Insomnia – Manage through Hypnotherapeutic Cognitive Behaviour
8th October, 20130 Comments
Written by: Keith Abrahams HG.Dip.P, DCH
In 2002 the New Scientist reported that up to one in ten people suffer with chronic insomnia, much of which is general in nature and termed primary insomnia, which is not sleeplessness caused or explained by a medical or physical condition, psychiatric health or the environment.
It tends to be related to anxiety, stress and depression
The difficulty for those suffering with primary insomnia is that not being able to sleep is stressful and can create anxiety about not being able to sleep. In turn, lack of sleep burns up the physiological feel good factors, like serotonin and is likely to lead to depression. All of which is stressful and feeds the insomnia. It becomes a vicious cycle.
It is the very belief that a sufferer has that they will not sleep which agitates all of their emotions, imagination and physiology which then disturbs their sleep. For this reason primary insomnia is normally considered to be attributable to behaviour, physiology and misuse of the thought process.
Although sleeping tablets can prescribed, they are normally only used for a short period, normally supported with some form of talking therapy or counselling, especially as users typically experience some degree of being all alone in the middle of the dark night.
Primary insomnia is then known to be best treated with Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). A number of research studies have supported this.
The main types of therapeutic support include using sleep diaries, adopting good sleep preparation habits, progressive relaxation, mind-body techniques (including the gentle guided imagery) and careful behaviour adjustment, which encourages self-help and independence.
A typical CBT session would revolve around setting clear goals and outcomes, with a degree of suitable client education. This would normally include explaining to the suffering client how their beliefs, thoughts, emotion, physiology and of course behaviour all interplay to keep the vicious cycle going.
Hypnotherapy helps by teaching calming techniques and using imaginative rehearsal techniques to practice and adopt new behaviours.
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