Hypnotherapy is a well method with a high success rate to deal with sleeping disorders.
Hypnosis can be defined as a procedure during which changes in sensations, perceptions, thoughts, feelings or behaviour are suggested. Acute and chronic insomnia often respond to relaxation and hypnotherapy approaches, along with sleep hygiene instructions.
Different Types of Sleep Disorders:
There are numerous different types of sleep disorders. Some may be caused by other underlying health conditions.
Insomnia refers to the inability to fall asleep or to remain asleep. It can be caused by jet lag, stress and anxiety, hormones, or digestive problems. It may also be a symptom of another condition. Insomnia can be very problematic for your overall health and quality of life, potentially causing:
- difficulty concentrating
- weight gain
- impaired work or school performance
Unfortunately, insomnia is extremely common in the United States. Approximately 50 percent of adults experience it at some point in their lives. The disorder is most prevalent among older adults and women.
Insomnia is usually classified as one of three types:
- chronic, which is when insomnia happens on a regular basis for at least one month
- intermittent, which is when insomnia occurs periodically
- transient, which is when insomnia lasts for just a few nights at a time
Sleep apnea is characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep. This is a serious medical condition that causes the body to take in less oxygen. It can also cause you to wake up during the night.
Parasomnias are a class of sleep disorders that cause abnormal movements and behaviors during sleep. They include:
- sleep talking
- teeth grinding or jaw clenching
Restless Leg Syndrome
Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is an overwhelming need to move the legs. This urge is sometimes accompanied by a tingling sensation in the legs. While these symptoms can occur during the day, they are most prevalent at night. RLS is often associated with certain health conditions, including ADHD and Parkinson’s disease, but the exact cause isn’t always known.
Narcolepsy is characterized by “sleep attacks” that occur during the day. This means that you will suddenly feel extremely tired and fall asleep without warning. The disorder can also cause sleep paralysis, which may make you physically unable to move right after waking up. Although narcolepsy may occur on its own, it is also associated with certain neurological disorders, such as multiple sclerosis.
How Sleep Disorders is Diagnosed?
Your doctor will first perform a physical exam and gather information about your symptoms and medical history. They will also order various tests, including:
- polysomnography: a sleep study that evaluates oxygen levels, body movements, and brain waves to determine how they disrupt sleep
- electroencephalogram: a test that assesses electrical activity in the brain and detects any potential problems associated with this activity
- genetic blood testing: a blood test commonly used to diagnose narcolepsy and other underlying health conditions that might be causing sleeping problems
These tests can be crucial in determining the right course of treatment for sleep disorders.
If your sleep disorder has links to anxiety, stress and unhealthy habits, hypnotherapy may be able to help. The aim of hypnotherapy for sleep disorders is to help you uncover the root cause and help you alter your perception of it.
Often sleep disorders lead to anxiety in the sufferer, as they fear going to bed and not getting enough sleep. Hypnotherapy looks to reduce this anxiety and suggest different responses to your subconscious.
Your hypnotherapist will do this by helping you enter a state of hypnosis, or deep relaxation, where your subconscious is more open to suggestion. Using different techniques, your hypnotherapist will then be able to ‘plant’ more positive suggestions to help your mind react differently around sleep.
While sleep may feel like one long stretch of time where we’re unconscious, it’s actually made up of several different stages which form a cycle. Within this cycle, there are two types of sleep, rapid eye movement (REM) and non-rapid eye movement (non-REM).
The first type we experience in non-REM sleep. This is when we first fall asleep and gradually fall into deeper and deeper stages of sleep. During non-REM phases, our bodies have the chance to repair any wear and tear from the day, build muscle and bone strength, and strengthen our immune system. If you’re woken up during a non-REM stage of sleep, you’ll likely feel disorientated.
The REM phase makes up about 25% of the sleep cycle and this is where we process the day. It’s vital for our memory, learning and replenishing hormones such as dopamine and serotonin (the feel-good hormones).
Our brains are most active during this stage and this is when dreaming takes place. This is why sometimes you wake up remembering your dreams and sometimes you don’t – it all depends on whether or not you wake from a REM phase (we experience between three and five each night).
Together, these sleep phases help both body and mind calibrate, heal and re-energize, ready for the day ahead. It’s understandable then that when our sleep pattern is disturbed by sleep disorders, our health can suffer.
Helping us process the day, rest and heal, sleep has a huge impact on our health and well-being. When we become sleep deprived, we feel exhausted, lacking in motivation and more easily overwhelmed by stress.
After a prolonged period of poor sleep, both mental health and physical health can be affected, leading to conditions like depression, heart disease and diabetes. It can even shorten your life expectancy.
So, we know sleep is important – but for some of us, it isn’t as easy as just getting an early night. For some, sleep disorders can make sleep elusive and anxiety-inducing. Here we’ll be looking at sleep in more depth, including common sleep disorders and how hypnotherapy can help overcome sleep problems.