Why EFT tapping could be the secret to a good night's sleep

Stress relief techniques. Happy calm African American woman using EFT tapping to relieve stress and anxiety, touching face with fingertips. Emotional Freedom Technique
EFT tapping could lead to a better night's sleep. (Getty Images)

Sleep is imperative to our wellbeing, so we’ll do (almost) anything to ensure we get a good night’s rest. The latest trend for better sleep? EFT tapping.

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a therapy that’s said to be used by Lily Allen, Fearne Cotton, and even Queen Camilla for various reasons, but it can also help you get some better shut-eye.

The technique has seen a boost in popularity recently, with Google Trend data showing a 911% uplift in searches in the past three months alone.

"How we feel emotionally often manifests in physical form. For example, when we feel scared, our heart beats faster, when we hear music that ‘moves us’, we get goosebumps and when we are nervous, we may vomit. This is the mind/body connection at work. EFT is a therapy that ‘taps’ into this connection to restore both emotional and physical wellbeing," sleep expert Martin Seeley of MattressNextDay explains.

How EFT tapping can result in better sleep

Seeley says that it’s the limbic system of our brain that is responsible for our fight-or-flight response.

"Poor sleep hygiene interrupts the connection between the limbic system and prefrontal cortex, igniting our ‘flight response’, sparking feelings of anxiety, anger, and frustration. These feelings disrupt sleep, and a vicious cycle begins," he adds.

"Research shows that tapping affects the amygdala, the part of the brain that processes emotions, whilst suppressing the stress hormone cortisol and increasing the feel-good hormone serotonin. Also working to calm the central nervous system, EFT helps diminish the negative emotions that are keeping you from sleep."

Seeley adds that other studies have also found that EFT tapping can influence the hippocampus, the part of the brain that helps to control our learning and memory.

Emotional freedom technique (EFT)
EFT tapping involves tapping parts of your hands and face. (Getty Images)

"EFT not only eases negative emotions but encourages the participant to adopt a new outlook on negative memories," he adds. "In fact, recent research showed that EFT decreased anxiety by 40% and blood pressure by 8% whilst increasing happiness by 31% and immune markers by 113%."

How to implement EFT tapping

So, now you know why EFT tapping can help you to sleep, it’s probably time to understand exactly how to do it.

"Firstly, you must recognise your concern, pinpointing it specifically, in this case, sleep. Set a benchmark from 1 to 10. One is you feeling the worst you could feel about the concern and is 10 feeling great, free of it altogether. Setting a benchmark is a great way to monitor progress without any pressure," Seeley explains.

"Secondly, build a phrase that identifies what you wish to resolve and declares that you accept yourself despite the challenges you face. Commonly, those that practice EFT and wish to heal their sleeping patterns choose: ‘Even though I cannot sleep as easy as I would like, I choose to love and accept myself’. You must ensure that the phrase is specific to you and doesn’t account for anyone else’s feelings or involvement in your sleeping habits."

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
You can use the Emotional Freedom Technique for anxiety and depression too. (Getty Images)

Now, it’s time to start tapping. Seeley says you should begin by tapping the ‘karate chop’ point at the side of your hand and repeat your phrase three times.

Then tap on the following, each time repeating the phrase:

  • Outer eye

  • Inner corner of the eye

  • Top of mouth

  • Chin

  • Collarbone

  • Underarm

  • Top of head

"Repeat this three times at a minimum and return to the benchmark that you set at the beginning. Readjusting the scale if necessary. Eventually, you will see your positivity towards sleep improve, easing the pressure and making it easier to fall asleep," he says.

"Incorporate EFT tapping into your nightly routine to receive its full effect and remember, the practice doesn’t have to be limited to sleep."

EFT has also been shown to help with anxiety, depression, phobias, and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to recent studies.

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