The Positive Habit Weekly Blog – 6th April, 2020 – 6 Steps to Soothe Sleep Anxiety

6 steps to soothe sleep anxiety – I hope you are well and that the last week has been a bit calmer for you. It has been for me, thankfully. What has become obvious during the Coronavirus pandemic is that human beings are incredibly adaptable and have a powerful survival instinct.

Part of our ability to survive and thrive during this crisis, or indeed at any time, is based on sleeping peacefully for at least eight hours per night. Many of my clients struggle with sleep issues at the best of times and for many this has now become intensified.

Matthew Walker, perhaps world’s leading sleep scientist, unequivocally states that eight hours of quality sleep each night is not a luxury but a necessity for ALL of us in order to operate at optimum physical and mental health. Most of this probably already know this intrinsically but if you suffer from sleep anxiety knowing this can actually intensify your fear around it. This is a bit like showing pictures of lung cancer to a smoker; it rarely incentivises change. So what does?  Below and on Today FM at 10.30 am this morning, I will share six practical and psychological steps that will help you to sleep soundly.

6 Steps to Soothe Sleep Anxiety:

1. Take Regular Mindful Moments During the Day
The biggest threat to a good night’s sleep is an overactive mind with racing and fearful thoughts.

So please, don’t wait until you go to bed to process your emotional response to what is happening.

It is unfair on your poor brain to expect it to be able to just switch off because now it is time to go to sleep. Taking time during the day to pause, reflect and process what is going on for you emotionally, mentally and physically will help prepare you to fall asleep more easily and to stay asleep. A good practical tip here is to write down negative thoughts in a notebook.  You will notice a pattern emerging and you can begin to question how true these thoughts actually are. You have cleansed your mind and will sleep better.. Getting to sleep and staying asleep is all about feeling safe.

2. Trust that You Can sleep
This natural biological function is something we are all capable of in the right circumstances; our circadian rhythm is connected to light so as it gets darker the pineal gland in the brain is “turned on” like a switch and begins to actively produce melatonin, which is released into the blood.  As a result, melatonin levels in the blood rise sharply and you begin to feel less alert. Ever notice yourself yawning when watching Netflix in the evening? This is a sign that what your whole system is preparing to sleep.  Listen to these cues.

3. Change the Nocebo Effect
Nocebo is the opposite of placebo and yet it is just as effective. Telling yourself, “I just can’t sleep,” or  “I am such a light sleeper,” or “I am a terrible sleeper,” actually compounds the problem. The subconscious hears these negative messages and takes them as commands.  Change the dialogue; saying or thinking, “I trust my ability to sleep,” or “I am learning to be a good sleeper,” will help. Similarly, listening to a hypnotherapy audio or sleep meditation is very useful as you are literally re-wiring the neural pathways in your brain as you fall asleep.

4. Turn the Dread of Bed Time into Something you Look Forward to

Accept the anxiety and you change your relationship to it. 

Many people have anxiety over going to bed. A negative habit loop is established and this is because, at the end of the day, there are no more distractions left. You are now forced to spend time in your own mind. This is why you need to practise being with the anxiety. Focus on the physicality of it rather than the thoughts themselves. Tolerate the distress and it will pass; after staying with most negative emotions for 90 seconds they begin to drift away. In order to soothe any fear (a racing heart etc) you must first accept it.  Resistance to fear only adds more fear. Place your hand on where you feel the anxiety and breathe deeply into your belly for two minutes. This activates your parasympathetic nervous system also known as your rest and digest system.

5. Allow Nature’s Therapy  
REM sleep is the sleep phase when we dream and this is incredibly important for our psychological well being. Dreams, both good and bad are helping you to cleanse the emotions that you cannot do on a conscious level.  If you have a nightmare, don’ be frightened, be grateful. It is your subconscious protecting you.

6. Think of Sleep as Rest
Rather than telling yourself you have to go to sleep try thinking of it as rest. When you adopt this approach it releases the pressure. From a practical perspective, the conditions for a good night sleep include a simple unwind routine which tells your mind and body that that sleep is coming. In the same way that we put a young child to bed, we too need signals.

      • Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day regardless of the day of the week. Your body loves this rhythm.
      • Make sure the temperature of the room is 16-18°C (60-65°F). Your body temperature decreases with sleep and if the room temperature is too high it will impede sleep.
      • Block out light – this tells the brain that sleep is imminent. Blackout blinds are great or use an eye mask as the mornings get brighter earlier.
      • Aromas – consider getting a lavender eye pillow and use it to create an oasis of calm.
      • Don’t do any other activity in the bedroom at night but sleep, rest, read and make love.
      • Drink a cup of herbal tea and read a book (fiction, memoir but not too taxing on your mind) for 20 minutes before switching off the light.

You can soothe your sleep anxiety. Trust me. Trust yourself.

We are thrilled with the avalanche of registrations and donations for my five-star Hypnotherapy Programme which has helped people all over the world to feel calm.

Please spread the word far and wide to friends and family.

To help everyone ride the Coronavirus storm, we are now offering it for FREE* with the option to donate. The price is normally €149.95 so this is an incredible opportunity.

