Updated: Oct 1
Insomnia is a common problem and can have many causes. If you are concerned, it is always a good idea to speak to your doctor before embarking on any complementary therapies.
This article by Mattress Battle has some surprising statistics on sleep.
How Can Hypnotherapy Help?
The first thing I do when you come for hypnotherapy is to take a very detailed history of the problem and look for patterns or causes. With insomnia, we may find that stress or anxiety caused by other areas of your life are playing a big part and that by focusing on these and helping you cope, the insomnia actually resolves itself.
Some people find that it is pain from a particular chronic condition that keeps them awake. Of course, this would need to be investigated by your GP to make sure there is no serious cause, but if all is well, hypnotherapy can help you find natural ways of coping with pain. This can also be very empowering and removes a lot of worry and stress caused by health concerns, again leading to better sleep.
If no other cause is found then I have many techniques that can help you to tackle the insomnia and get back into a healthy sleep pattern.
If you would like to know more or want to see me about improving your sleep, please book your free consultation I work via Zoom or you can come along to my office in Exeter.
Whilst hypnotherapy can help, these practical steps can also be useful in creating good sleep habits.
If you find you get tired in the afternoon, it is tempting to use sugar or caffeine to give you a quick boost. However, these will stop you sleeping well and just exacerbate the problem. Think longer-term and tackle the cause of your tiredness through correcting your sleep pattern.
Keep all electronic devices such as mobile phones, laptops and tablets out of the bedroom and try not to use them before you go to sleep. These devices all emit blue light which suppresses your melatonin secretion which you need to help you maintain a proper circadian rhythm. Melatonin promotes deep, restorative sleep and may also play a role in protecting the health of your brain as you age. If possible, switch everything off an hour or two before bed and read a book or do some meditation.
Eat a small amount of food rich in carbohydrates, such as cereal. In addition, the milk with the cereal contains tryptophan which promotes the production of melatonin. Alternatively, try a mug of warm milk.
Many people believe that alcohol helps them sleep but this is not true. Alcohol might help you nod off more quickly but it disrupts REM dream sleep, meaning that you won't sleep as deeply and willl wake feeling more tired the next day.
Make sure that your bedroom is the right environment to sleep in – dark, quiet, and neither too warm nor too cold. For most people this means a temperature of around 18°C in their bedroom. If you have a light shining into your bedroom window, invest in blackout blinds.
Take a bath or shower before going to bed. As your body temperature drops back to normal afterwards it will mimic your body’s natural drop in temperature as you go to sleep.
Sprinkle lavender oil on your pillow before sleeping. This will help you fall asleep more quickly and also improve the quality of sleep.
Write down any worrying thoughts or lists of things to do for the next day before you go to bed. Put them aside for tomorrow and forget about them. This is your time for peaceful, relaxing sleep.
Regular exercise (at least two and a half hours per week) will have a positive effect on sleep. Ideally, any exercise should finish at least six hours before you go to bed so that your body can relax and rest before sleep.
Don't watch the clock! If the bedside clock is troubling you then put it where you can’t see it.
Don't lie awake. If you are not asleep after 15 minutes, get up and go and read, meditate or listen to some hypnotherapy. Try not to switch on the TV or start checking your phone or tablet as this will just keep you awake (see number 2!). You don't want to strengthen any link between your bed and the idea of insomnia.
Keep your sleep patterns consistent. Put these tips into practice and go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even weekends.