There are two types of insomnia – one is where the individual finds it difficult to fall asleep on going to bed (‘initial insomnia’), the second is where the person can go to sleep normally, but cannot go back to sleep on waking in the night (‘secondary insomnia’). With either type, this can be a very debilitating condition, leading to a persistent tiredness during the day – which of course has a negative effect on their quality of life.
It’s generally thought that insomnia occurs as a result of over or under-stimulation. If a person has ongoing worries of any kind, of course sleep is disturbed by constantly going over the issues. Similarly, excitement or anticipation of good events can prevent sleep sometimes. However, under-stimulation, as can occur with boredom or depression can also result in nocturnal awakenings.
In both these approaches, the unconscious mind of the client is instructed, using hypnotic suggestion, to reverse the over/under-arousal and introduce restful sleep. Self-hypnosis may be taught, so as to transfer to the client the ability to give appropriate self-suggestions.
People vary quite a lot in the amount of sleep that is needed, and if an individual really doesn’t require much, they may describe themselves as rather sleepless – compared to most – but it doesn’t actually represent a problem for them. At a practical level, especially for these people, it is much better to do something, rather than to lie in bed thinking. The night is ideal for studying or being creative. Sleeping tablets are generally thought to be more harmful than good in cases of insomnia.
Sometimes, especially in long term insomnia, there may be a deep psychological cause. A person who has gone through a strong trauma – as an example, say, losing a partner or close family member, and not having grieved properly. Part of their mind (a ‘sub-personality’) remains stuck at the time of the trauma. Hypnotherapy is an ideal way of releasing the trapped emotion, moving the stuck part forward to the present time, and reintegrating it using a symbolic technique – so making the person psychologically whole again and resolved.
Because everyone is different, the therapist discovers the particular nature of the insomnia in the client and treats it accordingly. As you can imagine, to be released from the frustration of insomnia is wonderful for the client.
We offer treatment for insomnia in Egham, Surrey, London, etc.