Dr Peta Stapleton - Sleep Deprivation

How to Use EFT to Get to Sleep Easily

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By Patricia Carrington, PhD, EFT Master – excerpt from EFT for Teens (Dr Peta Stapleton, Hay House)

Let me say a word first about the tapping procedure itself and sleep. Tapping is a rather vigorous physical activity even if done lightly and it can make you more alert rather than more sleepy. If you are going to use EFT for the purpose of getting to sleep I suggest that you use one of the following alternatives to tapping

• Use the Touch and Breathe method. To do this, lightly touch each EFT spot in turn and each time take a deep easy breath without any forcing (it should be a comfortable natural breath). After this breath say or think your EFT reminder phrase. Touching a spot takes far less effort than tapping it and this can be very helpful when you want to bring on sleep
• Don’t engage in any physical activity but simply visualize each EFT spot in your mind as you say or think your Reminder Phrases. Many people find that they can do this very easily and it is just as effective for them as tapping. They may also be able to repeat the EFT phrases mentally and get just as strong an effect as if they were saying them out loud.

IMPORTANT: A crucial factor to keep in mind when formulating an EFT statement to help go to sleep is not to tell yourself directly to go to sleep. For many people an EFT statement that directs them to go to sleep merely creates resistance.

We tend to dislike being told what to do –– even by ourselves! As a result if we do this we may find ourselves more wakeful than ever because we’ve been “told” we must get to sleep.

An EFT statement I find extremely useful in such instances is:

Even though I’m having trouble getting to sleep, I choose to feel pleasantly drowsy.

The fact is that if you begin to feel “pleasantly drowsy” you will more than likely drift off into sleep pretty soon. You have bypassed your natural resistance to being “told” to sleep and are allowing drowsiness to take the natural course that it wants to take.

Even if you should lie awake for a while and be “pleasantly drowsy” that is an extremely beneficial state to be in.

Thoughts That Can Prevent Sleep

One of the most prevalent mental activities that goes on when you cannot readily get to sleep, is worrying about some current situation or trying to find a solution to it. Both these things feel as though they were urgently necessary –– somehow you become convinced that you MUST solve this problem or worry about it –– NOW.

A very useful EFT statement to use if you are facing this kind of dilemma is to use the EFT Choices phrase:

I choose to allow my subconscious to work it out while I am sleeping peacefully.

The fact is that your subconscious is often much better able to solve your problem, whatever it may be, than a wakeful tossing “you” could possibly be. We all know that many famous inventions have occurred to their originators during sleep. Sleep it is an excellent problem solving time when your creative resources can be mobilized powerfully.

Another reason for prolonged wakefulness is that you begin to worry about whether you will get enough sleep! This is a self-defeating manoeuvre which can often be counteracted by the following EFT statement:

Even though I’m scared that I won’t get enough sleep, I choose to feel so relaxed and peaceful that it won’t make any difference.

By saying this you are taking the pressure off of yourself to “go to sleep” and therefore you will probably not create as much resistance to the onset of sleep. The truth is that if you allow yourself to lie in bed deeply relaxed it’s going to do you so much good that you don’t have to worry about whether you’re getting enough sleep!

Another familiar occurrence is a restless state where you can’t seem to get comfortable no matter what position you lie in, and you have to keep moving.

An excellent EFT statement for this is:

Even though I can’t get comfortable and have to keep moving, I choose to enjoy moving and stretching rhythmically and forget about sleep.

Notice that in all these EFT Choices statements you are taking away your own DEMAND that you go to sleep. You are using a Reframe which converts the need to move and stretch into a pleasant rhythmical activity which will be beneficial and may well lead to sleep eventually.

The need to figure out what you’re going to do about something and make an important decision is a frequent cause of sleeplessness. If you find yourself in this predicament a very useful EFT Choices statement is the following:

Even though I feel I MUST make a decision now, I choose to put all decisions on hold and just let my thoughts drift (or “chill out,” etc.).

Here you are instructing yourself to put what seems so urgent, on hold. This can be an extremely effective manoeuvre.

