An insight into insomnia and how to achieve those elusive 40 winks
Insomnia is the difficulty to attain sleep, to stay asleep, or waking very early. Chronic insomnia is when someone has difficulty sleeping for at least three nights a week, for a minimum of three months, and the lack of sleep has a direct effect on the individual’s life, whether it be work, school or personal relationships.
Prolonged insomnia can lead to impaired cognitive function, memory problems, depression and an increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and impaired immune response.
Once you’re 18, you need between seven and a half and nine hours sleep a night. But according to the Institute of Health, lifestyle demands mean that most people actually have less than seven hours’ sleep. Most adults spend 50 percent of the night in light sleep, 30 percent in deep sleep, and 20 percent dream state. Feeling sleep-deprived and permanently exhausted may mean you’re not getting the right balance of these sleep states.
Deep sleep helps restore the body, and dream state resolves issues from the day, leading to a more stable psychological state. Without this dream time, your mental health can be seriously affected.
The causes of insomnia are varied, with stress and anxiety at the top of the list, but there are other contributing factors such as work patterns, hormone changes, alcohol, and medical conditions. Whatever the cause, hypnotherapy can help to achieve a healthier sleep pattern through assisting with relaxation and distraction techniques, making sure the quest for sleep doesn’t become so dominant that it actually makes you more alert.
Hypnotherapy works with your subconscious to provide a trigger as the call to sleep, and re-enforcing the sleep message through a visualisation process. A therapist can also help with developing good nocturnal routines and how to make the bedroom conducive to sleep, as well as self-hypnosis techniques and breathing exercises to optimise sleep opportunities.
The subconscious mind is responsible while we sleep, taking care of us and waking us up. It’s our subconscious that’s in charge of good sleep, and hypnotherapy is a great way to get in tune with yours.