According to Charlotte Brontë, “a ruffled mind makes a restless pillow.” In other words, it can be hard to get to sleep if you can’t relax. If you’re unable to switch off the constant chatter in your head. There are few things as frustrating as struggling to get to sleep at night. Yet it’s actually a very common problem. Some people who struggle with insomnia tend to explore alternative ways to manage it and one of the emerging trends is through hypnosis. That said, you’ll find out how to manage insomnia naturally with sleep hypnosis in this article.
A review of Sleep Studies of patients with chronic insomnia published in the Singapore Medical Journal states that insomnia is “the most commonly reported sleep problem” in industrialized countries.
In fact, between 33 and 50% of Americans either have insomnia or have difficulty getting the sleep they need.
Fortunately for them, there’s sleep hypnosis.
The big question is “how to manage insomnia naturally with sleep hypnosis?”
But before discovering that, it might help to find out what other types of insomnia treatments are available.
Insomnia Treatments: Are They Helpful Or Harmful?
You’ve probably heard about one of the main treatments for insomnia.
That sounds ideal on one level: a pill that helps you sleep.
Couldn’t be simpler, right?
Just pop it in your mouth, settle down and nod off.
But what exactly are they?
Well, they’re actually sedatives, a specific class of drugs designed to help you sleep or let you stay asleep once you get there.
Sleeping pills have other names as well, such as hypnotic drugs, sleep aids, or soporifics.
They’re prescribed by doctors specializing in sleep medicine to treat insomnia.
The phrase “sleep medicine” tells you just how widespread the problem is when there’s a branch of medicine dedicated to dealing with it.
And that’s because of the effect insomnia can have on your lifestyle.
It can affect your mood, your energy levels, your health, and even the way you perform at work.
The kind of sleeping pills you get prescribed will depend on what’s causing your insomnia.
And speaking of medication, don’t forget that sleeping pills are drugs, and like most drugs, they come with certain potential side effects.
For instance, benzodiazepines are anti-anxiety medications. They help calm you down and make you drowsy so you can get to sleep in the first place.
Barbiturates tend to dull your central nervous system and act as sedatives.
Both of these medications are recommended for use in the short term. Extended use can lead to addiction and in the case of barbiturates, an overdose could be fatal.
In most cases, barbiturates are no longer recommended for insomnia because the risk of overdose is too great.
Your doctor may prescribe anti-depressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). These are used to treat anxiety, panic disorder, OCD and PTSD.
You might experience any of a wide range of side effects from sleeping pills, such as:
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Heartburn or stomach pain
- Dizziness or difficulty balancing
- Loss of concentration or memory problems
- Uncontrollable shaking
- Loss of appetite
- Burning or tingling in the joints
In extreme cases, some sleeping pills can have more serious side effects, including parasomnias.
Parasomnias happen while you’re asleep and are unaware of what’s going on. They include things like sleepwalking and similar actions that you have no control over.
But if sleeping pills are so dangerous, what are the alternatives?
That’s where therapies like sleep hypnosis come into the picture.
Before looking at how hypnosis can help, however, let’s find out why it’s so difficult to change your behavior in the first place.
Why It’s So Hard To Alter Your Behavior
An article on the Psychology Today lists 8 reasons why changing your behavior can be such a challenge. Here’s a summary of their main points.
You need to be motivated by something positive. Negative emotions like shame or regret might make you want to change, but it takes a positive emotion to make you actually do it.
In order to make real change, you need some kind of regime you can follow and stick to. Something whose momentum you can cope with and sustain.
Biting off more than you can chew
One step at a time might sound boring, but it’s the only way to make a change that lasts. Take it one small success at a time and eventually, you will have reached your goal.
Using the wrong tools
You can’t change the wallpaper without the correct tools. Likewise, you can’t change an aspect of your behavior without the right kind of support, such as a plan, a log or journal, a paper or digital calendar, and so on.
Trying to change too much
It’s impossible to change too many things at once. That only makes unrealistic demands on your resources and means that you’re probably doomed to fail before you even begin. So pick one thing, focus on that, and then repeat.
Not connecting the dots
Real change is a process with lots of different steps. Doing just one thing differently may not be enough, because everything is connected. As the folks at Psychology Today put it, think about moving the needle a little at a time.
Forgetting the power of failure
Failing is part of the process. It’s not a bad thing. Instead, it shows you what you need to work on. It actually helps you get from one step to the next so that you understand exactly what’s happening.
Not being committed
No matter what you do, change is impossible unless you’re totally committed to it. That means you keep going no matter what, and you don’t let obstacles hold you back. You need to keep your goal in mind and remain positive.
With those points in mind, what steps could you take to try and change your sleeping patterns yourself? Here are a couple of things you might try.
Modify your sleep environment
An article on how to improve your sleep environment lists 6 ways to change your environment for better sleep.
