How to diet and lose weightWhen you are thinking about how to diet and lose weight fast, many people try crash/starvation dieting or over-exercising as a way of shedding those pounds quickly. Most attempts to diet and lose weight attempts last very long however. Typically, those on diets crash within about three weeks of starting their regime. They will have started with all the best intentions. As an experienced hypnotherapist, my 'diet and lose weight' hypnotherapy courses have helped many patients turn their failed plans into successful and long-term changes. Consult your GP when setting any goals to diet and lose weight to ensure that you are in good health to cope with these changes. This is a synopsis of where those hypnotherapy patients go wrong.
How to diet and lose weight problem: changes are too drasticWhen inflated plans to diet and lose weight collapse before they have really taken off, consider that severe changes can be too stressful for the mind and body to accommodate. A sudden, rapid drop in calories can leave you feeling lethargic, disrupting your day to day functioning. You can get away with infrequent snacking particularly if you want to squeeze into a dress for a special occasion for a short period. But once the occasion is over, if you haven’t planned this drastic drop in calories in advance, you are unlikely to keep this routine going for long enough without being malnourished and feeling lifeless. Planning what you will eat for that month before the special occasion could be enough to ensure that you diet and lose weight, and remain healthy during that period of routine change. Calorie count what you are eating. Aim for 500 calories less than your daily average per day to lose 1 pound per week. This is considered a healthy weight loss plan. Keep food varied in type and colour (fruit, vegetables, pulses etc) to ensure optimum health. Keep a watchful eye on those portion sizes – you’ll be surprised how quickly the calories add up. For my hypnotherapy patients who want to diet and lose weight and are seeking help late in the day, I help them to visualise a shrinking stomach combined with a feeling a fullness. I also use suggestions for a healthy diet and calorie count to maintain optimum health. I then use a follow-up hypnotherapy consultation after the “big day” to return any changes back to a sustainable level. How to diet and lose weight solution: Make small changes
How to diet and lose weight problem: Expectations are unrealisticGoals to diet and lose weight are doomed when the expectations are set too high. Typically, when I see my hypnotherapy patient in this “mode”, they want to imitate a celebrity who has boasted some weight loss figures, but ignores (or the report has not included) other essential issues. “They lost that weight, so can I...right NOW” is their desperate model of approach. Their urgency is so great that they will jump on the weighing scales after every meal and remove an extra item of clothing if there hasn’t been a positive change since the last weigh-in. Does this sound familiar? In many ways, being unrealistic accompanies the earlier point: the changes are too drastic. When your goals to diet and lose weight are this reckless, you will fail because the numbers on the scales direct your mood – weight has gone down and you feel on top of the world; weight has gone up and it’s time to throw the towel in. Unfortunately, no framework or method is considered in this model because the goal is the “method”. The scheme is too ambitious from the outset.
In my 'diet and lose weight' hypnotherapy courses, patience and long-term lifestyle changes are built into the programme so that realistic changes can feel lived (habituated). Your mind is taken through the process repeatedly in the hypnotherapy consultation so that it feels as if your goals to diet and lose weight have already been achieved, rather than something you are trying to set up from scratch. Using this approach, realistic eating plans feel natural and achievable.
