Dr. Kate Truitt & Associates

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For Moving Forward

Self-Havening for Sleep: Tips for a Good Night's Rest

Dr. Kate Truitt starts by asking us, “Have you ever been starting to go to bed, but your brain gets fixated on something from earlier?” She then explains that this usually occurs when something anxiety- or stress-provoking occurs, or when we are focusing on an important future task. Our brain is hard-wired to do this, which can keep us awake when we’re trying to sleep.

Next, Dr. Kate shares her favorite tool for calming our amygdala out of that ruminating cycle: CPR for the Amygdala. If we can calm our brain down, it can help our brain and our body get to sleep quickly. She recommends using the version of CPR for the Amygdala which utilizes breath focus. She then walks us through some breathwork exercises. She explains that it’s best to give our brain a new quandary to focus on so that our brain doesn’t get distracted again. What if I was sleepy? Does sleepiness have a shape? A color?

To wrap up, Dr. Kate suggests a gentle body scan. From the top of our head to our toes, we breathe in and out, releasing any remaining tension as we exhale.

A Guided Havening Meditation for Relaxing Into a Good Night of Sleep

In this meditation, Dr. Kate Truitt guides us through a guided self-havening meditation for relaxing into a good night sleep. As always, we begin by welcoming grounding, calming breath and the soothing havening touch. Then, Dr. Kate invites us to find a space in our environment to hold a soft, gentle gaze. She then guides us through a count in which we blink once per count. At the end of this count, we gently close our eyes and enter into a relaxed state.

Notice how our mind and body find a natural rhythm of breath. We ask our mind and our body to release any tension for the day and deepen into that relaxed state. Does relaxation have a color? Imagine breathing that color of relaxation in, allowing that energy to expand within us as we exhale.

What if I was sleepy? What if I was falling asleep?

Havening Guided Meditation for Starting Your Day with Success

In this meditation, Dr. Kate Truitt guides us through a self-havening meditation for greeting the start of our day with happiness and success. We can utilize neuroplasticity to help build the brain we desire. As always, Dr. Kate asks us to welcome in havening touch. Then she asks us to notice any areas of tension in our body. She asks us to look back and find a time where we felt energized and active and tune into it. What color is that energetic state? What temperature is it? While we breathe this feeling in, we ask ourselves the question: what if I was energized? What would it feel like right now to be energized? She asks us to notice if there are any parts of our mind our body that start to feel energized. We can lean on a memory of feeling energized in the past to help us feel that energetic state in the present.

Introducing CPR for the Amygdala and Self-Havening - Tools for Immediate Anxiety & Stress Relief

CPR for the Amygdala is an easy-to-use tool for calming the mind and body in a moment of emotional hijack. Watch this short video and learn how to calm your brain through the engagement of the self-havening touch and brain exercises. This video involves a short demonstration that highlights the impact of the delta wave presence on brain functioning. A fast brain is a reactive brain, a slow brain is a calm brain. Let’s calm the mind and put you back in charge of your emotional state.

How to Wake Up on the Right Side of the Bed Using Neuroplasticity

By Dr. Kate Truitt

Waking up on the wrong side of the bed is a very real thing. When we go to sleep our brain doesn’t actually fall asleep. It is still busy processing information from the day before or even from weeks before. If there are any unresolved issues or concerns that are lingering, our sleep may be readily impacted!

When we sleep our amygdala stays on the job

You may have guessed that as we sleep, our friend Amy, the amygdala of our brain, is still wide awake—doing her job of keeping us alive and safe. If we’re experiencing stress or worry then that can roll into our sleep, which can disrupt our sleep patterns. That means we could wake up the next day with an “amygdala hangover.”

Do you ever wake up in the morning feeling stressed out and anxious or you find yourself wide awake at odd hours because you are pondering things from the day before? Or maybe it’s an important task awaiting you tomorrow that carries a lot of weight. That’s your amygdala letting you know that she’s got some concerns. Our brain is hard-wired to focus on these anxiety- or stress-provoking issues and it can keep us awake when our brains and bodies need to get some sleep, which is vital to being our best selves in the day ahead.

So yes, waking up on the wrong side of the bed is a real thing. But we have the power of neuroplasticity on our side. Because of our brains are malleable, we have an opportunity to make changes to our neural connections that can help us experience a good night of restful sleep.


reviewing your day to find the things that may be keeping you awake

One of the tools that can help us do that is CPR for the Amygdala®, which stands for Creating Personal Resilience for the Amygdala. (If you are not familiar with CPR for the Amygdala I invite you to try the exercises in the sidebar to this article and for more detail, explore our CPR for the Amygdala Playlist on YouTube.)

I recommend that before you go to sleep, take a few moments to review your day. As you do this little assessment, notice if there are any moments of activation, stress, anxiety, worry, or whatever, that are still hanging on. Is there anything that your amygdala or the rest of your brain is still chewing on? If you notice things still going on up there, tune into those moments one by one and do several rounds of CPR for the Amygdala exercises. Wrap that warm, fuzzy blanket around your brain and let it know you’re OK, and that you can let those things go—that they don’t need to follow you into your sleep time.

creating possibilities for a good night's sleep

You want to be calming your brain in bed before you go to sleep. You want to wrap yourself in the warm, cradling experience, that self-hug, so you can bring in some of that Creating Possibilities work as well. Find a “what if...” statement that feels comfortable for you. A few examples are:

What if I got a good night’s sleep?
What if I was restful?
What if I was sleepy?

Explore your chosen statement in your mind, or aloud, while applying that soothing Havening Touch. The great thing about the Havening Touch is that it is slowing your brain down, giving your mind and body a break from the stress hormones cortisol and norepinephrine and bathing it in the anti-stress hormone oxytocin, while also decreasing your blood pressure and heart rate. These are all things we want to carry with us into our sleep and through to the morning when we wake up, so we greet the day with a well-rested system.

Once you repeated the “What if…” 5 times notice if your brain, and Amy, feel comfortable advancing to the next part of Creating Possibilities through inviting in the “I can be…” and lovingly and gently repeat your “I can be…” 5x, and then advance toward “I will be…” If any worries or concerns arise while practicing this exercise then return to CPR for the Amygdala and use breath counts as your distraction: breathing in for a count of 4, exhaling for a count of 6, and repeat with the Havening Touch.

If in the morning there is still some lingering anxiety, practice a little more CPR for the Amygdala to help clear your brain as you go into your day. Then practice some more of that Creating Possibilities work:

What if I was energized?
What if I was confident?
What if I was engaged?

Link those thoughts in and breathe them into your brain and body to help set yourself up for success throughout your day and then continue with your Creating Possibilities Protocol or practice the A Havening Guided Meditation for Starting Your Day with Success.