Along with diet and exercise, sleep is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Good quality sleep helps us feel good throughout the day and is vital for our health and wellbeing. If we do not sleep well, or do not get enough of it, the effects on our health can be wide ranging. We may suffer from such symptoms as general fatigue, increased levels of anxiety, a lack of motivation, irritability or weight gain. Insomnia can also increase our risk of heart disease and high blood pressure, if the condition becomes chronic.
Sleep problems can include:
- Being awake for long periods at night
- Not being able to fall asleep
- Waking up several times during the night
- Waking up very early and not being able to go back to sleep
When we sleep, our body repairs itself and restores our energy levels. It is also a time when the mind works hard to discharge the emotional content of the day’s events and our thoughts regarding those events, through the process of Rapid Eye Movement sleep. We replenish the feel good hormones serotonin and dopamine, which help protect us against negative, depressive thinking, boosting our mood and helping us maintain an efficient immune system.
Anxiety is a common cause of insomnia and the worry of not being able to sleep can create yet more anxiety. We may then find ourselves entering into a destructive cycle of worry and negative thinking, ultimately leading to further sleep problems. Ruminating on problems serves only to amplify their significance and even the smallest issues can take on a disproportionate meaning in the middle of a sleepless night.
How hypnotherapy can help
It is important that any medical condition which may be causing insomnia is investigated in the first instance by a visit to the General Practitioner. In the absence of a medical condition, hypnotherapy works by helping to reduce our general level of anxiety, which can have an immediate response on our sleep pattern. When our underlying anxiety is addressed, we approach life from a healthier, more positive perspective. This can lead not only to better sleep but also to better health, better relationships and a greater feeling of control over our lives.