Oxford Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

December Blog


7 top tips for getting to sleep this Christmas

23-12-2014 Oxford CBT Insomnia
7 Top Tips for sleeping at Xmas

Are you or your children having trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep? They say that Santa won’t come if you aren’t asleep.


Here are our top 7 tips for getting to sleep on Christmas Eve:


1. Establish a good bedtime routine


Going to bed and getting up at the same time each day will help your body clock to recognise when bedtime is. Bedtime rituals also help, whether it be a story in the case of a child or whether it be remembering to switch out the lights and brush your teeth. Routines are good.


2. Avoid stimulants before bed


Where possible, no computers or phone screens at least an hour before bed. Cut out your intake of caffeine, energy drinks in the evening, try replacing this with a warm milky drink instead.


3. Make a nice sleeping environment


Prepare well in advance your place for sleeping. Tidy up, make the bed, pick up and put away. Make sure the room is neither too hot nor too cold. It should also be quiet and peaceful. Try warming the bed with a hot wheat bag or water bottle.


4. Relax and unwind before bed


Have a nice bath, listen to some calming music. If you must watch telly then make sure it’s a programme that you find relaxing.


5. Exercise regularly


Regular exercise is a good part of your daily routine and will promote sleep. Make sure you don’t leave it too near bedtime otherwise it may keep you awake.


6. Stop the Monkey Mind


It’s hard to get to sleep when you have a lot on your mind. Before you go to bed think about what you have achieved during the day and make a list of things to do for the next day.


7. Don’t worry about getting to sleep


If you are in bed worrying about getting to sleep, get up and do something relaxing or diverting, have a warm milky drink, then try going back to bed again. You could try meditation, engage your mind with picturing a pleasant scene on a starry night, count the stars in your mind, are there clouds … etc.


For more help with treatment for insomnia for adults or children Oxford CBT can help ….


First Christmas after losing someone you love

17-12-2014 Oxford CBT Bereavement
First Christmas after losing someone you love

There is no right or wrong about how long you spend grieving for someone you have lost. At times the process will be more difficult than others, such as experiencing your first Christmas or the first anniversary of the death of a loved one. You could be feeling low and dreading the time of year that you would usually take for granted as a time for celebrating and sharing and togetherness. Friends may also be avoiding the subject of death or may find it awkward inviting you to celebrate with them during your time of grief. Or like many people you may be experiencing feelings of guilt for going out and enjoying yourself over the festive period. When someone close to you dies it is difficult for you and others around you having to process all these feelings associated to bereavement.


You might notice that you become upset more easily and find it difficult to get to sleep or stay asleep, you could notice mood swings, appetite changes and difficulties concentrating.


When someone close to you dies you may feel that everything stops being normal, routines that you once had or shared are gone and you have to try and find new ways to cope.


To move through this uncomfortable place, to living and enjoying life in the moment takes courage and bravery and sometimes a bit of help.


If you are struggling with grief, Oxford CBT techniques will include spending time talking through thoughts and feelings (talking therapy), finding a balance of remembering the good times together whilst acknowledging the loss and finding other activities to help you to move forward and enjoy life again.


If you are someone or know of someone who is having a difficult time accommodating the loss of a loved one, then please….