The previous examples are just a few of the useful EFT Choices statements that might be used to bring on a restful sleep.

I suggest you be inventive in creating your own statements to suit your own circumstances. You will find that it can be remarkably effective to use EFT when you are wakeful at night.

Visit EFT for Teens for more.

Inherited Stress?

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The Swedish idiom maskrosbarn, a “dandelion child”, and orkidebarn, an “orchid child” has been used by developmental specialists to describe a new genetic concept in child development. A dandelion as a flower can survive and flourish in most environments (you may have seen them growing from concrete!). The orchid, however, is far more vulnerable and needs protection and shelter to allow it to thrive and flower. 🌸⁠

There appears to be a connection with the NR3C1 gene variant that links increased vulnerability to stress and environmental sensitivity, to these “orchid” children. The NR3C1 gene variant influences the activity of a receptor to which cortisol binds. Increase an individual’s exposure to stress and you increase their levels of cortisol. As this genetic marker is activated in an individual, it can remain ‘switched on’ for future generations . This means if your parents or grandparents were in particularly stressful or difficult circumstances in their own life, they could pass this genetic information onto you. ⁠

How this then looks is that your stress coping threshold may not be naturally as high as other people, and your stress response may be activated with seemingly less stressful events. ⁠

Something to ponder.⁠

Loneliness in our Eldery

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In these very different times, we are being reminded to reach out to others – every day is an R U OK Day.⁠

The COVID-19 pandemic has put many older adults’ social lives on hold, leaving them at greater risk for loneliness. ⁠

Loneliness affects between 19% and 43% of adults ages 60 and older, and many adults ages 50 and over are at risk of poor health from prolonged loneliness.⁠

Research has shown that prolonged loneliness is associated with increased risk for premature death, similar to smoking, alcohol consumption and obesity. Other health consequences are also associated with loneliness, including elevated risk for heart disease and stroke, and it is associated with increased physician visits and emergency room visits.⁠

Older adults who are socially isolated or feel lonely also tend to perform worse on tests of thinking abilities, especially when required to process information rapidly. And those who feel lonely show more rapid decline in performance on these same tests over several years of follow-up testing.⁠

Can you reach out to someone today?⁠


Ref – https://theconversation.com/the-loneliness-of-social-isolation-can-affect-your-brain-and-raise-dementia-risk-in-older-adults-141752

Stress and Adverse Childhood Experiences

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Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) that have been linked to a myriad of poor behavioral and health outcomes in adulthood. The original ACE study showed a link between childhood trauma and the chronic diseases people develop as adults, as well as social and emotional problems. A complex interplay exists between early life stress, socioeconomic status and later life adversity including chronic pain. ⁠

The connection between chronic pain in adulthood and high number of ACEs from the first 18 years of life is established in the literature. Studies also demonstrate the importance in including a history of adverse childhood experiences in the care and management of chronic pain patients. ⁠

We have been exploring all of this in our latest EFT Tapping trials. ⁠

You can read more here and also complete the ACE measure.

I feel a new book coming on too – shhhhhhhhh.⁠

What is Important after a Stressful Event?

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Research indicates individuals exposed to extreme stress and trauma may have a more intense physiological response to all stress. Each time such an individual is re-stressed, the sensitivity of the response is increased, as is the individual’s vulnerability to anxiety and depression.⁠

Research has also identified a 10 day window of time that exists immediately after a traumatic stressful event before significant neuron and synaptic changes happen – that can turn a single trauma into an event that can alter a lifetime and potentially result in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).⁠

A meta-analysis of 77 studies about risk factors for PTSD has also found that factors during or after trauma (such as trauma severity, lack of social support, and additional life stressors) had a stronger influence than pre-trauma factors.⁠

That’s why we are so passionate about techniques such as EFT Tapping to assist with the brain changes that can and do happen for people – and we have a way to help the brain heal.⁠

Media Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/wuo8KnyCm4I⁠
Photo by Francisco Moreno on Unsplash

You can change the Ending!

