from too little sleep, to the right amount. Too much won’t work. Sorry about that guys, but so it is. It’s time to take a break now to support our sponsors. This is your host Renee Stephens, and you’re listening to Inside Out Weight Loss on Personal Life Media.
Renee Stephens: We’re back now, talking about super simple snoozing strategies, and I’ve found that there are two parts to insomnia. One part is the cause of the not sleeping. In other words, you’re not sleeping because your mind is racing, worried about work, home life, relationship, money, whatever it happens to be. And the other part of insomnia, which can make it not easy to resolve is the anxiety that we have over not sleeping. In other words, you can’t sleep because you’re worried about not sleeping. You know, I remember I used to be so afraid of not sleeping, and I couldn’t even listen to someone talk about it. If an item on the news came up I wouldn’t sleep that night. Why? Because I worked myself up into a frenzy, afraid of not sleeping. So today I want to cover the basics, and if we have time we’ll go into relieving the anxiety over not sleeping. So the basics, many of you may already know this, caffeine. I know my mother used to share with me that she had trouble sleeping, and then she realized that she drank tons of iced tea everyday, which has of course caffeine in it. So as you probably already know, you want to limit your caffeine intake, switch to decaf after noon. Or if you’re extremely sensitive, you might want to stay away from decaf as well because it does have some caffeine in it. Now it can be hard to make the transition if you’re addicted to caffeine, especially if you’re tired during the day because you’re not sleeping and you need to be able to function, you need to have that cup of coffee, which just then perpetuates the problem. Uck! And if that’s the case, there are a couple of things that I can recommend. One is not, repeat, not going cold turkey with your caffeine intake, but rather weaning your quantity down, weaning yourself off of caffeine. Another substance that can work well during the transition is ginseng extract. That will certainly get you going but doesn’t tend to have the stay-awake properties that caffeine has. And finally, never underestimate the value of jumping up and down for a couple of minutes when you’re about to fall asleep, during the day that is, of course. Which leads us right in to the next in the list of basics, which is activity or exercise. For some people, if they do their exercise late at night, if they’re very active late at night then that will cause them to have a difficult time falling into that deep and restful sleep that we all so much enjoy. In fact, in an ideal world if you could move your exercise to the time of day when you are normally sleepy and going for the caffeine, then you would have a win/win situation. And I might add that if you are exercising a lot, for example you’re training for an event like a triathlon or a half marathon or a marathon, and you’re really pushing it physically, then that will actually increase the amount of sleep that your body needs. Why? Because your body needs that time of deep rest and relaxation and renewal to repair from the tear down of the muscle tissues that occurs during the training…
Renee Stephens: The more exercise that you get, the more rest that you need. The next basic that I’d like to talk about is your bedroom. Is your bedroom a sanctuary for rest and renewal? Or is it filled with clutter? Feng shui experts will tell you… By the way, Feng Shui is the Asian art of creating spaces that are full of positive flowing energy. You know, those spaces that you walk into and just feel good. Feng Shui will tell you, or experts, what they say is that they will tell you how to create those good feelings in a space by following the principles. And they will tell you that clutter is bad mojo. So if you have it in your bedroom you want to clear it. And you do not have to clear it all today now. No, you don’t need to do that. But if you were to take five minutes a day, ten minutes a day, two minutes a day, to clear something of the clutter out of your bedroom, with the intention of creating a sanctuary for rest and renewal, more quickly than you realize you’d have a beautiful space. Say you just clear out one drawer, one drawer or a half a drawer, extract two items of clothing from your wardrobe that don’t fit and you’re unlikely to wear again, to create that space and that positive energy in your bedroom. Now, lets talk about what else is in your bedroom. Many people, perhaps most people will have a television in their bedroom, and some people actually fall asleep regularly to the television. So lets segway for a moment to talking about what is happening when you’re doing that. Television produces instant trance. People ask me about hypnosis, and they said, “Oh my gosh, what will it be like? Will I lose all control?” And is say, well, probably not because you go in and out of that state all the time everyday, and one time when we go into that state is when we look at a television screen. If you look at someone whose eye gets caught by a television, say you’re in a sports bar or a store or even at home, the minute that TV goes on, the mouth drops open and we go into a kind of like glazed stare state. Why? Because television is an instant trance producer. Now how does it do this? The way that it does this often, and I think the television networks or producers know this, is by producing an information overload. That’s why when you turn on some of these channels they have so many things going on. They’ve got the ticker tape going across the bottom of the screen, the screen is split into two with another something or other at the top and maybe somebody jumps up during a part of the show. Too many things go on, so it just, bzzz, puts you right into a trance state. What do we know about trance state? What we know about trance state is that it is a highly suggestible state. That’s why we can use hypnotic trance for therapeutic reasons. That’s why it can be so effective when used in a positive way. However, when it’s a trance produced by television, think about what kinds of suggestions you’re opening yourself up to. Why do you think advertising on TV is so expensive? Because it works, because people are in a highly suggestible state when they’re watching television, or movies for that matter. And that time right before we drift off to sleep is also a highly suggestible time of day. That’s why I suggest the success journal be done right before you drift off to sleep, because you are filling your brain with positive thoughts and feelings right before you drift off to sleep. So if you’re watching some suspense show or who knows what it is that might flash on the screen as you’re drifting off to sleep, those are the suggestions that you’re putting into your brain. Consequently the news, which is, has a tremendous bias towards the negative is probably not a great thing to be watching as you’re drifting off to sleep or the moment that you wake up in the morning, for that matter. You want to be balanced and centered into yourself before you subject yourself to that kind of input. So I’m suggesting that you turn of the TV before you go to sleep. Give yourself some time, ten, fifteen minutes at least, do your success journal, relax in bed, let your mind wander perhaps. Think about the things that you love the most, and allow yourself to drift off to sleep from this place. If you are addicted to TV or dependent upon TV to fall asleep, then I recommend weaning yourself off of it. One way to do that might be to progressively lower the volume of the TV each night as you drift off to sleep. Then perhaps you could tilt the screen further and further away from you for example. Many TV’s even have timers that will turn the television off for you at a pre-designated time. If your television doesn’t have that you could always do it via one of those plug-in things that you put in your wall and plug the TV into. You could, for example, begin to substitute music, pleasant restful music, for the drone of the television, ideally, music that has no lyrics or positive lyrics.
Renee Stephens: That brings us to the end of our show today. Thank you for being present. On the next episode of Inside Out Weight Loss we’ll go into relieving that anxiety about sleeping with some specific techniques to do that on your own, any time, any day. Be careful, because if you have two or three un-listened episodes of any podcast, iTunes will automatically unsubscribe you, and you’ll have to re-subscribe to start getting episodes again. Now there’s a reliable way to make sure you get the latest episode of Inside Out Weight Loss as soon as it becomes available. Get email notifications by going to personallifemedia.com/signup and register for your free email notifications. This is your host Renee Stephens, and I am on a mission to eradicate the weight struggle from the planet, enabling you to develop and share your abundant soul’s gifts. Join me as we evolve the world by evolving ourselves. Take good care.