Can Sleep Hypnotherapy Help You Get the Sleep You Need?
At risk of being repetitive, I am mentioning the UK Hypnosis Convention again, this time in a more light-hearted way! On the Saturday evening, we all enjoyed a buffet dinner and a dance. It was slightly ironic when the DJ played the 90s dance classic Insomnia. I can’t get no sleep, is the reason many people seek the help of a hypnotherapist. It seems like sleep is currently a major problem for many people. Whether it’s struggling to fall asleep, waking in the middle of the night unable to fall back to sleep, or waking early before getting sufficient sleep.
There is the misconception that a hypnotherapist has the power to reprogramme the brain. That you will not need to make any lifestyle changes, instead the hypnosis will rewire your brain, and the next time your head rests on the pillow, you’ll fall into a deep slumber. Sleep is crucial for your health, and you are at risk of several health implications when you lack sleep. Some more serious than others. It is imperative to me that I work ethically with my clients and do not use simple suggestion hypnosis to help you with your sleep struggles. When you come to see me for sleep hypnotherapy, I will help you make some lifestyle changes that will help sleep feel easier.
Your Circadian Rhythm
It is easier to remedy your sleep issues when you understand your circadian rhythm. This is the process in your body that controls your sleep and wake cycles. When your pineal gland receives light communication from the eyes, it knows to produce cortisol, the hormone which will wake you up. Naturally, this light is blue light from the sun. Contrasting this, when your eyes get a consistent input of darkness, the pineal gland secretes melatonin, the sleep hormone. The human body clock is slightly longer than 24 hours, only minutes longer, but if you do not reset your body clock every morning by getting outside in the sun. Ideally, before 9am, you risk developing a circadian rhythm sleep disorder.
When people live naturally without modern technology (including lighting), they sleep around three hours after sunset. Any unnatural lighting after sunset will potentially disrupt your circadian rhythm, making it harder for you to fall asleep. It also suppresses the production of melatonin, so while you might fall asleep easily, the lack of melatonin might mean you wake in the middle of the night or earlier than you expect in the morning.
Your Tired Cues
When you miss or ignore your tired cues because there is something more exciting (or necessary) to do, your body might go into the stress response. Your animal brain expects you to sleep when you receive the tired cue, so perceives it as an important choice. It isn’t safe for you to sleep right now, and it maintains wakefulness. It releases cortisol to aid this process. Cortisol is the hormone that helps you wake up in the morning and therefore not conducive to sleep. Going to bed when you get those tired cues will help you work with your natural rhythm, rather than against it.
How often do you feel hangry during your week? That horrible feeling when you forget to eat, and by the time you realise it’s too late. The bad tempered, irritable part of you is let loose! You probably haven’t considered it, but the same problem occurs overnight if your body doesn’t get sufficient nutrition during the day. You might wake in the middle of the night feeling hangry, though you won’t necessarily recognise it as such. When your body goes into this state, your way of thinking will feel a bit out of whack, which may cause you to overthink and ruminate on the previous day or worry about tomorrow. Check your nutrition is on point to prevent night-time hanger waking.
Providing your hypnotherapist knows enough about sleep difficulties, they will help you navigate all these lifestyle changes. The hypnosis aids the therapy, and makes it easier for you to commit. Sleep hypnotherapy is not always the magic wand you desire, enabling you to maintain your current lifestyle and fix your problem. Therefore, the hypnotherapist might focus on different aspects of your life that will also improve your sleep.