Sleep can be one of life’s great joys. At the end of a tiring day relaxing into a deep and restful sleep is a wonderful experience. But, if you are having problems sleeping then it can be one of the most painful experiences.
One of the common things that causes sleep issues is worrying, anxiety and over-thinking. Sometimes you might be unable to get to sleep at all. The negative thoughts are going round and round in your head. Or perhaps they aren’t even negative thoughts – they are just everyday ideas about what you’ve got planned tomorrow.
Other times you get off to sleep OK but suddenly in the middle of the night you are wide awake and thinking things through. This can quickly lead to a downward spiral. The anxiety and worry causes us to experience problems sleeping. This then affects how we feel during the day – and we can’t focus or think clearly. Soon you are dreading the thought of bed time. Knowing you are going to be lying awake for hours. This leads to more anxiety and over-thinking, which leads to more problems sleeping... And on it goes.
If you are having problems sleeping then you know first-hand the impact this can have on your job, your relationships – even your weight as you stop exercising and eat more or less to compensate for feeling tired and anxious.
Hypnotherapy is a safe way to break the negative cycle and to start getting better sleep. The good news is it isn’t addictive and people often experience positive results after just one or two sessions.
Your hypnotherapist will help you identify and break any negative thought patterns that are contributing to your sleep issues. They will also help you to learn how to relax again – teaching you self-hypnosis and relaxation techniques that you can practice and begin to use yourself at home.
They can also help you build new positive routines and habits that contribute to a healthy bed time and sleep pattern.
For example, here are some simple tips that you could implement immediately:
- Don’t watch TV - read “exciting” books or listen to music with a fast beat immediately before bed. Try taking a warm bath and listening to relaxing music or a hypnosis recording instead.
- Or try meditating or a breathing technique instead. A simple breath pattern is to breathe in for a count of four, hold for a count of seven and breathe out for a count of eight.
- Turn off your mobile phone, tablet or PC an hour or so before bed. It stops you getting involved in social media conversations or playing games etc and allows your brain and eyes to start to relax ready for sleep.
If you do wake up in the night, remember it is part of our normal sleep cycle to drift in and out of deep and shallow levels of sleep during the night. You don’t need to worry about it. Just relax, practice some steady breathing and imagine negative thoughts drifting away.
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About Brenda Cox
Brenda Cox is a Cognitive Hypnotherapist based in Hertfordshire. She also offers sessions via Skype. She has many years experience and specialises in working with clients for anxiety, panic and weight-loss.