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Next time try Art Therapy for Sleep

  • 18 February 2018
  • By Shveta Bhagat

Did you know art can be used to heal and even cure insomnia? Especially with those who are not able to successfully express themselves through speech or writing, art is a great outlet, and doesn't matter how you fare at it. A blank canvas and colours at hand are all you need to help you create your own mood board, uplift spirits, liberate yourself and get into a restful zone.

Art is considered to be very meditative and can put people at ease, helping with sleep and overall well being. Artist Shifali Nitu Mehra who runs Art wonder, an art school for all ages, says, “Through the creative process of art, children are honed in better social and motor skills. Adults are treated for depression and everyone benefits as art invigorates the mind and relaxes you completely.”

Colouring books are not just for children but for adults as well. Clip arts and colouring sheets of famous works by great artists egg you on to try your hand and “feel better”. Creating artwork is known to help you realise your feelings better, come in touch with reality, be more accepting of yourself, overcome fears and even acquire confidence. Letting your emotions run wild on paper with colours and forms of your choice, liberates as well as delights the heart. Once you are more in control and enjoying yourself, you worry less and can sleep better too. According to Shifali, “As an art therapist I first identify the issue and accordingly pick the clip art and formulate an art module. I let everyone have the freedom to pick the colours they like. Overtime I see the choice of colours changing to brighter shades as my students begin to feel more confident or happier in general. This also translates into them sleeping well and keeping better health.” The technique used by art therapists for healing adults is called, ‘The Therapeutic Science of Adult Colouring’.

A lot of people with cancer and other diseases in fact seek help of an art therapist to cope with life. A lot of hospitals internationally even tie up with art therapists to keep patients engaged and cheerful. Art relieves stress and helps beat the blues with a wide palette of colours at your disposal and outlines waiting to be filled with your selection of blends. Just the satisfaction of having created something and looking at what it has come to be, makes it worth it. Not to forget the happy distraction that takes your mind off the mundane and unpleasant, giving you the opportunity to lead a better life.

So next time you can’t sleep remember to doodle. Take out your art pad and scribble away. Imbue it with colours. Look at your creation. Smile to yourself and you’ll be welcomed some more in lala land.


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