Some of us can only manage 6 hours others in excess of 10 but at the end of the day, no pun intended, sleep is something we all need to do.

Sleeping isn’t just a case of laying down closing our eyes and resting .There’s a process behind it and a reason why we do it. Not only does it give our body’s time to heel and restore but sleep allows us to process and correctly store the information we’ve gathered throughout the day, rather like backing up a computer.

We’ve all suffered from a poor night’s sleep. Whether it’s because we’ve had work on our minds, had a bad dream or consumed too much alcohol but for many people (it’s thought that as many as 1 in 3 adults are affected by sleep issues) a good night’s sleep is a rarity. People who suffer from a sleep disorder such as insomnia, bruxism or night terrors find not only does it affect their physical wellbeing but their mental one too. Sleep disorders are now considered to be one of the most common health complaints and in addition to making you feel tired they increase the chances of obesity and heart disease, lead to anxiety and stress and reduce concentration levels.

How hypnotherapy can help? 

It’s true to say that some sleep disorders are caused by underlying medical conditions so you should always consult with your doctor in the first instance. Once you’ve been given the all clear there are many things you can do to aid a good night’s sleep, hypnotherapy being one of them.

cognitive behavioural hypnotherapyHypnotherapy seeks to discover and understand the root causes of poor sleep. It sets out to tackle deep-seated issues such as anxiety that can disrupt sleep patterns. Hypnotherapy helps to alter and erase negative behaviour patterns and in their place install positive ones that encourage beneficial change allowing for normal sleep patterns to resume once more.

There are many techniques I use as a hypnotherapist within a hypnotherapy session to help improve sleep, NLP, EFT, Havening, Regression, Visualisations to name but a few. The techniques used will vary but each hypnotherapy session will be tailored to the individual as every client has their own unique issues to address.

For those of you who may not have experienced hypnotherapy before you’ll find it a little similar to falling asleep, it’s an altered state of awareness. The hypnotherapist, me in this instance, will guide you into a deep state of relaxation where you’ll still be able to sense and hear what’s going on around you accompanied with an almost distant type feeling. When you’re in this relaxed state, known as trance, your conscious thinking is reduced to a minimum allowing your subconscious mind to come to the foreground and become more responsive to positive change.

The number of Hypnotherapy sessions required will vary from person to person some may require only one session to reset themselves back into their normal sleeping pattern. Those with deep rooted issues including anxiety may require more. As you progress with hypnotherapy I like to furnish clients with the necessary knowledge to achieve self-hypnosis, a skill that you can take with you and incorporate into your everyday life to help continue and develop your sleep improvement.

To get you started with improving your sleep patterns you’ll find below a simple self-hypnosis technique that will help you relax and prepare for sleep. Sleep well and I wish you all very pleasant dreams.

A Self Hypnosis technique to help sleep

Firstly you’ll need to be prepared and ready for sleep, ideally in bed lying on your back in a comfortable, relaxed position. As you lay there reiterate what your goal is i.e. “I want to become deeper and deeper relaxed and gently drop off to sleep, sleeping deeply and soundly until it’s time to wake up in the morning.” Repeat this to yourself 2 or 3 times.

As you lay there repeating your goal, loosely focus your eyes on a particular spot on the ceiling above your head whilst still being able to take in as much as you can see in your peripheral vision and follow the steps below;

1. Become aware of and notice 3 things you can see, for example;
“I can see the light fitting”
“I can see the textured coating on the ceiling”
“I can see the curtains out of the corner of my eye”
(If you only see 2 things, it doesn’t matter you can just repeat things)

2. Now notice 3 things you hear, for example;
“I can hear the traffic outside”
“I can hear the sound of my breath”
“I can hear the clock ticking”

3. Finally notice 3 things you feel, for example;
“I can feel the duvet cover on top of me”
“I can feel my head on the pillow”
“I can feel the mattress beneath me”

4. Once completed carry out steps 1-3 again but this time notice only 2 things you see, hear and feel. If you can’t identify new things it doesn’t matter notice the same things;
Notice 2 things you see
Notice 2 things you hear
Notice 2 things you feel

5. Once you have completed steps 1-3 again noticing only 2 things for each do the same again but only notice 1 thing;
Notice 1 thing you see
Notice 1 thing you hear
Notice 1 thing you feel

6. When you’ve completed an entire set, steps 1-5, do the whole thing again but this time with your eyes closed, obviously you won’t be able to see a lot with your eyes closed so use your wonderful imagination to paint a picture of what you would like to see, for example. “I can see an image of myself in bed sleeping soundly and comfortably”.

7. Many people find themselves asleep before they reach the end of the 2nd set. If you do reach the end repeat 3 times what your initial goal was “I want to become deeper and deeper relaxed and gently drop off to sleep, sleeping deeply and soundly until it’s time to wake up in the morning.”

You can have fun and refine this technique by using more or less sets but like most things the more you practice self-hypnosis the better at it you’ll become. Enjoy yourself, relax and sleep well.

For more Tips and Advice on Sleep read our July 2016 Newsletter – I cant sleep.

To read more about the role of Nutrition in sleep read Dr Rafe Bundy’s Blog.

Read more about meditation and if it could help you sleep here.