Treat Sleep Problems and Insomnia with Self-Hypnosis
Sleep is an important part of daily life. It is vital for both our mental and physical health because the body repairs and heals itself when we are sleeping. It also allows the brain time to process all the information that is collected during the day. Sleep problems are becoming more common, and many people use sleep medications to make it easier to sleep. However, they only work for a limited amount of time. Self-hypnosis can help you sleep better, without the side effects of other treatments.
What is Insomnia?
Insomnia is more common than most people think it is. It is defined as the difficulty of getting to sleep or staying asleep for long enough to feel refreshed in the morning. This definition of insomnia is how over 1 in 3 people globally will have an episode of insomnia, and it can affect anyone at any age. However, it does seem that women and people who are over the age of 60 are more susceptible to having insomnia.
Self-Hypnosis for Sleep
When you are trying to treat sleep problems, there are a lot of methods that you could use. The important step is to speak with your doctor if you are having problems sleeping. There could be a physical cause of the issues with your sleeping habits. You may be given medicines to help you sleep until the physical cause is found.
However, there is not always a physical cause of the sleeping issues. Mental health can also effect sleeping, and a lack of sleep can cause mental health problems. This is why it is common for people to end up in a cycle of lack of sleep, which causes their mental health to break down.
Self-hypnosis and hypnotherapy is an option for both sleeping problems caused by mental and physical issues. This is because they treat the underlying cause of the problem. When we sleep, our sub-conscious is working and creates dreams, which helps the body continue to function. Self-hypnosis tackles the potential causes of the sleep problems and can help you be more relaxed during the night.
Sleep Disturbance Patterns
For many people who have insomnia for long periods of time, the sleep disturbance patterns become embedded into the sub-conscious. This makes the patterns hard to break using most treatment methods. Hypnotherapy can break these patterns by re-teaching the brain the correct behaviors. It can also be used to remove the negative thoughts that many people who suffer from insomnia have about sleeping.
This also helps improve the sleep that people with insomnia have and can stop the onset of insomnia in the future. Sleep is very important, so any improvement to your sleep can have a major effect on your health.
However, many people around the world do not get the amount of sleep that they need per night. Self-hypnosis and hypnotherapy can improve the amount of sleep that you get each night. If you want a better night’s sleep, you can download a self-hypnosis for sleep audio treatment. You may just have the best sleep of your life.
Can Meditation Help Your Insomnia?
The inability to fall asleep, remain asleep, or sleep well affects approximately 60 million people annually. While insomnia affects all ages, over half of individuals 55 years old and older, experience some level of sleep disturbance. Given the projected growth in the aging population, this poses a major health concern.
According to the Population Reference Bureau, one-fifth of the U.S. population will be 65 years old or older by 2050. Women who are pregnant or experiencing menopause that causes hot flashes and night sweats commonly experience insomnia.
Insomnia causes major problems personally and socially. It affects health and relationships. Insomniacs experience increased levels of fatigue, mood disturbances, higher instances of depressive symptoms and poorer quality of life.
Insomnia decreases work productivity, can be the precursor to on the job and automobile accidents and increases risk for heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. It also negatively affects a sleep-deprived person's ability to think and make reasonable decisions.
If you have ever experienced a bad night’s sleep or insomnia, you know that you are likely to be irritable, lack energy to accomplish daily tasks and feel added stress from the fatigue.
Stress, Anxiety and Insomnia
Stress is a significant contributing factor to the development of insomnia. People suffering from stress and anxiety related to work, relationships, health, finances or other pressing issues find themselves unable to stop mulling over their concerns enough to find a restful sleep.
Their racing thoughts or negative ruminations keep them up or wake them when they would normally be sleeping and their sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the fight or flight response, is constantly active.
Turning on the Relaxation Response
People with insomnia desperately need to relax in order to sleep. They need to turn their fight or flight response off and turn on their relaxation response by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system; it sends the signals, which place the body in a calm and relaxed state.
A variety of non-prescription behaviors serve to help people relax enough to sleep:
Meditation To Help Your Sleep
Studies have shown meditation provides an effective tool to alleviate insomnia. Mindful meditation seems to be particularly effective. It works by allowing meditators to focus on one thing to the exclusion of other thoughts or stimuli; they learn to let their sources of anxiety exist without actively engaging them.
Apparently, this practice carries over into daily life as well. A 2012 study conducted by Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston University, showed the way meditators respond to negative stimuli is less reactive than the response of non-meditators. In other words, their first response to negative stimuli did not default to fight or flight.
