As a hypnotherapist I have helped many clients to overcome insomnia and sleep issues such as bad dreams. Sleep problems are very common in fact most people experience problems with sleep, it is estimated that 33% of people experience sleep issues of some kind. If you regularly have trouble with your sleep, struggle to get to sleep, wake up several times during the night, wake up and cannot get back to sleep, feel tired after waking up, struggle to sleep even when you are tired then you probably have insomnia.
Symptoms of Insomnia From The NHS.
- Find it hard to go to sleep.
- Wake up several times during the night.
- Lie awake at night.
- Wake up early and cannot go back to sleep.
- Still feel tired after waking up.
- Find it hard to nap during the day even when your tired.
- Feel tired during the day.
- Find it difficult to concentrate because you’re tired.
Why Do We Need Sleep?
Although there is no widely accepted explanation for sleep it is accepted that sleep is as important as water and food, if we don’t sleep we will die. As humans we will spend about one-third of our lives sleeping. During sleep:
- Your brain processes and stores new information, makes sense of everything that has happened to you during the day.
- Nerve cells communicate and reorganise.
- The body repairs itself, builds new muscle, etc.
- The body releases hormones.
- Sleep allows us to conserve energy.
- Sleep allows us to regulate our emotions.
- The body fights infection.
What Are The Different Stages Of Sleep?
When you sleep your body cycles through four different stages multiple times throughout the night.The stages usually repeat about four times during the night.
- Stage 1 is non REM sleep, stage 1 occurs when your body and mind start to enter a light sleep. Your brain waves will go to alpha, your heart rate, breathing and eye movements will begin to slow down.
- Stage 2 is non REM sleep, stage 2 occurs after about 7 minutes of sleep. Your body temperature will decrease, your eyes will stop moving, your mind and body will continue to slow down. You will spend most of the night in the stage 2 part of the sleep cycle.
- Stage 3 is non REM sleep. In stage 3 of the sleep cycle deep sleep begins. In this stage your eyes and muscles will not move and your brain waves will move into delta. It is in this part of the sleep cycle that your body is restoring itself and releasing hormones.
- Stage 4 is REM sleep. REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement. You will enter stage 4 of the sleep cycle around 90 minutes after falling asleep. In REM sleep your brain waves will move into theta, your breathing and heart rate will increase and your muscles will become paralyzed. REM sleep is where dreaming happens and it’s thought dreams are the mind’s way of processing information.
As an adult you will need 7-8 hours of sleep a night.
What Causes Insomnia & Sleep Issues?
Insomnia can be caused by a wide range issues, the most main issues my insomnia clients come to hypnotherapy for are stress, anxiety and depression. Insomnia can also be caused by sleeping in a bad environment, noise, uncomfortable, bright lights, etc. bad sleep hygiene or lack of routine. can all affect sleep.
One Client Suffering With Anxiety & Insomnia Said
“My anxiety was so bad I could not sleep for over 2 weeks. I contacted Mark who is a brilliant hypnotherapist. He was very kind, flexible and supportive in helping me overcome my anxiety issues.
He is genuinely committed to seeing his clients succeed. My sleep has improved and my anxiety has reduced with the hypnosis sessions and techniques Mark has taught me.”
How Can Hypnosis Help With Insomnia & Sleep Issues?
Hypnosis can help people suffering from anxiety and insomnia for many reasons, as I say on my anxiety page. “Anxiety symptoms are our bodies natural response to danger and they can serve us in some circumstance, the symptoms of anxiety are part of our natural fight, flight, freeze response; it’s our sympathetic nervous system working to keep us safe and out of harm’s way by releasing hormones such as cortisol and norepinephrine.” If you were in a life or death situation the last thing you would want to do is sleep hence when we have high levels of stress and anxiety we struggle to sleep.
Using hypnosis we can desentise any traumatic experiences that may be causing anxiety or bad dreams. Hypnosis is great for relaxation, when we experience trauma or grow up with dysfunction the emotional part of our brain increases in size and the thinking part actually shrinks. By practising relaxation regularly we can actually start to improve emotional regulation and move out of the fight or flight response reducing stress and anxiety. We can also use hypnosis to reconnect with our inner child making them feel safe, secure and accepted. Learn more about inner child healing here.
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