Hypnotherapy: Hope for the Rising Insomnia Crisis
What is Insomnia?
Insomnia sufferers are unable to fall sleep or stay asleep. The majority of Australians have insomnia at some point in their lives, and one in 10 suffer from at least mild insomnia at any given time. It affects women and the elderly more often.
Insomnia can be any of these:
having trouble falling asleep
waking up too early
having problems falling back to sleep after waking up during the night
Some people would, at times, experience all three.
Some experience insomnia for a brief period, for instance when they are stressed or anxious. However, certain cases of insomnia are chronic (also called chronic insomnia disorder), meaning they have difficulty falling or staying asleep for three months (at least) which results to being impaired in daytime functions.
Also read: Insomnia
Symptoms of Insomnia
Insomnia manifests differently for each person. The following are a few symptoms:
having trouble falling asleep
waking frequently at night
being unable to fall back asleep after waking up too early
having no energy after waking up
Insomnia can result in a few symptoms during the day:
being too sleepy or feeling fatigued to do daily activities
weak focus and poor memory
feeling grumpy or moody
being impulsive, hyperactive, or aggressive
losing interest and motivation to do things
decreased energy and motivation
feeling sleepy when sitting quietly
being worried about sleeping at night
Causes of Insomnia
Sometimes insomnia has no underlying cause. We refer to this as primary insomnia.
In some situations, general health issues, anxiety, depression, or sleep disorder may be the underlying cause. We refer to this as secondary insomnia.
However, the following can worsen insomnia:
poor sleep hygiene (sleep habits)
substances like alcohol, nicotine, amphetamines, caffeine, and some prescription drugs
stress brought on by problems in work or with money, issues in relationships, or grief
medical issues, especially conditions that cause pain, hormone changes (such as, night sweats and hot flushes during menopause), and respiratory, urinary, or bowel (intestinal) problems
sleep disorders, including obstructive sleep apnea, circadian rhythm disorders caused by irregular sleep patterns, periodic limb movement, and restless legs syndrome
mental health problems — insomnia can be a symptom of depression, anxiety or other disorders
shift at work — those who work varying shifts often don't get as much sleep as people who have set workday hours.
life stage — elderly people are more likely to have insomnia
Have you considered hypnotherapy to treat some health issues? Contact JarvisHypnotherapy to help you.
Can hypnotherapy help with insomnia?
Hypnosis can help by inducing a trance-like state where a person can relax and let go of any worries and tensions. But it will work only if the insomnia sufferer wants the hypnosis.
Some may benefit from hypnosis for insomnia if they depend on alcohol, tablets, or medication to fall asleep.
In an article by Sleep Society, here is the 2022 sleep statistics of Australia:
- 40% of Australians are struggling to sleep for 7-9 hours.
- 59.4% experience symptoms at least 3-4 times per week, including trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking too early and not being able to get back to sleep.
- In children aged 12-15, 25% do not sleep for 8-10 hours on school nights, and children aged 16-17 it’s 50%.
- Only 20% of Australians report sleeping uninterrupted.
- A whopping 20% of Australians fell asleep behind the wheel, and 5% of these accidents occurred.
Read related: Hypnotherapy Promises Hope for Insomnia Sufferers
Does hypnosis work for insomnia?
According to The Sleep Charity in the UK, sleep hypnosis can help some insomnia sufferers to fall asleep. However, it may not be an effective stand-alone treatment and may not work well for those who are not suggestible to hypnosis.
Hypnotherapy is often combined with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which enables patients to alter their thought patterns or approaches to improve their sleep habit.
One can also try meditation, mindfulness, and breathing exercises as additional calming techniques. Hence, hypnotherapy is an effective supplementary treatment that alleviates symptoms of insomnia.
How does hypnosis work?
During hypnosis for insomnia, a person is calmed down and led into a trance-like state so they can let go of any anxieties. As a result, they might spend more time in deep sleep –which is something that everyone needs to recover and store memories.
Self-hypnosis, which is like meditation, is something that insomnia sufferers can try. Or better, they can seek the help of a hypnotherapist, but remember that hypnosis can only be effective if the individual wants it.
First, there should be a discussion of the client's session goals and an agreement on the hypnosis techniques the therapist will employ.
The hypnotherapist would then:
1. guide the person into a deep state of relaxation
2. direct the person toward their goals using the techniques mutually agreed upon
3. gently awakens the person from their trance-like state, which should leave them feeling rested and refreshed.
During the hypnosis, the person retains full control and is under no obligation to follow the hypnotherapist's suggestions. Furthermore, if they so desire, they are free to bring themselves back from the hypnotic state.
The Benefits of Hypnosis for Insomnia
A 2018 study, following a review of 24 papers on the impact of hypnosis on sleep outcomes, found that:
58.3% said they had benefited
12.5% reported varying outcomes
29.2% claimed no advantages
Another research from 2020 examined the beneficial effects of an intervention that integrated a number of non-pharmacological treatments for shift workers who experienced non-restorative sleep. The goal of the treatment was to aid individuals in creating sleep improvement techniques for themselves that they can incorporate in their daily routine.
The regimens comprised:
Sleep hygiene and sleep education
relaxation and dream work
The researchers found that the participants' sleep quality, their level of daytime fatigue, and the amount of time they needed to fall asleep all significantly improved after the intervention.
As we have already mentioned earlier in this article, hypnotherapy will be effective as a supplementary treatment in a regimen of treatments –and not a stand-alone, primary cure– for insomnia.
Talk to JarvisHypnotherapy today to help you address your sleep problems.
Also read: The Link Between Insomnia and Mental Illness
Plus, here are more insights on hypnosis from JarvisHypnotherapy: Understanding Hypnosis and What It Does for Your Health.