During mindful meditation, a person chooses a focal point for their attention. It can be simply observing or counting their breaths. They may choose to gaze upon an object, a statue, painting, or photograph, with their full attention. Some people choose to repeat a sound, a word, or a phrase either mentally or aloud.
A period of mindful meditation may last from five to 10 minutes or more. According to studies and Transcendental Meditation literature, the optimum period of time to meditate is approximately 20 minutes. The effectiveness of meditation increases with frequency, so meditating twice a day, upon waking and prior to retiring for bed, is also recommended.
Mindful meditation alleviates many of the causes of insomnia:
Treating insomnia with mindful meditation serves as a sustainable and beneficial way to support good sleep hygiene. It is portable, without side effects and may be applied as complementary treatment in addition to traditional medications if they are needed. Mindful meditation may be learned in many ways: from a teacher, from books and audio recordings or from videos widely available on the internet.
Hypnosis and Sleep Disorders
Sleep disorders are a serious problem for millions of people in the US alone. Medical studies have proven that a lack of sleep can have serious health consequences. Obesity, heart disease, mental degeneration and other problems can all be attributed to a lack of sleep. Sleep is your body’s way of refreshing your body and your mind so when you go without sleep you will also have some psychological and emotional problems as well. Intense irritability, confusion, memory loss and other problems also can stem from long periods of interrupted sleep or insomnia.
Drugs can effectively treat some types of sleep disorders but there is always a risk of becoming addicted to prescription sleeping pills if you take medication. Many prescription sleeping pills also have a lot of strange and potentially dangerous side effects like suicidal thoughts, or sleepwalking, sleep driving, and other activities done in your sleep that might cause harm to you or someone else. Hypnosis is a wonderful treatment for sleep disorders because the use of deep relaxation functions as a treatment for the underlying cause of the sleep problems but as also as a respite from the symptoms.
When you sleep your body goes into a state of deep relaxation that’s not unlike hypnosis. So when a doctor puts you into a hypnotic state as a way to treat whatever is causing your sleep disorder, the doctor is also putting your mind and body into the kind of deeply relaxed state that your body and mind need in order to feel refreshed and function effectively. You will get immediate relief from the symptoms of your sleep disorder because you will come out of the hypnosis sessions feeling rejuvenated and calm and the hypnotic sessions that were planted in your subconscious will also be working to cure the underlying problem that is causing you to have trouble sleeping.
Sometimes there are physical conditions that cause sleeplessness that need to be diagnosed and treated with more traditional methods, but even if the cause of your sleeping problem is medical a few sessions of hypnosis can give your body and mind the refreshing break they need even if you can’t sleep. While your doctor works on curing the physical cause of your sleeping disorder you can go see a hypnotherapist a few times a week to relieve the irritability, fatigue and other symptoms that are caused by a chronic lack of sleep.
Using hypnosis as either a primary or a secondary treatment for common sleep disorders is done around the world, and has been proven successful in hundreds of studies that have been done trying to find the cause of sleep disturbances. Hypnosis has also been proven as a successful treatment for children that suffer from night terrors because the state of deep relaxation that they enter calms down their bodies and minds enough to sleep peacefully.
Alternative Medicine for Sleep problems
Everyone responds to medical and alternative therapies differently and even alternative therapies can have side effects. You should talk to your doctor whenever you are contemplating any alternative measure for sleep, especially if you plan to take herbal preparations, which might interact with the medications you are already taking.
Speaking to an herbalist can also be helpful when considering an herbal sleep remedy. You may need to try various herbal remedies for yourself to see if they are going to be beneficial to you, but it is always best to do so under the guidance of a professional.
Periods of sleep problems affect everyone at some point in their lives. For some people, sleep problems are a chronic problem, leading to sleep deprivation and difficulty in functioning during daily activities. The risk of accidents while driving or at work increases for sleep problems, along with risks for heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.
Lack of sleep can have a profound effect on your relationships and well-being in general, making it difficult to function at work and at home.
It is very important to see a licensed physician for on-going sleep problems; still not everyone wants to go straight to a sleeping pill to help with sleep. Most prescription sleep aids are addictive and, once you are hooked on them, it is difficult to get off them.
Fortunately, many alternative and natural methods may help you sleep better. Some of these include developing good sleep habits, while others are herbal remedies or exercises that promote better sleep.
The following are some ways you can fall asleep easier without the use of potentially addicting medications:
Analysis of The Problem
One of the most effective ways to deal with sleep problems is pinpointing the source for the difficulties of getting to and/or staying asleep. One example of this is stress or emotional issues. If either of those is the cause, it is best to address them directly and in this way you can see positive results in healthier sleep patterns.
