Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Better Sleep Radio interview on Plains FM

Recently I was interviewed on Plains FM by Carl Bamlet: The Modern Caveman Show and here is the interview.

Episode title
Better Sleep
Dr Carl and Cuz discuss how ti improve sleep with Aaron McLaughlin from BetterSleepSooner.co.nz
25 minutes
Release date
September 30 2014
Dr Carl and Cuz discuss how ti improve sleep with Aaron McLaughlin from BetterSleepSooner.co.nz

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Introduction Video to Better Sleep Sooner

Welcome to Free Video Tutorial 1 for a Better Sleep Sooner.
This video is a brief introduction to give some background to the creation of the Better Sleep Sooner program... enjoy.

If you have any questions please feel free to email me.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

How good was that Sleep?

Sunset - Pic By Aaron McLoughlin
New sleep research considering the power of the Placebo Effect may change the way we 'choose' to think about the sleep we just had and the sleep we are going to get.

The Placebo Effect has been studied for many years and, in short, is a way of describing the idea that our beliefs can actually have a far greater impact on our body and our lives than we often give credit, so much so that some studies into the effectiveness of some drugs, (tested against sugar pills) have come up with better results from the sugar pills - the placebo. NB: Better results often being the fact that there are no side effects.

In my seminars and workshops I am often talking about our beliefs and the effect that they have on our sleep. It was interesting for me to come across this new research via Scientific American.

The details are there for everyone to read and yet for me the most interesting part was:
"The effects of perceived sleep quality were comparable to the effects of actual sleep deprivation."

Basically the participants in the research were told certain facts about their sleep that were not necessarily true, and because of these facts, the participants changed their beliefs about the sleep that were having, its quality and what that meant. Because of this miss-information, the participants stared to demonstrate behaviour that reflected this made up fact.

Wow! If this is so, then surely the opposite is also possible.

Q: How many times have you been up real late, had a fantastic time, and then have had to get up early the next morning to find that you are actually feeling quite good - and off you go into the day carrying with you some fun memories from the night before.
Q: How many times have you woken up having had only a few hours sleep and say to yourself: "Oh man, this is going to be such a bad day - I know I haven't had enough sleep!"

Heres the thing: I wonder what beliefs your could start to have that would mean you can have a great day, all the energy you need and a great sleep at night?

A few thoughts from your sleep coach.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

It's Not You So Relax!!!

Its not you!

The sleeping issue is not you and there is nothing necessarily wrong with you.

The sleep issue is a behaviour and that means, you can change it. No matter how long you have had it for.

Any issue, challenge - even physical - is behavioural. It happens on the neurological level or the cellular level, or the genetic level and that means it is a behaviour.

You are not your body as much as you are a inhabiter of this amazing 'construct' called The Body. This is a useful way of looking at the problems with sleep.

Why? Well, if I say: "I am an insomniac." I am making the problem about Me. That means I have to somehow change Me and Who I Am in order to 'fix' this problem.

If however I look deeper and notice that the Me is actually making a comment about the 'sleeping issue' and to do that it has to be looking at it from outside or inside. The Me is not the problem. If I change the way I think about this issue to a behaviour rather than a reflection of who I am, I am now able to change it... it is just behaviour.

I could then quite correctly state: "I am not an insomniac. I am 'doing' this thing called insomnia... and I can change that now... what a relief."

Just another way of looking at it.

Sleep Coach

Friday, August 8, 2014

Interesting Day at the Office

Today, I learned that I need to know so much more than I think I think that I know and that not knowing can sometimes feel like a huge disability, especially when the person in front of me wants me to change their life - good luck with that one.

To be honest it was one of those days where the perception of a colleague that "Aaron knows how to do this" - based on seeing me work on something completely unrelated to the issue that was presented - leading to a referral turned out to be - thankfully - a massive learning for me.

Think I will open a cafe. Sell coffee, play loud music - Dirty Three - Really Loud https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hx8A_iiZr0Q

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Sleep research and Better Sleep Sooner

Sleep is under the magnifying glass at the moment and a good thing too. 

Nearly 50% of people worldwide report that they experience sleep deprivation. When we consider that sleep deprivation can leave you literally drunk reducing your cognitive skills, memory and ability to 'do' stuff like drive a car... just to name a few. 
Health issues such as obesity have been related to a lack of sleep. 
"Roenneberg and the psychologist Marc Wittmann have found that the chronic mismatch between biological and social sleep time comes at a high cost: alcohol, cigarette, and caffeine use increase—and each hour of social jetlag correlates with a roughly thirty-three per cent greater chance of obesity. “The practice of going to sleep and waking up at ‘unnatural’ times,” Roenneberg says, “could be the most prevalent high-risk behaviour in modern society.”"  http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/snoozers-are-in-fact-losers

I could go on. It is not rocket science; when we don't get enough sleep we begin to feel bad and regardless of the research, the trick to knowing if you have had enough sleep or not is to notice how you feel when you wake up in the morning.

