Worries about weight loss and dieting seem to be very much a part of modern life and with obesity rates ever increasing, weight loss is on most peoples’ minds.
Hypnotherapy is a proven weight loss treatment and members of the National Council for Hypnotherapy have good success rates in helping clients lose weight and, as a result, suffer less anxiety, stress and feel better about themselves.
It is a known fact that the UK has a problem with obesity.
The government and the NHS rightly believe that for the health of the nation, levels of obesity need to be reduced.
So there are many diets, eating recommendations, calorie-counters and the like out there, all trying to help people lose weight. But many diets and fads seem to have little or no success.
Numerous studies have shown a significant association between short sleep duration and being overweight or obese in both children and adults.
And this could well be the key – and where hynotherapists can play an important role.
Poor sleep patterns have been shown to affect the brain areas responsible for complex decision-making and response to rewards causing many to favour unhealthy foods.
Poor sleep also causes changes in the levels of hunger hormones.
There is a decrease in the level of leptin – which regulates food intake and signals when the body has had enough food, while the level of ghrelin – which stimulates appetite, fat production and body growth – rises.
Insomnia is the disturbance of a normal sleep pattern, and it’s estimated that approximately one in four people will suffer from the condition at some point in their life. Sleep is a state of consciousnesses, which gives an individual time to rest and build up their strength.
Insomnia can leave people feeling drained and exhausted, resulting in poor performance at work, lack of concentration and irritability.
Hypnotherapy is often an effective treatment for those suffering from insomnia.
Hypnotherapy can help an individual to relax, both mentally and physically, using varying relaxation techniques. Hypnotherapy can also help an individual to understand some of the causes of insomnia and sleeping problems.
Many people suffering from insomnia believe they are not going to be able to sleep, which often means they don’t. Hypnotherapy can help to re-educate an individuals mind to expect a good night’s sleep.
Dr Neil Stanley, an independent sleep expert, says getting a good night’s rest is important.
The conventional line regarding excessive eating, he says, is we are all victims of the ‘aggressive advertising’ and ‘easy availability’ of sugary and fatty foods.
He says: “I believe that it is more than coincidence that, over the last 40 years, as there has been a reduction in our sleep duration, there has also been a rise is the number of people who are overweight or obese.”
Using fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging), poor sleep has been shown to affect the brain areas responsible for complex decision-making and response to rewards causing us to favour unhealthy foods.
Research suggests this causes 24% high feelings of hunger, a 23% increase in overall appetite but a 33% increased desire for high-fat, high-carbohydrate foods making us feel that we have had insufficient food and thus encouraging us to increase food intake.
Short sleep has also been shown to increase our urge to snack between meals and causes us to excessively season our food, eat fewer vegetables, buy more junk food and buy more food overall.
So the availability and advertising of junk food is seen as the problem.
However, the simple fact is that because of poor sleep, you may actually physiologically want to eat these foods regardless of the efforts of the multi-national purveyors of junk food – though this is in no way trying to absolve them of their responsibilities.
Paul White, Ethics Director and former Chairman of the National Council for Hypnotherapy, said “Most hypnotherapy for insomnia treatments works to remove the underlying worries and anxieties that support insomnia. In doing so we generally reduce the anxiety and restore good quality sleep, affectively treating both the cause and the symptom at the same time.”
Paul White has a special interest in using hypnotherapy with problem behaviours such as insomnia.