The frustration, anger and despair that chronic insomniacs often suffer should never be underestimated. Spending hours trying to get to sleep, or to get back to sleep, is a pattern many of us know. It is estimated that 25% to 40% of us don’t get enough sleep and 20% are dissatisfied with the quality of our sleep. 30% to 40% of children are not getting enough sleep and we are generally sleeping 20% less than we did one hundred years ago. Seven to eight hours sleep a night is recommended.

There are 4 types of sleep problem: difficulty getting to sleep; difficulty staying asleep; waking earlier than we would wish, and poor quality sleep.

Why can’t I get to sleep?

Insomnia has many causes, physical and psychological. If your sleep problems are not related to other health conditions such as pain, alcohol use, asthma, depression (though some depression may be caused by chronic insomnia) then the reasons you are unable to sleep probably fall into one of three areas : your mind-body system resists sleep because it has been conditioned to do so; your habits and your lifestyle is not conducive to a good night’s rest or (and the majority of us will relate to this) we cannot switch off when we go to bed and constantly obsess about problems, plan for the next day, go through conversations we have had with others and imagine conversations we would like to have had etc, etc, etc well into the hours of the morning.

You may have conditioned your mind not to go to sleep easily

This resistance, fear and anger starts when you think about going to bed as you expect the frustration of lying awake hour after hour or of waking in the night and not being able to return to sleep. You may also expect to wake early because you did yesterday and the day before that and the day before... As sleep has a rhythm which requires you to let go, those of us who 'need' to feel in control and practise this control throughout the day, fear the surrender involved. Some of us have beliefs that devalue sleep and applaud those who claim that they can survive on little sleep. Many regard sleep as a 'waste of time' and beliefs like these may be interfering with our getting the much needed 7 – 8 hours a night.

Some difficulties around sleeping are to do with life-style choices

We all know that excessive drinking of alcohol tends to disrupt our sleep and that caffeine drinks are inadvisable a few hours before we go to bed but there are many other choices you can make to enhance your chances of sleep. For instance, it is important to sleep in a very dark room. Even a little bit of light suppresses the body’s production of melatonin which, among other things, regulates the body’s sleep-wake cycle.

You are anxious and worried and just can’t seem to switch off

Perhaps you lie awake thinking of worst-case scenarios or remain angry and upset about things that happened during the day.

How can we help?

Insomnia is a condition that responds quickly to hypnotherapy. Hypnosis relaxes us. Most of us are in a beta brain wave frequency all day long. In hypnosis the brain shifts to a calmer, much more relaxed alpha state. Hypnosis is a natural way to reduce tension in your body and de-stress your mind so that you can reclaim the natural rhythms of sleep. We provide you with an audio to listen to at night, make sure that your habits and behaviours are not interfering with sleep and teach self-hypnosis techniques that really work.

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