Hypnotherapy for Insomnia in Newcastle and Northumberland
Sleep is lovely isn’t it? A good night’s rest makes you feel physically and mentally refreshed.
Our bodies heal during sleep which also lets our brain process the information collected through the day and file it into its memory banks (or dump it in the recycle bin).
The National Sleep Foundation is celebrating its annual Sleep Awareness Week this week (March 6th – March 13th), to raise awareness of the health benefits of sleep and its importance to safety and productivity.
Tiredness can kill
If you burn the candle at both ends or suffer from insomnia you are more prone to ill health and increase your risk of heart disease and surprisingly, obesity. High blood pressure, stroke and heart problems may develop because blood vessels are not given time to repair and obesity may result as sleeplessness causes fatigue and insomniacs lack motivation to exercise, with low energy levels compensated for by overeating. Mentally, anxiety and depression may also result as well as muddled thinking, irritability and fatigue – all affecting work and family life.
What causes it?
While most of us will have a disrupted sleep from time to time, perhaps because of illness, stress or even jetlag, persistent insomnia is life-damaging and can affect any age group; however people over 60 and women seem to be more susceptible.
Many medical conditions can disrupt sleep too and it’s important to exclude physical causes of persistent insomnia such as pain or medication side effects. Arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, asthma and allergies are known sleep disruptors, as well as depression, anxiety, stress and hormonal changes.
Sleeping pills are bad news
Sleeping pills are a short term fix. Most good GPs will only prescribe sleeping pills for a limited duration and will recommend (as I do) basic, practical steps to improve your chances of a great night’s sleep…
My top tipzz for better zzzz’s:
Take regular exercise. Get the wind round you as my Dad used to say. A brisk daily walk, light workout or regular swim works wonders. Exercise helps reduce stress and gets your body moving, boosting your metabolism, so you stay alert during the day and feel physically tired at the end of it.
Stick to a routine. Going to bed and getting up at the same time every day benefits sleep. Your body clock loves predictability.
Time to eat. Get your timing right for eating an evening meal or supper to ensure your last mouthful is at least 3 to 4 hours before bedtime. Your body’s metabolism doesn’t relax until it has digested your food effectively, and you avoid the chances of painful heartburn or disruptive acid reflux if you avoid digesting food lying horizontally.
Say no to snacking. Chocolates, crisps or cheese just before lights out are no-no’s. (Cheese-dreams are just too weird!) So, if you desperately need to snack, try some fruit.
Avoid tea or coffee (unless it’s decaf or herbal tea)
Avoid alcohol – Booze is a stimulant that may send you off to sleep quickly, but you’ll be awake in the small hours with your brain firing on all cylinders and your bladder at full capacity.
Switch off and drift off. Turn off your tablet, laptop or I-phone in the evening and read a book instead; making sure your book genre excludes serial killers, horror and anything disturbing. Also, turn off your TV half an hour before going to bed. Ranting at some MP on Question Time is not conducive to relaxation.
Relax in a warm bath and ensure your bed is warm with a hot water bottle or electric blanket to avoid shocking your relaxed muscles back into tension. Keep the bedroom dark and as cool as possible so you feel snug beneath the sheets.
Write a to-do list for tomorrow before lights out to avoid the 3am stress trigger thinking about what you need to remember for work or school.
Counting Sheep or Hypnotherapy?
If you do all of the above and still have problems sleeping, I recommend hypnotherapy especially if you are unsure as to why you’re still experiencing insomnia.
An experienced hypnotherapist will run through a checklist with you to see what other contributory factors may be at play and establish the root cause of your sleeplessness. Hypnotherapy can tackle a range of potential causes while helping you relax and fall asleep; for example, if anxiety or depression is the source of your insomnia, hypnosis for sleep may supplement your existing treatment. Alternatively, if a habit or addiction is causing your insomnia (such as diet, alcohol, drugs or gambling) hypnotherapy for insomnia can work to establish new and positive habits.
If you have suffered from insomnia for a long time, your sleep disturbances can become entrenched in your subconscious making hypnotherapy an ideal option to break the negative thought patterns as well as teaching you how to relax, perhaps using progressive muscle relaxation to reduce tension. Every one of my clients benefits from a specially tailored treatment right for their diagnosis. Sometimes they may only need one consultation to address the insomnia, while others may need a few sessions to help them regain the habit of restful sleep. Please contact me if you need help.
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