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26th Feb 2024

Is EFT Tapping the secret to a good night’s sleep?

Jody Coffey


Whether it’s an every night occurrence, or a one-night thing, when you can’t sleep you’ll do just about anything to doze off.

From medicine to meditation, many living with sleep disturbances feel the effects of the night before in their daily lives.

But what if there was another way?

Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) Tapping has had a 911 per cent increase in Google searches in the last three months, according to MattressNextDay.

With that, the term/question ‘Why can’t I sleep?’ has seen a 5,900 per cent increase in Google searches.

Can the two go hand-in-hand? The sleep experts say they can.

Credit: Getty

The science behind EFT Tapping and how it can help sleep

Sleep Expert, Martin Seeley, from MattressNextDay, says the science behind EFT Tapping indicates that it is key to a good night’s sleep.

Studies have shown that EFT Tapping can significantly help sleeping patterns, as well as decreasing anxiety – which may lead to sleep disturbance – and increasing happiness.

Martin explains that this is caused by EFT influencing certain parts of the brain, the amygdala and hippocampus to be exact, and calms the nervous system.

“How we feel emotionally often manifests in physical form. For example, when we feel scared, the heart beats faster, when hear music that ‘moves us’, we get goosebumps and when we are nervous, we may vomit. This is the mind/body connection at work,” he explains.

“Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a therapy that ‘taps’ into this connection to restore both emotional and physical wellbeing. “

Martin adds that the ‘limbic system’ part of our brain plays a key role in our behaviour, particularly 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.”

Research has shown 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.

EFT calms the nervous system and helps diminish the negative emotions that are keeping us from sleeping.

Credit: Getty

There are two forms of EFT

The one we are talking about focuses on the psychology of exposure therapy; seeing participants repeat certain phrases that work to shift a person’s feelings and perspective towards the subject that they are tapping about. 

The other uses the beliefs found in ancient medicines, stimulating the body’s meridian points, like acupressure.

How to tap

The first step to EFT Tapping is to acknowledge your concerns: In this case, sleep.

Set a benchmark: Measure a concern from one to 10; one is you feeling the worst you could feel about the concern and is 10 feeling great, free of it altogether. This can help track progress without any pressure.

Build a phrase: Chose one that identifies what you wish to resolve and declares that you accept yourself despite the challenges you face.

According to Martin, a common phrase used by those who practice EFT and wish to heal their sleeping patterns is: ‘Even though I cannot sleep as easy as I would like, I choose to love and accept myself’ – choose a phrase that is specific to you.

Finally, start tapping. 

“Begin by tapping the ‘karate chop’ point at the side of your hand and repeat your phrase 3 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 the round 3x minimum and return to the benchmark that you set at the beginning.

Eventually, if incorporated into a nightly ritual, you will see your positivity towards sleep improve, easing the pressure and making it easier to fall asleep, according to Martin.

The beauty of EFT Tapping is that it can be used for any area of life by intentionally choosing a concern amending the phrase that you are tapping to.