Here is the thing. There is a huge amount of research on the web about sleep hygiene, just do a google search and you will find all you need to know about how to improve you 'context' for sleeping, and what we now know about context and its influence on genetic activity  would suggest that context has a huge influence on our mental and emotional wellbeing. However what happens if you do it all right and yet continue to have difficulty sleeping?

Gratuitous self promotion alert!

Read Better Sleep Sooner.There is not enough information about how to change your thoughts and feelings about sleep and getting to sleep and the reason for that is: very few people know how to do it, and very few people have spent time and energy to 'model' - research and generate mental strategies - good sleeping strategies and then teach them to others. 

One strategy I am talking about for instance would be, what to do when the self-aggrandising thought demon rolls into town? Talking trash, worrying you sick and creating anxiety where ever it goes. This little demon can literally destroy sleep. 

Better Sleep Sooner helps you to tame the little demon in seconds and at the same time explains why it turns up when it does and why your belief about it could be one reason why it is ruining your sleep.

Heres a hint: when you lie down to begin the sleep process, your mind and body move into a natural healing cycle. 

There are so many ways to 'reframe' your experiences in bed and so many of them are in this book.

If you have any questions of comments, contact me today.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Best Alarm Clock I have ever seen.

For those who find it very difficult to wake up and then get up in the morning this is the answer for you.

For more realistic (and less technical options) email me today and lets see how i can help with your sleeping - or waking - issues.


Wake up when you get up... please!

After a long and passionate discussion with my wife and daughter this morning over breakfast about 'getting up when we wake up' it was on my mind all day. Because I have been working with sleep for a number of years now I have become more and more fascinated by this essential and yet still quite misunderstood part of our lives.

I was listening to the National Radio this after noon - The Panel with Jim Mora http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/thepanel and there was discussion about new research the tells us - OMG- the obvious! And that is: How you feel when you wake up in the morning will tell you whether you had enough sleep or not. Research tells us this. Mmmm

So, I pull over and google something about research and bla bla bla and google came up with this http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/snoozers-are-in-fact-losers - a very good article about sleep and getting too much, not enough etc Second paragraph into the article by Maria Konnikova

"It may seem like you’re giving yourself a few extra minutes to collect your thoughts. But what you’re actually doing is making the wake-up process more difficult and drawn out. If you manage to drift off again, you are likely plunging your brain back into the beginning of the sleep cycle, which is the worst point to be woken up—and the harder we feel it is for us to wake up, the worse we think we’ve slept."

I have been telling people about this for ages and do believe that I posted a piece of research about the fact that if we 'slumber' we may indeed invite a dose of sleep inducing pharmacology into our body leaving us somewhat wanting of energy and focus.

Enough about me. This is a great article and well worth the time.
It discusses the very real issues with sleeping (or not) against the natural rhythms of nature.

Read and share.


Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Free Seminar in Lyttelton

I have a free seminar booked for the 14th May at the Lyttelton Harbour Information Centre, 20 Oxford Street, Lyttelton.

I will be talking about strategies for getting to sleep and back to sleep at night and also tools and strategies for creating more of what you want in life.

This is a free seminar with a Koha for refreshments.

If you want to know any more about the seminar contact me any time.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Are your driving and 'living' drunk?

It seems to be a fact - proven by science, that if we are not getting enough sleep, we are literally becoming drunk. "After 17 hours of being awake, your cognitive and motor skills resemble those of someone who is intoxicated." New Scientist The Collection - Issue One

If you are awake for longer than 18 hours, your level of intoxication is outside the legal limits to drive. This, if you think about it, is a very interesting scenario. How many of us are running at full speed throughout the day and not finding it easy to get the 7-9 hours sleep required? 

In another study is has been found that 2 weeks of less than 7 hours sleep each night will leave us drunk. As drunk as someone with 10 - 20 mg.s of alcohol in their system. Wow! http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17Sleep-t.html?_r=0

In the US once again - no shortage of research funding there - 30% of workers get less than 6 hours sleep a night. Mmmm makes you wonder. http://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-news/cdc-study-finds-30-american-workers-sleep-less-six-hours-night

In the US 100,000 accidents happen a year related to fatigue. http://drowsydriving.org/about/facts-and-stats/

Think of times when you have not had enough sleep and what has happened to your ability to think 'straight', it's not a good look. 