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Although the traditional and typical way of saying the Setup Statement in EFT Tapping is “Even though I …, I deeply and completely love and accept myself,” we acknowledge that not everyone actually feels this way about themselves. The good news is that you can modify the end of the Setup Statement. ⁠

What is really important here is that you state or acknowledge your problem (Even though…) and then accept that this is your current reality. Tapping may change that reality, but first accepting it is integral to it changing. ⁠

You may want to try other endings to the Setup statement in place of the phrase “I deeply and completely love and accept myself,” such as:⁠

• Even though _____, I am okay.⁠
• Even though _____, right here, right now, I am safe and secure.⁠
• Even though _____, I am opening to accepting myself.⁠
• Even though _____, this is my current reality.⁠

Any of these are OK to say – the most important thing is to acknowledge what is happening in the moment and tap on that.

Do you know your stress signs?

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Stress is often described as a feeling of being overloaded, wound up, tight, tense, and worried. Associated with this state are low energy, upset stomach, headaches, tense muscles, insomnia, and even frequent colds, among other physical consequences. ⁠

Of course, we all experience stress at times. Most people don’t realize that we actually need some stress to motivate us to get a task finished, or to perform well.⁠

One thing I am passionate about with my children, my clients, my students – is that they learn their own stress signs and warnings. We’re not all the same.⁠

Do you know yourself well enough that you know the FIRST sign the wheels are getting wobbly?⁠

Have you taught your children how to recognise this in themselves too?⁠

Fun conversations tonight!!!! 😀⁠

Media Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/-TRcaFMV5vk⁠ Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

New Canadian Guidelines

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New Canadian clinical guidelines advises doctors to go beyond simply recommending diet and exercise for those who are overweight/obese/⁠.

Instead, they recommend GPs should focus on the root causes of weight gain and take a holistic approach to health.⁠

The guideline, which was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal last month, specifically admonished weight-related stigma against patients in the health system.⁠

“Weight bias is not just about believing the wrong thing about obesity,” ….. “Weight bias actually has an effect on the behaviour of healthcare practitioners.”⁠

Can I get a high five everyone? Loving Canada! 🇨🇦⁠


Feeling Overwhelmed?

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Ever felt overwhelmed to the point of overdrive or shutdown?⁠

Here are some ideas on targeting overthinking with tapping, in order to bring calm to your mind.⁠

First, rate any level of distress out of 10 (or any other feeling when you know you are in a cycle of overthinking). ⁠

Let’s begin with the Setup:⁠

Even though I don’t like how I’m feeling right now, I deeply and completely love myself.⁠
Even though I’m trying to think my way out of my emotions, I deeply and completely love myself.⁠
Even though I think too much and it is driving me crazy, I deeply and completely love myself.⁠

Reminder Phrases:⁠

EB: I am thinking too much⁠
SE: I need to stop overanalyzing ⁠
UE: Driving me crazy⁠
UN: Can’t sleep⁠
Ch: My mind is in overdrive⁠
CB: Don’t like this feeling⁠
UA: Too much in my head⁠
TH: Feel overwhelmed ⁠

EB: I am thinking too much⁠
SE: Feel paralyzed by this analysis ⁠
UE: Too much going on in my head⁠
UN: This feeling⁠
Ch: Can’t stand it⁠
CB: Driving me crazy⁠
UA: Overwhelmed ⁠
TH: Mind is full⁠

Remember to pause and check your rating out of 10. If anything else comes to mind as you are tapping, make note of it and start a new Setup Statement, or write it down to tap on it later. ⁠

We explore many of these types of topics especially for introverts –  in EFT for Introverts (available online everywhere).⁠

Media Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/1K9T5YiZ2WU⁠ Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

Tapping to Have a Great Memory

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If you have ever walked into a room and said, “What was I going to do here?” you are not alone! Memory is a funny thing. And many things affect it – being too busy, not getting enough sleep, being stressed, maybe you don’t want to remember (because it involves something like homework!), perhaps even age (older people might like to tell you this).

