Insomnia is thought to affect one in 3 people in the UK, with sufferers finding it difficult to get to sleep, having interrupted sleep, waking early, and having difficulty concentrating and feeling tired and irritable during the day.
With the ever growing pressures of modern life it can be incredibly difficult to switch off and get restful sleep.
There is a growing body of research which suggests that sleep deprivation causes many physiological changes in the body leading to insulin sensitivity loss, the stress hormone cortisol rising, and the immune system becoming less effective. These changes mean that insomnia sufferers are more likely to contract Type II diabetes and become obese. There is also recent research that shows that sleep loss causes a buildup of the types of proteins in the brain that are linked to the acceleration of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
During REM sleep one of the stress-related chemicals in the brain, noradrenalin, stops being produced. It is theorised that this change in the brain chemistry allows us to remain calm while our brain reprocess all the experiences of the day. A lack of quality REM sleep can lead to feelings of anxiety and depression, and those feelings of anxiety and depression in turn can mean even less sleep the following nights.
So how do we get more sleep? “Hypnotherapy and hypnosis can help us overcome patterns of sleep disturbance” says the NCH. Engaging in good sleep hygiene is particularly important for insomnia sufferers. This means creating a good pre-bedtime ritual which encourages sleep by limiting exposure to blue light (from TVs, phones and other electronics), allowing enough time to wind down after exercise and making sure your sleeping area is comfortable, dark and quiet.
If you have tried all this and are still struggling to consistently have a good nights sleep it is important to speak to your doctor to eliminate any physical causes. Your doctor may prescribe a range of interventions aimed at helping you sleep, including suggesting hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy for insomnia can help you find and tackle the root cause of your insomnia.
If you have suffered from insomnia for a long period of time, patterns of sleep disturbances can become embedded in your subconscious. Hypnosis for insomnia aims to communicate with this and suggest positive changes, allowing you to sleep comfortably.
Need help in sleeping? Find a hypnotherapist near you by using the NCH’s directory.