Insomnia and its effects
Overview of why sleep is important and having good sleep hygiene to support us in our daily life.
There are many factors why people fail to get a good night’s sleep. Some relate to our environment whether it is the personal stressors we encounter day-to-day or technological advances having a detrimental effect on our sleep pattern because we stay up late watching TV, continue using the Internet or have our phones switched on near to the bed. These environmental factors can inhibit us getting a good night’s sleep because we are not allowing our minds to ‘switch off’ and have that down-time needed to prepare ourselves for a good night’s sleep.
The BBC programme ‘Trust me I’m a Doctor’ made the point that research shows having a good night’s sleep has health and wellbeing benefits. Eight hours sleep a day can help you concentrate, be alert and be able to carry out the tasks you want or need to do during the day at your optimum potential. However, more and more of us are finding it hard to get that good quality eight-hour sleep at night.
If you think about the way parents try to provide babies and children with a bedtime routine, the aim is to try to settle the baby down and be ready for a good night’s rest. The baby has a bath, is read a bedtime story and as such is more able to go to sleep. If you contrast that bedtime routine with what many of us do now it is no wonder, perhaps, that many are having problems sleeping and suffer with insomnia.
Nowadays we bombard ourselves late into the night, and on many occasions early morning, with colourful, bright visual images and full sound effects from our computers, phones and TVs which ensure that the adrenaline is kept running on high in our systems. This is added to the reviewing of all the events of our day which run through our mind, as well as the fact we could then watch or read dramas which are intense and stimulate the mind, again keeping the adrenaline high. All of which means we don’t allow our minds to rest and then wonder why we suffer sleeplessness, have nightmares or are awake all night. In some ways it’s a wonder any of us manage to get a good night’s sleep!
There is increasing evidence that we are affected adversely by lack of sleep. Research considers that ‘insufficient sleep and circadian rhythm disruption are associated with negative health outcomes, including obesity, cardiovascular disease and cognitive impairment…’ for those suffering from severe insomnia (PNAS, March 19, 2013 Vol 110 No. 12 – www.pnas.org).
If you are suffering from insomnia, in addition to just not feeling sharp, it can affect mood and food choices, which can have a detrimental effect on health and sleep patterns. You may find it hard to concentrate, have memory disturbance, irritability, and you may well find yourself making more mistakes at work, school and just generally and it can also have a very negative impact on relationships whether with colleagues, at home, school or socially.
If insomnia is causing you a problem perhaps hypnotherapy could help. It is recognized that too much pressure can lead to stress and anxiety and a range of physical and mental health problems, including insomnia. The good news is that hypnotherapy is being increasingly accepted in the medical profession as being helpful for those experiencing symptoms related to lack of sleep. ‘Sleep and well-being are inter-related and affect the way you think, feel and behave, impacting every area of your life at any age’ (www.AfSFH.co.uk).
Hypnotherapy can offer powerful techniques and strategies to enable you to deal with issues that can result in, or be as a result of, sleep and rest deprivation. It can help you to think and behave in a more positive way that has many health benefits, including an ability to “switch off” and rest at night.
Being encouraged to think and express yourself positively and be able to improve your responses to everyday stresses and anxieties can help you relax and work towards those eight hours of quality sleep. Whether affected directly or indirectly by your sleep patterns, therapy and therapy techniques, such as visualization, relaxation etc, could help you restore your sleep pattern to a level that is relevant and effective for you and your life.
Always consult your GP in the first instance.
Posted: Friday 2nd February 2018
Last Updated: Friday 2nd February 2018