Help your body restore your sleep

My Sleep Better Program might be right for you IF YOU...

  • are struggling to fall asleep or keep waking up throughout the night;
  • feeling constantly tired from the lack of sleep;
  • tried different sleep remedies but still have the same problem;
  • have no idea what is happening and what can help,

BUT

  • suspect that chronic stress or trauma can be causing your problem, and you
  • would like to take care of it safely and naturally,

OR

  • you’ve heard of somatics and would like to try a body-mind approach to resolve your sleep issue.

 

(Note: My Sleep Better program will NOT be suitable for you if your sleep problem is caused by a medical condition or if you are on mood altering medications.)

Hi, I’m Elena, a trauma-informed somatic practitioner.

First, let me tell you that I know first-hand how awful it is to be living with insomnia that just wouldn’t go away no matter what you do. Disturbed sleep is a problem I’m intimately familiar with and I can assure you that there is a way out of it.

You can read about me and my story here.

But before we dive into the solution, let me share my understanding of what can be causing the problem.

Your Nervous System and Your Sleep

To understand your sleep problem, it’s important to have a quick overview of your nervous system, specifically the autonomic nervous system responsible for the bodily functions that happen automatically.

The autonomic nervous system has two branches – the sympathetic branch responsible for arousal and mobilization, and the parasympathetic one responsible for deactivation and settling.

Resilient Nervous System

Sleep Better Program - Resilient Nervous System

Our mental and emotional health follows the state of the nervous system. And a resilient nervous system is much like a river. It flows seamlessly between sympathetic and parasympathetic states, activation and settling, charge and discharge within a “manageable range”. When it happens, there’s a deep, internal sense of well-being, emotional stability, confidence, clear thinking, aliveness, trust in oneself and others.

And even when it gets into high activation due to some form of stress, once the cause of activation is gone, the body and the nervous system naturally releases the charge and comes down into the ‘soft’ parasympathetic state.

Our bodies are designed to be in the ‘easy’ sympathetic state during the day – alert and active, while at night to settle into a deeper parasympathetic state for rest and recuperation.

Over-activated Nervous System - what happens when you can’t sleep

Sleep Better Program - Over-activated Nervous System

The nervous system becomes over-activated when there’s too much stimulation for normal resiliency to process, or if something happens too fast or too soon. Many stressful or traumatic events can trigger such over-activation, and the symptoms that follow are biologically predictable. When the arousal level goes really high up, you can experience a range of strong emotions along with physical symptoms which are typical for insomniacs.

When you can’t sleep you feel anxious, frustrated and restless, your heart beats fast and your breath is shallow (sympathetic, fight-or-flight state). However, when these emotions and sensations become too overwhelming, you may feel hopeless, depressed, numb or exhausted (‘hard’ parasympathetic, freeze state).

Your recurring sleep problem or insomnia happens when your nervous system gets stuck in either freeze or fight-or-flight mode. It fluctuates between these two states, unable to go down the curve to settle into the rest-and-digest state for a healthy sleep. This is when you feel wired and tired, yet cannot rest. Your body perceives to be under constant threat with your survival physiology running the show.

Trauma-Informed Somatic Approach

(main block of the Sleep Better program)

somatic body oriented bottom up approach

The trauma-informed somatic approach of the Sleep Better Program recognizes that the cause of the over-activation can be prolonged/ acute stress or trauma. This means that your body remains in the survival mode and needs to feel SAFE to let go of these survival mechanisms. These survival responses do not distinguish between real or perceived threat and are almost fully automatic. This is why you cannot reason yourself out of being stressed, worried or anxious and think yourself into sleep.

The trauma-informed somatic approach focuses on helping you go down the activation curve gradually and safely following the rhythm of your nervous system. It means, working in a back and forth manner by engaging your BODY – pendulating between activation and settling. To facilitate this process, it is important to find to internal and external resources to make difficult emotions and sensations seem less overwhelming. This way you’ll learn to face these emotions and sensations and release them, one small portion at a time. 

It’s not a quick fix though. We need to allow time for the emotional and/or physical release to happen in a titrated, safe and regulated way. This is when you will start to experience a deeper felt sense of relief and relaxation, eventually leading to better sleep.

The premises of the trauma-informed somatic approach

You body is intelligent

Your body and your nervous system have a set of automatic protective mechanisms or survival responses that are designed to guard you from threat (real or perceived). It is important to understand these responses, working with them as opposed to trying to suppress them;

Your body is your guide

Your body and your nervous system communicates through physical sensations. Think of them as messengers – once you become really familiar with them, you’ll be able to determine pretty accurately where on the activation curve you are. This is important because different levels of activation and states need to be approached differently;

Your body is a healer

Your body has innate capacity to regulate and heal itself, and it strives for homeostasis. Our job is not to fix it, but to help it restore/ build resilience to stimuli. This way your nervous system can come back to its natural flowing state, capable of withstanding stress and naturally returning to a restful state.