1. Keep your room tidy, clutter-free and free from distractions such as TVs or telephones.
2. Spend money on a quality mattress and quality bed linen.
3. Make sure the temperature in your room is conducive to sleeping, not too hot or too cold.
4. Add noise or remove noise, depending on your preference, as this can make a big difference to how well you sleep.
5. Make sure your room is dark and that there are no internal or external lights distracting you or keeping you from getting to sleep.
6. Imagine the perfect, coziest bedroom and design yours in the same image.
Another way you can try to improve your sleep experience is by altering your body clock, known as your Circadian rhythm.
The objective is to go to bed and to get up at the same time every day. Even if you have trouble falling asleep at night, you should still get up at the same time. This helps to create a routine that your body will eventually respond to.
Of course, it goes without saying that you should avoid eating before bedtime or drinking caffeine or alcohol. It’s also important exercise during the day.
These are all bonafide techniques for improving the quality of your sleep and defeating insomnia. But is there an easier way?
How to Manage Insomnia Naturally with Sleep Hypnosis?
There’s a very good reason why sleep hypnosis is a better option in managing insomnia.
It was the 19th century Scottish surgeon James Braid who popularized the word “hypnosis”, after the Greek word hypnos meaning sleep. Braid noticed that his patients went into a trance-like state resembling sleep, although they remained completely awake.
However, any good induction will create a trance that will help the person to relax. And if they relax too much, it’s possible that they would fall asleep.
So hypnosis isn’t sleep, but it’s one of the easiest ways to move into a state of sleep.
As a hypnotist, you don’t want your client to fall asleep during the session. You want them to be alert so that they respond to your suggestions.
But even though there’s an obvious link between hypnosis and sleep, does it actually produce the results?
In other words, is there any scientific evidence that hypnosis can help with insomnia?
Yes, there is.
In his paper Hypnosis: An Alternate Approach to Insomnia, Donald C. Paterson highlights the various ways hypnosis, and particularly self-hypnosis, can help tackle insomnia.
According to Paterson, hypnosis is most effective when there is a high level of expectation, and can be used to manage:
- Insomnia due to jet lag or changes in shift work patterns
- Insomnia as a result of acute or chronic pain
- Insomnia caused by anxiety
- Insomnia due to changes in environment, such as travel or moving to a new house
Writing for Australian website BodyAndSoul.com, Shona Hendley explains how she tried every technique available to cure her insomnia from meditation to melatonin, antihistamines to acupuncture, sleep apps, essential oils, chamomile tea, prescription sleep medication, and even wine.
The results were disappointing. She felt some benefits from some of the processes, but nothing made a substantial difference… until she tried hypnotherapy.
According to Hendley, “the effects were astounding”. Following just one session, she had her first full night’s sleep in years. She had one more session a week later, and her sleep just kept getting better.
So why is hypnosis so effective?
An article by the Brisbane Hypnosis Clinic points out that hypnosis allows your mind to “get out of the way” so that you can naturally drift off to sleep.
In other words, hypnosis helps to bypass the critical factor and switch off the conscious mind, the “ruffled mind” that Charlotte Brontë wrote about.
So what’s the best way to go about it?
To put it another way, exactly how to manage insomnia naturally with sleep hypnosis?
How To Effectively Initiate Hypnosis For Sleep On Your Clients
Here are some helpful tips to help you initiate sleep hypnosis effectively on your clients:
- The first thing you need to do is to try to find out what triggered the client’s insomnia.
- You can do that using the blitz technique and echoing to get as much information from the client about how their insomnia affects them.
- Next, you need to communicate with their unconscious mind to interrupt their negative thought patterns. You can do that using the power of suggestion and introducing positive images and symbols associated with sleep.
- While you’re doing that, it might be the perfect opportunity to introduce a Magic Moment, a hypnotic event that enters them into a trance of possibilities and stays with the person forever.
- One of the most important aspects of sleep hypnosis is teaching the client how to relax. This can be done by getting them to focus on their breathing and then using relaxation techniques, such as progressive muscle relaxation.
- Of course, perhaps the easiest way to help your clients manage insomnia naturally and achieve sleep using the power of hypnosis is by teaching them self-hypnosis.
This will help them develop a self-hypnosis routine at bedtime to encourage relaxation and ultimately lead to sleep.
To wrap it up…
Why is insomnia such a problem?
Simple. Everybody needs a good night’s sleep.
When you’re asleep, there are still lots of things going on.
Your body is busy growing muscle, repairing tissue, and pumping out hormones to keep you healthy and safe.
Your mind is working through all the data it collected, putting it in short- or long-term memory for future reference.
As well as helping you refresh and rejuvenate, sleep also provides you with access to your dreams. Dreams are important because they can help you find answers to burning questions and let you live out scenarios in perfect safety.
And since sleep hypnosis provides a proven, all-natural and medication-free way to relieve insomnia, it makes sense that it should be the go-to technique for you or your sleep-deprived clients.