What is Insomnia?
Most of us have had difficulty sleeping at some point in our lives. It’s annoying, and it might make us a little grumpy the next day. But soon we’re back to normal and sleeping well. However, for an estimated one in three of us, this isn’t the case and poor sleep becomes the norm. This is chronic insomnia and is defined by the National Sleep Foundation as “difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep even when a person has a chance to do so” for at least 3 nights per week for 3 months or more.
What are the effects?
Symptoms of insomnia can include:
- Increased levels of anxiety
- Low mood or depression
- Loss of interest in life
- Comfort eating
- Sexual dysfunction including loss of libido
- Inability to concentrate
- Difficulty staying awake during the day
- Overuse of alcohol and / or drugs
These are just some of the things that insomniacs might experience, but other symptoms are possible.
Why does it happen?
Ask a good sleeper what they do to achieve a good night’s sleep, and they’ll reply “nothing”. Sleeping is a very natural process for the majority of people, but the paradox is that the more we try to sleep, the harder it becomes. This sets up a very vicious cycle for the insomniac – the more they struggle to sleep, the more they worry about sleeping and the more difficult it becomes.
This pattern can continue for years, and an insomniac will try everything; baths in the evening, milky drinks, herbal teas, black out blinds, ear plugs, meditation, aromatherapy…the list is endless. The harder you try to sleep, the more difficult it becomes.
Sleeping pills are often tried, but these are not a long term solution. The longer you take them, the less effective they become. And no-one wants to be popping pills every night.
The root cause of sleeping problems is in fact anxiety. If your general levels of anxiety are high, then you may well struggle to sleep. Most, if not all of us have experienced difficulty sleeping before a stressful event or in the midst of an anxious period in our lives. But when anxiety about not sleeping starts to build, the problem becomes chronic.
What can be done?
Attacking the symptom, insomnia, is almost certainly doomed to failure. Think of all the ways you’ve tried so far. We need to address the cause, which is your general levels of anxiety. The less anxiety you feel, the easier sleep becomes. This doesn’t happen overnight, but by reducing your tendency to react to life with anxiety you get back on an even keel.
Hypnotherapy is very effective at dealing with insomnia. It helps you start to focus on the positive things in your life and reduces your stress. ONE LIFE have helped many clients overcome their sleep problems effectively. In fact, one of our therapists (Graeme) overcame a 10 year battle with severe insomnia using hypnotherapy, so he can personally vouch for its effectiveness.
So call us today and take the first step towards banishing the night time demons forever!