Because we know stress affects memory and tapping helps stress (and helps decrease the stress hormone cortisol), then tapping might also help your memory!

Have a read of how it has helped these teens.

Recently outside at a high school drama event, one girl (Hayley) was extremely nervous and anxious. An EFT practitioner was there to watch their own child perform and noticed this girl. They asked her what was happening, and offered to help with some tapping. Hayley didn’t know what tapping so they quickly went through the points and started tapping “Even though I get nervous and forget my lines, I deeply and completely respect and love myself.” The reminder phrase was “forgetting my lines.”

After the play, she came up to the practitioner twice, about 10 minutes apart, all excited, and said, “I didn’t forget a single line! Thank you!”

Another way to use tapping for memory, is to use the finger points in exam situations (or where you don’t want to openly tap). You can squeeze each side of the finger nail points as you focus on what you are trying to remember and use words like “Even though I can’t remember what that was, I completely accept myself.”

Next time you walk into a room and forget why you were there, try standing there and tapping the facial points a few times and focus on “not remembering” and see what happens!

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Worst-Case Scenario 😬

One way to rid yourself of the consequences of your False Beliefs is to play the Worst-Case Scenario game. Ask yourself, “What is the worst thing that will happen if I clean out my garage/pay my taxes/go for my mammogram/send Christmas cards in time for the holiday/sign up for school/wash my car?”

Write or say aloud the first thing that comes to mind. Don’t judge yourself on your answer. Ask again, making sure you use the phrase “I’m afraid,” because that is what this is all about. Keep this up until you have run out of the easy answers like “I’ll be happy” or “I’ll be healthy.” Eventually, you’ll hit pay dirt. The answer that springs to mind may have nothing to do with the project you are dawdling over.

That is the point. Once you find out which False Belief is to blame, use EFT Tapping to reassess it and install a new and reasonable alternative.

The Five False Beliefs that keep most procrastinators from moving forward are:
1. Failure is unacceptable.
2. People will dislike, ridicule, exclude, or harm me if I don’t do it right.
3. Success is dangerous.
4. I’m afraid of what the future holds.
5. I don’t wanna, and you can’t make me!

Experiences you have earlier in your life lead you to make decisions that have remained in your unconscious mind ever since. These False Beliefs have been the stage directions in your life story up to now.

Read more in EFT for Teens (Hay House) 

Recording What you Tapped On

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It is not unusual for people to do their EFT Tapping on the run! In the car, when you catch some down time, and then life takes over again.

If you’re working by yourself, I find it really helpful to have a pen and paper (or computer) handy, to make a note on what you want to work on, to write down your progress on the 1-10 scale, and to note other things that come up.

The last item might be the most important: Writing down other things that come up.

So here’s what this might look like. You write down:

“I’m frustrated with all the bills I got in the mail today. It’s a 7 on the 0-10 scale”

You start tapping, the frustration goes down, but all of a sudden, some anger comes up. You write that down.

“I’m angry at myself for not working harder this month” It’s an 8.

You tap on that, that eases, and turns to sadness – “I’m sad that this keeps happening” It’s a 5. You tap on that.

You check back in on the frustration you wrote about above. That’s a 1, you barely feel it.

The anger moved to a 4. There’s still something there, you tap on that further.

While doing that tapping, you think of two events from your childhood.

“That time that my father said I’d never amount to anything” and “My mother crying because we didn’t have enough money”

You write down both events, because you know that you want to address each separately.

And so forth…

It is truly, peeling an onion, and while it might seem complicated at first, once you get the hang of it, it’s easy, and becomes even easier when you write stuff down and stay on track.

We know from the long term EFT followup trials that we do ‘forget’ what we have tapped on when the issue is no longer an issue. It’s called the Apex Effect – where you don’t attribute any changes in your life to the tapping you did – because you tend to forget you tapped on it!

Keeping a journal is a great way to remind yourself of what does change, how far you have come and what might still be there.

See The Tapping Journal as a way to keep track of your progress.