Perhaps there has been a recent trauma or upset in your life, and this type of emotional overload has led to sleep problems. Financial, work, personal relationships and family worries are just the types of issues that can keep you awake at night. Seeking the help of a licensed therapist or sometimes even talking to a friend can help to ease painful feelings, thereby alleviating stress and anxiety that can allow you to sleep better at night.
Herbal Medicine for Sleep Problems
Many herbs have been found over the centuries to bring about a quick and restful night’s sleep. These include valerian root, which appears through research studies to help people get to sleep and sleep peacefully throughout the night. Chamomile is often drunk as a tea before bedtime in order to bring on the relaxation necessary to fall asleep. Other herbs that are often used in combination with chamomile or valerian root include hops, passionflower, and lemon balm. There are premade sleep-inducing teas that contain one or more of the above herbal remedies, which act together to promote sleep. Herbs can also be used as essential oils in aromatherapy that allow you to use the power of scent to relax your mind for better sleep.
Warm milk and tart cherry juice contain tryptophan, a natural compound that induces sleep. Tryptophan is nature’s precursor to the neurochemical serotonin, which then converts itself to the hormone known as melatonin. Melatonin rises in the evening after being released from the pineal gland in the brain, inducing a natural sleep pattern. You can drink up to a cup of tart cherry juice, which contains a great deal of tryptophan. Bananas, like cherries, contain tryptophan, which can be metabolized into serotonin and melatonin in the brain. Eat a banana about one-half hour before bedtime to induce a calmer state of mind and a better night’s sleep.
Eating too close to bedtime can also contribute to sleep problems and it is recommended that big meals be taken no later than 4 to 5 hours prior to bedtime.
Melatonin Aids Sleep
As previously mentioned, melatonin is a natural hormone made by the pineal gland and also exists in plants and animals and is believed to set the circadian rhythm (body clock) that is necessary for proper sleeping patterns. Melatonin is helpful in people who suffer from sleep problems due to night shift duties and can help people with jet lag get over their symptoms of sleep deprivation. Melatonin can certainly be taken for a short time span; however, more research is needed in order to define whether this natural hormone is safe for long-term usage.
Acupuncture Increase Your Quality of Sleep
Practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine often turn to acupuncture as a way to help people get a better night’s sleep. This involves the insertion of fine needles into particular acupoints of the skin. The idea behind acupuncture is to improve the flow of your natural body’s energy, called qi, which flows along “highways” or meridians on the body. The Chinese believe that balance of the qi and therefore the body can help alleviate all types of ailments and that it is imbalance that is the source of all ill health.
Acupuncture, when done correctly by trained specialists has been shown in many studies to improve the quality of sleep in patients suffering from sleep problems. It has also been shown to work better when used alongside with herbs, and is more effective when used with medication than using medication alone.
Meditation for Relaxed Sleep
Meditation can be done in several ways and has been found to be very effective in reducing anxiety, facilitating relaxation, and improving sleep patterns when practiced nightly. It can be especially helpful when the source of sleep problems is stress from emotional or life situations. In meditation, the muscles of the body are relaxed and the focus is on the simple pattern of the breathing.
You can chant a calming mantra or syllable as part of the meditative process. Alternatively, you can use meditation as a part of guided imagery, in which you “see” yourself in a calming and relaxing situation. Using meditation and guided imagery, you can relax on your bed, lulling yourself to sleep in a natural and drug-free way. Meditation takes practice but, if practiced nightly, it just may improve your sleep habits within a short time.
Exercise Helps Sleep
Getting at least thirty minutes of exercise daily and on a regular basis helps people sleep better. Studies have shown that moderate aerobic activity like walking is best for sleep problems, versus more rigorous forms like running. Ideally, any aerobic activity should be done between 4 and 5 hours before going to sleep with the exception of yoga and qi dong, which are exercises you can do just prior to sleeping.
Yoga is comprised of specific poses along with structured breath work and mindfulness. Yoga is especially good as an exercise for sleep because it relaxes the muscles and improves the flexibility of the trunk and extremities. There are about 15 specific poses known to be effective for sleep problems. Research studies have shown that yoga is beneficial for sleep in persons who are older or who have cancer.
Essential oils extracted from plants can be very effective in inducing relaxation that can promote better sleep. Lavender, clary sage, marjoram, ylang ylang, Vetiver, valerian, Roman chamomile, and sandalwood are some of the most popular.