Hypnotherapy can help you get out of the cycle of poor sleep patterns and insomnia. One in four people suffer disturbances of normal sleep leaving them feeling drained and exhausted, irritable, unable to concentrate, with headaches and even depression. Good quality sleep is necessary for a healthy life. During sleep we recharge our batteries, build up our strength and prepare ourselves for the next day. Yet modern lifestyles are often triggers for insomnia.

People especially prone to sleep disturbances include people who are stressed or anxious, menopausal women, smokers, elderly people, people suffering from illness and alcoholics.

Some causes of insomnia might be easily rectified, such as using blackout curtains, sending a noisy partner to the spare room, not drinking caffeine after lunch-time, having a milky drink before bed-time and not going to bed on a full (or empty) stomach. But often, insomnia can become an unwelcome habit which needs to be broken before it breaks you.

How can hypnotherapy help improve sleep?

Hypnotherapy can help retrain the body to expect and experience a good night’s sleep. Very often, stress and anxiety are the root causes of sleep disturbances, with negative emotional feelings and excess adrenaline and cortisol interrupting the body’s natural rhythms. Finding triggers for good feelings through visual imagery or touch, which are then associated with relaxation and sleep, allow the client to tap into those positive feelings when they want to go to sleep. They will also use hypnotic triggers which will associate an action or an event with feeling sleepy e.g. the clock turning 11pm. And if sleep is disturbed once you have dropped off, hypnotherapists can teach self-hypnosis to ensure you get back to sleep quickly.

Much of the language which hypnotherapists use is positive language similar to that used in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) but when used whilst the client is hypnotised can be so much more powerful.

What evidence is there that hypnotherapy for sleep disturbances works?

NHS Choices  www.nhs.co.uk/livewell/insomnia  quotes a case at University College Hospital London where hypnotherapy was successfully used to treat a patient suffering from insomnia. As with hypnosis for any condition, the client must be motivated to want the therapy to work with 10% conscious effort over-riding the 90% subconscious which is keeping you awake at night.

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