How to diet and lose weight solution: Make realistic goals
How to diet and lose weight problem: Goals are too strictA regime to diet and lose weight that is too strict, is likely to fail because the individual can feel deprived. Deprivation is a strong emotion that causes the patient to lose control of their eating patterns. When you ignore the importance of this issue, it can re-surface as bingeing. If this issue is at the centre of your over-eating and weight gain, hypnotherapy can help you in many ways. When I identify that there is a background of “control issues”, I use suggestions that reset the 'diet and lose weight' belief system. This helps you to be “easier on yourself”, allowing for the odd treat as part of the plan. Hypnotherapy will then be used to break this association that food is your reward or your escape. This helps release you from the deprivation and binge cycle. Where you are vulnerable to a particular negative emotion e.g. worthlessness, the treatment plan is focused on building your self esteem, confronting and treating the “cause” and “effects” of your negative rituals from many different levels. How to diet and lose weight solution: Make your goals flexible
How to diet and lose weight problem: Goals involve skipping mealsIt can be tempting to skip meals as a conscious plan to diet and lose weight. When you have a hectic life, you may even justify it by saying that that there wasn’t time to eat. But the effect of skipping meals puts the body into “starvation” mode. In this state, the body slows down the key metabolic and digestive processes to conserve energy. The next time you eat, the starvation mode causes you to burn fewer calories and thus hinders weight loss. Skipping meals can cause immediate health risks because there is a lack of available carbohydrates. Symptoms of dizziness can occur because the body is trying to maintain blood-glucose levels. You may even feel faint if you participate in any intensive physical activity. When you do eat, there is a surge of insulin to cope with meal that is usually calorie-laden. With pro-longed meal skipping, these persistent patterns could develop into diabetes. Another key feature of skipping meals is that intense feelings of hunger can take over at a later stage in the day, resulting in a food binge that still doesn’t give any feeling of satisfaction. When you have eaten, you still crave more food. Potentially, you are condensing the calories from two or more meals into one and still feel like you could eat some more food. So your total intake of calories may be the same, but just eaten later in the day and in one sitting. Keep eating regularly to maintain your metabolic rate and optimum health via nutrition from your food. When your eating patterns are rehearsed in this way, you will find that the meals are effortlessly eaten on a regular basis. When making a change in your life, your priorities also need to be re-evaluated. In my 'diet and lose weight' hypnotherapy consultation, suggestions are used for optimum health to ensure that you make time to eat and eat regularly. How to diet and lose weight solution: Eat regularly
How to diet and lose weight problem: Goals ignore wider issuesOther wider issues can be called lifestyle issues. One lifestyle issue is the subject of exercise. Before participating in any form of physical activity or exercise, check with your GP that you have no medical conditions that could contra-indicate the exercise. Most people can participate in some form of moderate, low impact activity e.g. brisk walking. When considering the equation: eating fewer calories + burning more calories = weight loss, what calories you put into your body is certainly the bigger part of the equation and for many, the easiest part to control. The 500 fewer calories from your diet is roughly equivalent to 90 minutes of walking throughout your day. This may seem like a mountain, but is easily achieved with short walks, domestic work, gardening etc. So keep moving as a way of helping the second part of the equation, but be realistic about the part exercise plays in weight loss alone. There is only so much exercise you can do before other parts of your life become neglected. There are so many other health benefits from exercising e.g. reduction in affects of stress, boosting levels of serotonin to lift depression and lowering the potential for developing Type 2 diabetes etc. When you are exercising, you can find that you deal with life in a more positive way. Exercise can have indirect emotional benefits to your diet and lose weight strategies such as helping you to feel more determined. It can help to build mental stamina. Sleep is another lifestyle issue important for total health and well-being. When you are suffering with insomnia and regularly have less than six hours sleep, the production of certain hormones can be disrupted, changing your appetite awareness. When you lack sleep, leptin levels are suppressed which means you don’t feel as satisfied after you eat a meal. Ghrelin levels are also increased which means your appetite is stimulated, increasing your drive to eat more food. In my 'diet and lose weight' hypnotherapy consultations, wider lifestyle issues are discussed to ensure that you are aware of what “unknowns” could be affecting your ability to diet and lose weight. Any additional issues are treated so that you remain focused on the most essential features to diet and lose weight. How to diet and lose weight solution: Make healthy lifetyle changes
How to diet and lose weight with hypnotherapy“Knowing” what is required to diet and lose weight is very different from being “emotionally focused” on achieving those goals. Stress and emotional issues connected with food and eating patterns can lead someone down a very different path from their intentions. If these issues aren’t dealt with in a way that helps you to release these emotional connections, they will cause you to give in early. In my 'diet and lose weight' hypnotherapy courses, your treatment is personalised so that your motivation and emotional obstacles are taken into account. When it feels like eating food is a reaction to some underlying issue, a more thorough treatment plan like hypnotherapy is needed to help you diet and lose weight. There are so many benefits from hypnotherapy, it can be used to initiate your diet and lose weight plans and support you through a special occasion such as a wedding. More information on weight loss tips 1 and weight loss tips 2.