Cognitive Behavioral Approach

(complementary block of the Sleep Better program)

While the trauma-informed somatic approach helps to take care of the automatic responses, calm the mind and release the excess charge from the body, cognitive behavioral approach aims to support your nervous system through conscious actions and changes

In my Sleep Better Program I incorporate elements of the CBT-I (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia) adapted to complement the trauma-informed somatic block of the program. These elements will include revising certain daytime and nighttime habits, as well as addressing unhelpful thoughts and beliefs that can be another source of activation in your nervous system preventing you from sleeping well.

This complementary block will help to tackle your sleep problem from a different angle to ensure lasting results.

SLEEP BETTER Program

Stage 1 – Assessment:

Schedule a FREE Assessment Call and complete my Sleep Survey. During the call we’ll discuss your situation and based on the information you share and the answers in your survey, you’ll get your free Personal Session Plan. Your Personal Session Plan will outline the main areas we’d need to focus on and work through to help you with your sleep problem.

Stage 2 – Supported work:

Once you have your Personal Session Plan, you will also receive the details to purchase the package of the Sleep Better Program that suits your needs and book your private sessions wit me. The sessions will follow the trauma-informed somatic approach and will include tools from Somatic Experiencing, EFT tapping and trauma-informed yoga

The goal of the sessions is to help you find resources to support and regulate your nervous system so that you can safely release your worries and frustration, and move through restlessness, exhaustion and other difficult emotions and sensations. 

As a result, you will experience relief and a deeper sense of relaxation. You will start restoring the trust in your own body, and start building resilience to stress.

Stage 3 – Independent work:

This is an essential part of the Sleep Better program and requires you to make simple changes within your control. It means you’d need to reconsider your sleeping habits and reduce unnecessary stimulation that prevents you from having peaceful sleep. We’ll work on it together through weekly email coaching based on the cognitive behavioral approach. Once a week, you’ll receive an email with a video to help you understand your sleep issue, identify unhelpful habits, thoughts and beliefs that interfere with your sleep and suggestions on how you can change them.

"Show me how!"
Package

I’ll show you how you can start befriending your body and your nervous system to restore your sleep. 
Experience a felt sense of relief and clarity, understand your sleeplessness pattern & learn how to approach it on your own.
1-month program
 
Who is it for:

Those whose sleep problem is fairly recent AND/ OR who need support and guidance in tackling this problem on their own.

What’s included:

Assessment + Personal Session Plan

Supported Work: 4 x 90 mins Private Sessions

Follow-up written account after each session

Independent Work: weekly coaching emails and videos with detailed advice (working with habits)

Bonus:

1 month of unlimited support over email/ messenger

Follow up 21 days after the program to evaluate the results.

Investment:

420 USD  

"Deep Transformation"
Package

Sleep Better - 2 months
I’ll guide you on this mind-body transformation journey to release old patterns and reclaim your sleep. 
Let go of layers of past stress and trauma, feel calmer, more relaxed & more in control of you health and well-being.
2-month program
 
Who is it for:

Those who’ve had their sleep problem for years AND/ OR seek help in addressing past trauma and need full support along the way.

What’s included:

Assessment + Personal Session Plan

Supported Work: 8 x 90 mins Private Sessions

Follow-up written account after each session

Independent: weekly coaching emails and videos with detailed advice (habits and beliefs)

Bonus:

2 month of unlimited support over email/ messenger

Follow up 21 days after the program to evaluate the results.

Investment:

800 USD

What my past clients say:

"When I reached out I was having a problem of waking up continuously throughout the night, waking up in the morning not feeling rested and exhausted. Some days I felt more tired waking up than I did going to bed.

Since working through this program I’ve had changes in my sleep patterns. Some nights I have been sleeping right through and waking up feeling rested. Before it, practically every night was a restless night, but at the moment I am experiencing every 3rd night or so as a restless one.

There's that saying that the knowledge lives within, and I think that is very true, we just need to learn to listen. This program has taught me to listen to my body, to pay attention to what it is saying. We live life so fast that we never actually live in the moment. By consciously focusing on my sleep problem and analyzing my triggers I have been able to put in place routines and small adjustments which seem to be working.

Elena has a great skill of being able to ask questions that give enlightening answers. Also, she shares knowledge of sleep and works with different tools. I really enjoyed her sessions and would 100% recommend this program."
Sandra
Sandra Lynne Mitchell
South Africa/ Provins, France
Ready to see if it’s a good fit for you? 
Schedule a 20-minute Assessment Call with me, complete the Sleep Survey and get your Personal Session Plan after the call.
It’s totally FREE!