The Programme is designed to help you develop unshakeable strength in both the good and the hard times. Learn to create a quiet mind that allows deep, peaceful sleep at night and emotional resilience during the day.

For more information and to register please click here.

*Access to the programme will remain free for the duration of the current public health crisis.

Sending love and much light,


I am delighted to say, I am still seeing my clients online and it is working really well. If you would like to book an online one-to-one session. You can do so HERE.

The ‘This is Me’ webinar was a great success. Please see below for the video and  watch this space to find out more about the forthcoming live ‘real,’ ‘This is Me’ event! 

Be sure to follow me on social media, as I share top positive tips and insights during the week. You can find me on Instagram, Twitter & Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.

‘The Positive Habit’ book
is now available as an audio book on both Audible & Borrow Box!


I regularly deliver workshops and seminars.  If your company is interested in a Positive Habit wellness event please get in touch.  You can find out more of the amazing companies I have worked with HERE.

Evidence-based, rapid transformational, online, hypnotherapy programme, The Positive Habit trains your subconscious mind to let go of the past & to embrace the future with hope and happiness as you sleep!

Register FREE Now!

Latest Testimonial from The Positive Habit online programme:

Saturday, March 21, 2020


“This program has given me a much more positive outlook. Thank you.”

Kathryn Walters

The Positive Habit Weekly Blog – 16th March, 2020 – Smile to Stop COVID-19 Anxiety Spreading

Smile to Stop COVID-19 Anxiety Spreading. I hope you and your family, friends and colleagues are doing well in these turbulent times.

I decided the best way to reach you this morning was through a video I made and which you can see below. Please do watch it and share with family and friends.

Also below, some wise words below from Brother Richard, of the Capuchin Franciscans.


Yes there is fear.
Yes there is isolation.
Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.
They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them.
They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her number
through the neighbourhood
So that the elders may have someone to call on.
Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples
are preparing to welcome
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary
All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
To Love.
So we pray and we remember that
Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes, there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes, there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes, there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul
Yes, there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Today, breathe.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic
The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,
And we are always encompassed by Love.
Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able
to touch across the empty square,


How to Stop the Spread of Coranavirus Anxiety!

Positive ways to keep your mind calm and your body healthy during these uncertain times. 🙏

The “This is Me” event on March 26th will now be online with the live event date postponed until further notice due to the current public health situation.

Thank you so much for purchasing your ticket to ‘This is Me’. We have, like many other socially responsible teams, decided to postpone our event due to the situation with COVID-19 until further notice.

However, all is not lost. In these challenging times anxiety can easily arise and we want to help support you more than ever!

The good news is we are still coming to you on March 26th as planned! You are invited to an online question and answer session where you can put your personal questions to the expert ‘This Is Me’ panel with the lovely Taragh Loughrey Grant hosting.

We will send a Zoom link with instructions on how to participate.

A full refund will be offered to anyone who is unable to attend the live event once the date is announced.

The online question and answer session is our gift to you. 

If you have not bought a ticket and would like to attend the online event, watch this space. 

A Note for My Current Clients:

I am still seeing clients on a one-to one-basis. My office has a handful of people working there and measures are being taken to ensure nobody at risk is allowed to enter the building. All surfaces are sanitised daily.  If you are at risk or prefer for any reason to have your session online via skype or video call, then this can be arranged.

Look after yourself,

Be sure to follow me on social media, as I share top positive tips and insights during the week. You can find me on Instagram, Twitter & Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.

‘The Positive Habit’ book
is now available as an audio book on both Audible & Borrow Box!

I regularly deliver workshops and seminars.  If your company is interested in a Positive Habit wellness event please get in touch.  You can find out more of the amazing companies I have worked with HERE

Evidence-based, rapid transformational online hypnotherapy programme, The Positive Habit trains your subconscious mind to let go of the past & to embrace the future with hope and happiness as you sleep!

Buy Now!

MONEY BACK GUARANTEE within 30 days & LIFETIME ACCESS to the life-changing audios

Testimonial from The Positive Habit online programme:

Saturday, February 29, 2020

“This course is very powerful which helped me through a period of anxiety and allowed me gain perspective again. I have since changed jobs and have noticed that I now respond to stressful situations differently, remaining calm. I am much more aware of my stress triggers and have incorporated the positive pause into my daily routine.”


A Lust for Life – February 2020 – Feeling anxious? Self-Compassion is the key to calmness

“Never look down on anybody unless you are helping them up.”

Jesse Jackson

Have you ever had a morning where you woke up and just could not face going into school or college? Not because you were physically sick, but for some weird reason,you just couldn’t quite put your finger on? An uncomfortable, anxious feeling that made you uneasy about seeing your mates or having to deal with anything at all? Read more…

A Lust for Life – October 2019 – Master Your Emotions in Three Steps

Jenny is a 38-year-old, kind, caring and hardworking woman, married with a young child.Like many of us, Jenny is juggling a lot of different responsibilities in her life and finds it hard to carve out time for herself. Not so long ago, Jenny was in an important performance-related meeting at work, she was trying to focus on what was being discussed but was having trouble concentrating, she had not slept that well the night before as both her mind and phone had failed to switch off.  Read more…