Dealing with Insomnia with Hypnotherapy
If you have trouble sleeping, you are not alone. It is estimated that 50% of us struggle to get good quality sleep whether it’s due to restless legs, tossing and turning, having trouble dropping off or waking up during the night and being unable to nod off again.
Quality sleep is crucial to our wellbeing as while asleep, our muscles repair, our liver and lungs detoxify, and thyroid and hormone levels become balanced. The healing that takes place during quality sleep is not just physical but mental and emotional too. Quality of sleep then affects the quality of our waking life, our productivity, emotional balance, creativity, physical ability and even our weight. Thomas’s own experience of depression echoes research that identifies poor sleep patterns as contributing factor or exacerbating the condition.
Modern life can be messy and frantic and the good positive energy which comes from a good resting, restoring and renewal is necessary to allow us to deal with life’s ups and downs. The stressful nature of modern life sees many of us relying on stress hormones, particularly adrenaline, to get through the day. Over production of such hormones means our nervous system goes into survival mode and sleep becomes difficult as if not conducive to survival.
There are five stages of sleep. The total cycle lasts about 90 minutes and we repeat the cycle four or five times a night.
This is when we first settle down and close our eyes and go into the state of wakefulness and falling asleep then drift down into a light sleep letting go of tension.
Light sleep deepens as we become disengaged from our surroundings. Breathing and heart rate are regular as our body temperature drops.
Stages 3 and 4
This is the deepest and most restorative stage as breathing slows, blood pressure drops, muscles relax and energy is restored and tissue growth and repair occurs.
REM sleep (rapid eye movement). This is where we dream (all of us dream but often forget them on waking). It typically occurs 80 minutes after the onset of sleep and recurs about every 90 minutes. REM sleep provides energy to the brain and body. Information from the day is filed and co-ordinated in the brain.
Quality of sleep is more important than the length. If we have any anxieties, worries or unresolved issues, these become apparent in REM sleep and can lead to the individual staying longer in this stage. Consequently, the individual will spend less time in the restorative, renewing stages 3 and 4 and so on waking will not feel refreshed.
Always check with your GP initially if you are experiencing sleep problems or insomnia as there may be contributing, underlying medical issues. However, medical sleep aids are by nature habit forming. Meanwhile, hypnosis can often help you avoid dependence on medication and assist in achieving quality sleep naturally.
As hypnosis is such a deeply relaxing experience bordering on sleep, this means it has the potential to allow us to live our lives with more positive energy. In fact, the word ‘hypnosis’ is derived from the Greek word ‘hypnos’ meaning sleep. Relearning how to relax body and mind (our natural born state) with the guidance of the hypnotherapist can help you to go on to achieve the soothing relaxed state necessary for quality sleep. Whilst in the hypnotic state, the client can access and lift the unconscious mental and emotional blocks which prevent quality sleep and encourage problem solving during waking hours.