For further information on how to diet and lose weight in Cardiff, contact Hypnotherapy Cardiff
Insomnia & Sleep ProblemsWhen your insomnia and sleep problems are taking over your life, contact Clinical Hypnotherapy Cardiff to treat your nocturnal awakening and the issues that are causing it. Below are a series of articles on insomnia & sleep problems that can help you understand the nature of your insomnia. For more help, contact Richard J D'Souza to resolve all aspects of your sleeplessness. Insomnia: Using Hypnotherapy to treat insomnia & sleep problems Insomnia: Relax in your day to help treat your insomnia Insomnia: Resolve your anxieties with visualisation Insomnia: Treat your Insomnia by taking "sleep" to bed with you Insomnia: Learn self-hypnosis to help you sleep Insomnia: Getting to sleep Insomnia: Waking up in the night Insomnia: Restless sleep
Insomnia: Using Hypnotherapy to treat insomnia & sleep problemsHow important is a good night's sleep? Sleep is crucial for your health, your vitality and the maintenance of essential physiological and psychological processes. Various studies have demonstrated the part sleep plays in affecting cardio-vascular functioning, immunity, concentration and retention etc. Modern day living tends to run at a hectic pace and the quality of sleep is suffering. If you suffer with insomnia, you have lost your natural sleeping routine. You enter a negative cycle of anxiety just thinking about going to sleep. You generate physical tension in bed, tossing and turning, stressing about how you will manage the next day. Your approach to sleeping has become a desperate situation. And when expectation is taking you to your insomnia, hypnotherapy can be an efficient way of teaching you how to transform your sleeping patterns. Hypnotherapy can introduce helpful relaxation techniques to stop your negative sleep ritual. Relaxation has important links with good sleep patterns. It is the "pathway" into deeper sleep. Relaxation is also an essential time for when your mind resolves problems. When life is tempered with relaxation, it can release your mind from dealing with problems at night, allowing you to focus on sleep. It can ease your insomnia. Relaxation can take many forms. Have you ever observed that when you are doing "simplistic" tasks, some of your worries "surge up" into your awareness as if wanting to be processed? Driving on a frequent journey is a good example. Your mind can slip into day-dreaming mode, problem-solving your working day ahead whilst driving. When you arrive you have almost forgotten the journey that you have just made. Because you are familiar with the journey, your mind doesn't have to give it your full concentration. This process can also occur when you are sat "watching" television (but not really bothering to take in any information). You are aware that you have switched-off, dealing with a more important issue. Your "problem-solving" mind is letting you know that something essential needs to be dealt with. Without having the time to resolve these issues earlier in the day, these worries and anxieties will accumulate, waiting to be resolved the next time you begin to relax. Without relaxation earlier in your day, that next situation will be at an inconvenient moment - when you are trying to get to sleep! So rather than ignoring this "problem-solving" request and causing it to build-up, use opportunities earlier in the day to manage your issues and then off-load them. Avoid "saving" it for bedtime to treat your insomnia! Sometimes when you are extremely tired, you can override the effort of "getting" to sleep. Your exhaustion helps you drift off the moment your head hits the pillow. But the worries that are still lingering in your mind, worm their way into your dreams and develop a restless sleep pattern. Your unconscious mind is attempting to resolve these issues through your dreams but with the "dream director" completely limitless. These intense dreams can be specifically related to your anxiety, as if regenerating the whole situation. The dream can also be 'indirectly' related to the issue, but has the common association of tension (heart racing, breathlessness, feeling of edginess etc.) Classic dreams of this type are the ones where you are being hunted. Unfortunately, the consequence of building up tension is that it wakes you up. Sometimes you can wake feeling panicky! Having woken up, you are now lying there in the early hours with the after-effects of the dreamed problem. The remaining physical tension is lingering in your body. The stress you have generated means that you don't have the natural tiredness responses as you did when you first went to sleep. The issues are tossed around until the alarm goes off. It is hardly surprising that you feel