Sleep - Improving Sleep with Solution Focused Hypnotherapy
Many surveys over the years show that around one third of the UK population suffer with poor sleep or insomnia. With nearly a quarter sleeping less than five hours or less each night. It will come as no consolation to you if you are suffering, that you are not alone. What might be more reassuring is to know that there is help available.
Improving our sleep improves our mood and improving our mood improves our sleep
When we understand how the brain works it is no surprise that our mood and sleep are so intertwined
Our primitive brain is in a heightened sense of awareness when we are sleep deprived, raising our survival senses of fight (anger), flight (anxiety), freeze (depression) responses. This is because if we don’t get enough sleep our cortisol (one of our stress hormones) levels are higher. Unfortunately, if we have higher stress hormone levels it’s harder to fall asleep. So, if we have been experiencing higher levels of stress or sustained periods of even moderate stress then our sleep can become adversely affected. This then becomes a vicious cycle.
This is where SFH helps
The questioning used in sessions and focusing on your existing strengths moves you from your primitive brains into your pre-frontal cortex (intellectual, rational and problem-solving part of the brain). When we operate in this part of the brain, we can consider positive possibilities and consider changing existing behaviours and habits that may be unhelpful. When we learn how to manage the effects of the primitive brain and implement strategies such as deep breathing and positive thinking techniques, we can better manage our thoughts, feelings and ultimately behaviours. This then lowers our levels of stress hormones adrenalin and cortisol and in turn allows to sleep better.
The trance section of the sessions is effective because it replicates Rapid Eye Movement (REM). REM is the part of sleep where, amongst other functions, we process emotional events of the day. We can rationalise events and think more positively about them or at least be better able to accept them. If we’re not getting sufficient sleep, then we won’t be getting enough REM to help us process the day to day stresses of life so the additional REM state in sessions is helpful.
Falling asleep to a calm relaxation recording further helps your sleep
You will be given a relaxation recording to listen to at bedtime. When we’re relaxed we find it easier to fall asleep. Some clients also choose to listen to it if they wake up in the night or if they would like to feel more relaxed during the day.
If you fall asleep before the recording ends that’s ok because EEG (electroencephalogram) brain monitoring devices show that during sleep the part of the brain that hears sound is active during sleep and responds to meaningful information. Likewise, if you need to listen to the recoding more than once as your busy mind learns how to slow down that’s ok too.
There are many additional benefits of reclaiming your sleep
“I can now effectively deal with and control: pain, anxiety, people, sleep and changes in my life just by thinking more positively. I would recommend this therapy to anyone.” NC
Sleep supports your immune system, helps restore your ability to control impulsiveness, balances the body’s nervous system, helps us control our body weight and supports learning.
Small changes can have huge effects over time
Many people have become so used to not getting enough sleep that they aren’t aware of the detrimental effect it is having on them. The most common side-effects, besides feeling tired, are moodiness, irritability, reduced creativity, lack of concentration and increased errors. At the extreme end symptoms include anxiety, depression, quick to anger, longer reaction times, poor decision making, poor control of body weight and micro sleeps (falling asleep for anything from a fraction of a second to 10 seconds) whilst reading, or more worrying whilst operating machinery or driving.
The good news is that your brain has plasticity, the ability to make changes. For a long time, it had been assumed that brain plasticity peaked at a young age and gradually decreased as we got older. However, we now know that this isn’t the case. Due to the fantastic progress and improved precision of modern brain imaging techniques there is increasing evidence of lifelong brain plasticity. So, if you’ve suffered for a long time it is still possible to make changes. You are choosing to make the changes so you don’t need to worry that it will take as many years to see an improvement as you have had poor sleep. Some clients see an improvement, all be it small, in the first week.
Once you make the decision to make changes and improve your sleep you already start to make new connections in your brain, even if you don’t know what those changes are yet. Then with each small change, repeated, you build up new neural pathways which become stronger and stronger, which in turn motivate to make more changes.
It can be desperate not being able to sleep and many people consider taking sleeping pills or mild tranquilisers. I cannot comment on their use as I am not qualified to do so and would recommend that you speak to your GP. If you are already on medication you can still benefit from hypnotherapy.
Imagine being a phone call away from starting to improve your quality of sleep
Please pick up the phone and call me to find out more about how I can help you. Many clients have commented that after that initial phone call they have started to feel more positive and hopeful that things can change for the better.