I have now retired but will continue to keep this web site live for year as a resource in case it is helpful to people.
- Do you have trouble “switching off”?
- Do you wake up in the night and can’t fall asleep again, or too early in the morning?
- Do you feel fatigued even after sleeping 7 to 8 hours at night?
If you have one or more of these, you have Insomnia – which can cause problems during the day, such as excessive sleepiness, trouble thinking clearly or staying focused, or even feeling depressed or irritable.
The amount of sleep a person needs varies, but most people need between 7 and 8 hours of sleep a night- without it, the body becomes stressed and information isn’t processed as effectively as it could be.
If you think you have insomnia, unless you are aware that it is entirely caused by stress or anxiety, please talk to your doctor first to eliminate any medical reasons like sleep apnea. It might be helpful to keep a sleep diary for a week, noting your sleep patterns, your daily routine, and how you feel during the day.
Women are twice as likely to suffer from insomnia than men. Research suggests that some social factors, e.g. unemployment or problems in relationships can increase the risk of insomnia in women. Also, insomnia tends to increase with age. Perimenopause can create hot flushes and night sweats which often can disturb sleep. Pregnancy can also affect the quality of sleep.
Hypnosis and counselling can help: Once any medical conditions have been ruled out then the opportunities for you to have a restful and drug free night’s sleep can be explored.
This can include investigating your night time routines, like winding down before you go to bed, drinking alcohol at night and your sleeping environment and how you manage any established thinking patterns which may habitually disrupt your sleep.
Some useful sleep remedies which may also help:
- Establish a sleep routine. Try to go to sleep at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning. Do not take naps after 3 p.m.
- Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol late in the day or at night.
- Get regular exercise. Exercise during the day–make sure you exercise at least 5 to 6 hours before bedtime.
- Make sure you eat dinner at least 2 to 3 hours before bedtime.
- Keep your bedroom dark, quiet, and cool. If light is a problem, try a sleeping mask. If noise is a problem, try earplugs, a fan, or a “white noise” machine to cover up the sounds.
- Follow a routine to help relax and wind down before sleep, such as reading a book, listening to music, or taking a bath.
- If you can’t fall asleep within 20 minutes or don’t feel drowsy, get up and read or do something that is not too active until you feel sleepy. Then try going back to bed.
- If you lay awake worrying about things, try making a to-do list before you go to bed.
- Use your bed only for sleep and sex. Take out any electronic equipment and leave your phone downstairs.
If appropriate, hypnosis can be used to help you mentally rehearse and visualise a perfect night’s sleep & reduce anxiety by practising progressive muscle relaxation techniques. Back to Treatments