shattered by the morning and for the remains of the day. So it's vital to use fatigue as a useful signal and cancel its effect with relaxation. This will prevent the negative sleep pattern from taking over you. Try soaking in a bath before bedtime as a gentle wind-down. Use self-hypnosis breathing techniques to calm your mind and treat your insomnia. Some adverse sleep patterns can be quite ingrained. If you have a long history of insomnia, you would benefit from a course of regression hypnotherapy to help change the significance of your past traumas. This would benefit you because so much of your current behaviour is based on past association. Traumas that you experienced in your childhood can have a lasting impression on your present life. It can be transferred into your adult life and still affect your adult sleeping rituals. Past traumas such as hearing your parents arguing at night, can become integrated into night time feelings of anxiety. These contravening (unconscious) emotions can resurface when (as the adult) you have a row with your partner and have an over-powering feeling of tension. Your sleep is disturbed and you feel agitated. You are more likely to retaliate at your partner and once again, you have (indirectly) entered your cycle of insomnia. In this deep-rooted situation, the negative reactions have re-emerged even though the argument is insignificant. Regardless of knowing your history, much of the emotion is still repressed. Hypnotherapy can help dispense with the emotion held in these past traumas. Hypnotherapy can also impart new relaxation breathing techniques so that you can renew your positive sleeping pattern. Hypnotherapy can be a very beneficial treatment for your insomnia. It can refresh your sleep ritual and alter the conflicting negative cycle that your mind has now adopted. Hypnotherapy can teach you how to relax and change your belief system associated with recurrent insomnia. In a course a treatment, hypnotherapy will also help you to revise the meaning of your anxieties, both distant past and present. As a benefit, it changes your beliefs and what you expect from your sleep ritual. From the hypnotherapy perspective, it is so essential to believe that you can access a good night's sleep! Use hypnotherapy as a dependable solution for your insomnia.
Insomnia: Relax in your day to help treat your insomniaAs a practising hypnotherapist, I find that insomnia has a common link with anxiety. Hypnotherapy patients who pursue help for other conditions are usually troubled by some minor sleep-related issue. It's fair to assert that when you are sleeping well, you are also managing your anxiety. Hypnotherapy offers several suggestions to cope with your insomnia. If your current sleeping habit is disrupted, it's worth putting some of those changes into practise. When I am treating my insomnia patient with hypnotherapy, here is one significant change that I like to discuss with them. It also accompanies many other anxiety-related issues treated with hypnotherapy. It focuses on a holistic part of lifestyle management and ill-health prevention: the need to have relaxation in your day. When life is comfortable, it's easy to take it for granted. Feeling irritated when modern-day technological gadgets go wrong are examples of how you can mistakenly expect things to be there for you just when you want it. A worthy night's sleep is another one of those taken-for-granted expectations. When you were a young child, "just shutting your eyes" would have been the method to get to sleep. If it just happened that way, you can praise your parents for having established a good sleeping habit that benefitted both you and them. Consider that parents are teachers of subtle hypnotherapy. Now as adults, when insomnia is disrupting your night routine, it is essential to actively make some changes. Use some new strategies that can change your insomnia into an effortless sleeping routine once again. When I consult with my new hypnotherapy patient, I ask a few questions about their relaxation patterns. Relaxation is the platform into your comfortable night's sleep. Your sleep needs relaxation to ease into unconsciousness. Relaxation is also an important time for your mind to solve problems. By giving your mind the opportunity to process these worries earlier in the day, it allows your mind to be free to drift into sleep at night without distraction. An action-packed day filled with unfinished issues accumulates this build-up of anxiety in your mind. These worries rise up into your awareness the next time you "have" to relax. Without earlier relaxation, that moment will be when you are trying to sleep. You've probably observed this phenomenon when you have day-dreamed whilst doing something menial or something that