It may be time to consider either taking power naps during the day or getting to bed a little earlier at night, say 10 pm. Kick the 'media' out of the bedroom, switch all that stuff off and get is to bed to RELAX, REST, and notice what happens. 

More to come.

Rest well


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What do you Believe about your Sleep? What if you didn't?

Its is no surprise anymore that our beliefs influence our lives. Look at the international issues at present and historically. Most of the issues we face are fueled by a difference in belief be it political, religious, environmental or personal, beliefs tend to set us on a specific and often inflexible path that excludes those with different beliefs, or at least allows for little flexibility with regards to 'conflicting' beliefs.

Why is this important? On a personal scale, the way we think and the beliefs we hold about any aspect of our lives will mean that that part of our life will be influenced by those beliefs. Sleep is influenced by our beliefs.

Example: if I believe that tonight is going to be a difficult one for sleep, then the 'state' of mind and body, the bits that will be doing the sleep, will respond do and act upon that belief. It is almost like: the belief we have generates the environment required for that belief to unfold.

Dr Bruce Lipton in his book 'Biology of Belief' discusses this influence that our beliefs have at length, to the point where it has been demonstrated that the thoughts and beliefs we have can actually influence the way our DNA are activated and how our cells are motivated.

On a day to day level, think about times when you have believed that the meeting, party or event you are going to attend is going to be uncomfortable, annoying or just plain dull. Remember what happened to your body when you started to believe that. Remember what happened to your energy levels and levels of motivation when you believed the worse.

Now think of the opposite: a time when you know or at least believe that you are going to have a good time. Notice what happens to you energy and level of motivation.

These physical changes are based on your belief of the upcoming event. The event hasn't happened yet and you are already 'creating' a physical response.

Now think about sleep.
What do you believe about tonights sleep? How do you visualise how that is going to go? Are you basing your beliefs on what happened last night and the night before?
What happens to your energy and motivation, your expectations and feelings when you hold this belief?

Now what if you decided to believe something different like, 'Well, what if I just got into bed and lay there resting?' or 'I wonder what it will be like to just wake up in the morning feeling good?' or 'I wonder how I can just relax and allow myself to rest and dream a little so that I wake in the morning feeling refreshed?'

I want you to notice that in actually fact, you don't need to believe anything. The truth is, you don't need to believe anything at all to wake up in the morning feeling great. What if you just got into bed and noticed your body resting without putting any heavy duty expectations and beliefs on it. Just Rest.

That would suggest to your mind and body that it can just relax now and let nature do its thing... you know... rest.

Rest Well

May Workshop

Better Sleep Sooner 3 Week Workshop

Starts 8th May. (Limited to 20 participants)

Can’t get to sleep or back to sleep at night? 
Waking up in the early hours 
and wondering why?
Feeling anxious about sleep?

Want to wake up feeling refreshed?

If any of these questions push your buttons
then the BetterSleepSooner workshop is for you.
  • Where: Helios Integrative Medical Centre, 275 Fifield Terrace, Opawa
  • Dates: Thursday 8th, 15th & 22th May
  • Time: 7pm - 9pm
  • Cost: $135 ($45/evening workshop)
  • Payment: 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

The BetterSleepSooner Workshop begins 10th April

Learn the simple, powerful tools and strategies for taking control of your sleep at the BetterSleepSooner workshop starting 10th April.

It is going to be fun and very useful, not only for sleep, for daily living as well.

  • Where: Helios Integrative Medical Centre, 275 Fifield Terrace, Opawa
  • Dates: Thursday 10th, 17th & 24th April
  • Time: 7pm - 9pm
  • Cost: $135 ($45/evening workshop)
Contact Aaron today to book your place. (spaces are limited)
021 167 5150 or email
or visit facebook to attend event

Rest well

Friday, March 14, 2014

Special Offer for World Sleep Day

Book a Skype appointment today for any sleep issue and your second 'follow-up' appointment is Free.

That simple.

Tell a friend.
EMail me today

Rest well

World Sleep Day

It is World Sleep Day!

I don't know if that means we are allowed to sleep all day, we should think about sleep all day or it's just a day of recognition of sleep and the issues, research and joy of sleep, to name a few.

My take on it is this: REST.

Rest during the day: day dream, power-nap, nanna nap, meditate, visualise... do what ever you can to take moments of rest so that your bucket of stress is not full when you get to bed.

Sleep works better when we take a nap, meditate, learn to relax, do some yoga, practice self contemplation... you name it.

Here is a great trick.
The mind does its things like waves on the ocean. We have mind-body rhythmns called 'Ultradian Rhythmns' and thes occur about every 90 minutes or at least many times a day. Dr Ernest Rossi in his research into mind/body healing has demonstrated that these rhythms are key to our general health and wellbeing. To ignore these messages of 'low' moments is to ignore the natural healing rhythms that occur throughout the day, which in turn creates stress and imbalance.

