Insomnia & Sleep Issues
Discover how therapy could help you to tackle insomnia and get your sleep routine back on track.
All about insomnia
Insomnia can be described as a difficulty or inability to fall asleep or stay asleep during the night, which then results in interrupted sleep or a lack of restorative sleep. It’s often believed that we need 8 hours of sleep each night, however the actual amount required varies from person to person, depending on a variety of factors including age and lifestyle.
Insomnia can often be related to other common issues such as Anxiety or Stress, with the triggers differing for each person. Often the cause is a counterproductive sleep routine, where we may have developed behaviours which make it difficult to fall and stay asleep.
Medication can be useful as a short term solution, however many of the medications that are commonly prescribed can be addictive and whilst enabling you to fall asleep, do not address the underlying cause. The good news is that there are some changes that you can make on your own which will help you to get your sleep routine back on track.
The four stages of sleep
When we fall asleep, we pass through four stages in order to make the transition from being awake to being asleep.
Therapy for Insomnia & Sleep Issues
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBTi)
CBTi is an evidence based psychological method for addressing insomnia. The aim of CBTi is to improve sleep habits and responses by identifying and changing the thoughts and behaviours that affect your ability to sleep. CBTi is a structured process which consists of 3 main stages:
The aim of CBTi is to enable you to restore your natural sleep routine whilst giving you the tools and strategies to help yourself in the future.
Although the term Hypnosis comes from the Greek word Hypnos, meaning sleep, hypnosis is a natural psychological state of awareness which we all experience several times a day.
People who experience problems with falling asleep, often have difficulty in transitioning from the Thinking stage of the sleep process, to the Fantasy stage. Sometimes they remain in the Thinking stage for too long, which then causes them to fully re-awaken again. Hypnotherapy could help you to address this by teaching you relaxation techniques and enabling you to access the Fantasy and Hypnoidal stages more easily, therefore encouraging sleep to occur.
The most appropriate type of therapy for you depends on your situation and the problem or issue you would like to address.
Therapy sessions for Insomnia and Sleep issues usually combine Hypnotherapy with CBTi to help you identify the thoughts and behaviours which are causing your sleep problems, whilst enabling you to form new healthy sleep habits and regain control of your sleep patterns.
Standard therapy sessions are 50 minutes in order to maximise concentration and get the best from the process. Your first session is usually a little longer (approximately 60 to 90 minutes) to allow sufficient time to discuss your situation and answer any questions you may have.
During your first session, we will discuss your sleep issues in more detail, whilst identifying what is causing and maintaining your sleep problems. You will be asked to keep a sleep diary as this is a useful way of tracking your progress and identifying any areas for improvement. You will also be given tools and techniques to implement at home as part of your new sleep routine.
Sessions are typically 2 to 3 weeks apart as this allows sufficient time for your subconscious mind to process new ideas and for you to start making changes.
We will discuss the frequency and number of sessions during your first session.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach in therapy, so it’s difficult to say exactly how many sessions you may need because everyone is different and some people experience changes more quickly than others.
The number of sessions required also depends on the problem or issue, along with your level of motivation and participation in your therapy sessions.
Generally speaking, most people find between 4 to 6 sessions helpful and occasionally further sessions may be required.
If you are committed to making changes, you have a good chance of succeeding. However, there are a variety of factors that can affect the outcome of therapy and for this reason, it is unethical to offer any guarantee of success. To be successful, you will need to make changes and follow the advice given in your sessions.
Both CBTi and Hypnotherapy have a good track record in helping people to overcome their sleep problems and restore a natural sleep pattern, with improvements often being noticed within 4 to 6 weeks. However, the key to success is you, so you need to play your part too.
The problems or issues that people often seek help with, have usually occurred as a result of past experiences and unhelpful thought processes. In order to overcome a problem or respond differently, the desired change comes from within; therefore, we need to change our thoughts and behaviours.
During your therapy sessions, you may be shown how to use self help tools and techniques to enable you to make the changes that you desire. How you use these tools and the level of effort applied, will affect how quickly you experience positive changes. Remember, your motivation and participation are the key to your success.
Insomnia and sleep issues can sometimes indicate an underlying medical problem. If you have any doubts or concerns about your health, you must see your doctor. I may also ask you to consult your doctor before starting any therapy sessions.
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Free Initial Consultation
If you have any questions or are unsure whether therapy is right for you, I offer a 20 minute online free initial consultation via Zoom. This is an opportunity for us to meet, discuss what you’d like to change and how we can work together. I’ll also explain the face to face or online therapy options and we’ll talk about the number of sessions you might need.