doesn't require too much concentration (a subtle form of self-hypnosis). An example is when you do some routine administration like photocopying. Your mind detaches from the process because once it is up and running, the photocopying takes care of itself. Your mind then reviews its own priorities. There is a moment of internal focus to establish the most significant issue. This is prioritised according to your personal value system; what you want or what has the biggest (emotional) consequence if left undone. If you have restful sleep, then you have probably developed a (now unconscious) process to release your anxieties through your dreams. It's as if your "dream director" is activated to resolve these issues for you. You make "therapeutic dream movies" that ease your negative emotions. You wake up feeling refreshed and your problems have been dealt with (in your mind at least). This is something that can also be achieved using hypnotherapy. When your lifestyle is hectic, you are dependent on the "exhaustion response" to trip your "sleep switch" the moment your head hits the pillow. In the short-term, this is unavoidable. In the long-term, unresolved stress can create your nights of restlessness that cause you to keep waking up. Or you "jump up" in the early hours following an intense dream, unable to fall back to sleep. This is a regular occurrence for insomniacs. But either way, you are not in control of your night's sleep. Stress and anxiety is ruling your sleep and waking responses. When morning arrives, the outcome is still the same; you feel shattered. Use relaxation in your day as a way of releasing that accumulation of anxiety and physical tension. Relaxation can ease the burden off your sleep ritual, helping you to focus on your "getting" to sleep. Relaxation can be an effective way of preventing insomnia. Sleep will feel more refreshing, helping you to cope with your day's agenda. Get involved in some new hobbies or easy-going activities as part of a new routine. Relax in the bath before bedtime or listen to some calming music. Chat to a few friends who are good listeners earlier in the day, to help process some of your anxiety. You can return the good deed at a later point. Any daytime physical activity e.g. brisk walking is a fantastic way of easing your build of physical tension. Using self-hypnosis breathing techniques would be an even more efficient method of helping your anxiety. This is something that would be integrated into a course of hypnotherapy for insomnia.
Insomnia: Resolve your anxieties with visualisationIn my hypnotherapy practice, I meet many patients suffering with insomnia or some mild sleep-related issue. When they enter a course of hypnotherapy, an insomnia patient will have attempted a number different sleep tips. Some of those sleep methods have a scientific basis; others are desperate attempts to alter the feeling of hopelessness. Insomnia has a solid association with anxiety and depression. The relationship is often two-way; those who suffer with anxiety and depression also suffer with insomnia or some sleep-related problem. Hypnotherapy offers a number of techniques to treat insomnia. Hypnotherapy does more than just introduce a form of relaxation. If you suffer with insomnia and you want a better night's sleep, then your mind can benefit by using visualisation to release those anxieties earlier in the day. This is one part of treating insomnia with hypnotherapy. Relaxation is like clearing an opening for you mind; it is now free to create a schedule of activity. But worries can act as an obstacle to that process, burdening you when you want to focus on something specific. Anxieties immediately fill that void in your mind, unless you have something intense enough to think about. You are probably aware of this mind phenomenon. Consider when you are doing something routine like travelling on public transport. Important issues float up into your mind wanting to be dealt with. Even when you keep active to avoid dealing with those worries, they can worm their way in to your awareness somehow. Instead of busying yourself as a way of managing this natural process, it is far more effective to deal with your worries and then put them on your mind's "shelf". It doesn't mean that these issues are complete; your mind can just feel more comfortable about them. Resolving your anxieties is about approaching the worries from another angle e.g. try imagining yourself stepping out of your stressful situation and viewing it at a cinema screen. With this detachment (or dissociation, a common technique used in hypnotherapy), visualise yourself handling it in a more relaxed and confident way. Or if your want to be in charge of the scene, imagine you are the director changing the scene to