It is fascinating work into the mind-body connection and how simple it can be to improve your sleep and your general wellbeing.

Rest well

Monday, March 10, 2014

Legally Drunk - due to lack of sleep

How much sleep do we really need? A long asked question that has - after a very long study - been answered... we think.
David Dinges, from the University of Pennsylvania, is a sleep and chronobiology researched. He has been testing large groups of people in the lab to find out what happens to people when they have specific amounts of sleep each night.
Three groups were set up where some slept for 4 hours, 6 hours of 8 hours. And over two weeks the groups had to complete certain tasks designed to measure alertness, mental aptitude etc.
"Every two hours during the day, the researchers tested the subjects’ ability to sustain attention with what’s known as the psychomotor vigilance task, or P.V.T., considered a gold standard of sleepiness measures. During the P.V.T., the men and women sat in front of computer screens for 10-minute periods, pressing the space bar as soon as they saw a flash of numbers at random intervals. Even a half-second response delay suggests a lapse into sleepiness, known as a microsleep." *1
"All told, by the end of two weeks, the six-hour sleepers were as impaired as those who, in another Dinges study, had been sleep-deprived for 24 hours straight — the cognitive equivalent of being legally drunk." *2
So heres the thing. Get more sleep! There is too much research today suggesting that sleep is good (understatement alert) that it makes sense to get to bed early.
The links below lead to more explanatory information and yet the answer to the question: How much sleep do we need? seems to be obvious... lots.
*1: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17Sleep-t.html?_r=0
*2: http://www.bakadesuyo.com/2011/04/how-little-sleep-can-you-get-away-with/

Rest well

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Thinking about Sleep - those thoughts really matter.

The thoughts you have about sleep are effecting it!
Have you ever wondered how powerful the effect of your thinking is when it comes to sleep?
How many times have you woken up thinking that your sleep may have been somewhat lacking? And how would you know it was lacking? Because you are remembering the waking up and 'trying' to get back to sleep moments.

Have you considered that the way we look back at our sleep defines how we think about it and depending on how we 'think' we slept, those thoughts will influence the sleep we had. - Was that confusing or what?
Let me put it this way: when we only remember the bad stuff about an event, then those bad memories will influence the way we think about the event, and possibly our decisions about attending such an event again. Sleep is not different and yet very different.

Sleep is different because it is an unconscious state. You don't generally know that you are asleep. So when you look back a how you slept, you can only grade it on the awake moments. The awake moments are the only bits you can remember and they aren't necessarily what you want to remember. By only remembering the 'awake' bits and how you feel/felt about them you are influencing what you believe about your sleep.

I look back and notice that I have thought that I have not slept well because I have woken two or three times in the night. In honesty, I woke for minutes at most and then drifted back to sleep. All I could remember in the morning was the awake bits.

So, change the way you remember sleep and notice that you can acknowledge the times you woke up in a new way. They are moments or minutes within a period of unconscious sleep. Those wakeful moments/minutes were moments when you body needed to readjust or use the toilet. They may have been moments when you subconscious - always aware of sounds at night - was alerted by a shift in sound. This is a sign that your subconscious is doing what it is designed to do... keep you safe.

One more consideration. If, when you wake in the night, you keep the lights low (try not to use lighting) then you mental state will stay in the dreamy, sleep state so that when you return to bed you can rest easily and drift off again.

Rest well

What time to get to bed at night?

Timing is everything!
Ayurveda Pitha Vatha Kapha for a better sleep sooner
Pitha Vatha Kapha
for a Better Sleep Sooner

When it comes to a waking up having had a 'great sleep', so much can depend on timing.

In Ayurveda, an ancient and widely used form of holistic healthcare originating in India, it is believed that aligning ones daily activity with the vibrational movements of nature can lead to a more balanced and healthy life.

In a nutshell, there are three periods to the day, Pitha 10-2(am/pm) Vatha 2-6(am/pm) and Kapha 6-10(am/pm).
Pitta time is the time of the evening when the metabolism is at its highest and in the middle of the night that means it is the best time to be in a deep sleep - so that the body can do what it is designed to do (eliminate, rebalance, heal, detox, etc).

So, to put it simply, getting your head on the pillow before 10pm, especially if sleep is an issue in your life, is the key to dropping into a deep and healthy sleep so that the healing that come from a deep sleep can occur.

Becoming aware of the timing of sleep can have a massive influence on the depth and the power of the sleep that we get. In the end it is all about how we feel during the day.

Ayurveda on wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayurveda
Image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ayurveda_humors.svg#filelinks