your advantage. "Role-modelling" can be another way of dealing with the situation from a different perspective. Do you know somebody who acts as a good example for their effective approach to problem-solving? Consider how they would react to your situation if they were placed in that same scene. After they have dealt with it, rewind the scene. Then imagine "teleporting" into their body, behaving as they would and copying their approach. Whilst "inside" them, transfer these positive resources back into you, so that you now own the resources. Replay your situation in your mind, "being" the confident person. If some worries have been lying dormant in your mind for what seems like an eternity, then maybe the answer is to internalise emotional change. Some events can't be 'physically' resolved, so amending your response to them can be your mind's release. A long-term medical condition for example requires an emotional adjustment to the physical effect it will have on your life. In this situation, easing the problem is about embracing the desired emotion e.g. being more at peace with it. Practise visualising what this positive change would alter in your life. It can be useful hearing other (courageous) stories from those who are also in a similar situation. Another hypnotherapy visualisation technique is to place an image of yourself on a historical "time-travelling line". You are standing here in the "present". To your right is your future existence and to your left is your past existence. Imagine that future situation when you have achieved this change (or when the problem has been solved). Consider the experiential world all around you: what you would see, hear, and feel etc. Contemplate what you would now believe and what you would talk about in this future situation. Aim to be realistic with this new change! An on-going medical condition won't disappear by the morning! Your solution might be that you're coping with your "new" situation more confidently. In other instances the chosen state could be calmness, worthiness or forgiveness. Now visualise taking a gigantic leap into that wanted state and embrace this change. Role-play some situations (in your mind) to establish how you are managing in this new existence. Then look back on your time-travelling line and evaluate the steps you took that encouraged your progress. Keep imagining it and "hold" the experience in your mind. Now slide the "future reality" into the present and embrace it as if it is yours! Aim to practise these "day-dreams" in your daytime; so that if the anxiety presents itself when you want to go to sleep, you can discharge it with your new "solution". These visualisations can reduce the build-up of your anxieties even if your predicament still exists in reality. How you manage a situation affects how you cope with it. Resolving your anxieties in your daytime is an important part of treating your sleep-related issue. Sometimes the problem is ingrained and a course of hypnotherapy is required to help you deal it. With stress and anxiety, the problem and the solution both exist in your mind. When you anxieties can be dealt with in this way, your mind can be distanced from the heart of the problem. You can then focus your efforts on your developing an effective sleep ritual.
Insomnia: Treat your Insomnia by taking "sleep" to bed with youIn my hypnotherapy practice, I treat many patients who suffer with insomnia. By the time the insomnia sufferer enters their course of hypnotherapy, they have cornered themselves into a cycle of anxiety and hopelessness. The insomnia patient is desperate to break their deficient night ritual, but what really needs to be broken is their "desperation". A hypnotherapy treatment can be an effective way of investigating deeper aspects of dysfunctional behaviour. Hidden below the surface of your behaviour is your belief system. If you suffer with insomnia, your sleep patterns can be improved by exploring what antagonistic beliefs are keeping you awake. In my hypnotherapy consultation, I like to enquire about this issue by asking: "In your mind, what are you taking to bed with you?" The reply is usually absent. But for that brief moment, when you are considering your answer, you are scratching below the surface of your own psychological barrier to insomnia. Before you begin a course of hypnotherapy, you can help yourself by asking that same question. Give your mind some time to respond. Your worries and physical tension need to be discharged before you can be ready to drift off to sleep. What you "think" about will generate a physical effect in your body. For each negative emotion, you set up a physical template of tension. "Think" anxiety and you'll "create" anxiety that will keep you awake. Think relaxed thoughts and you'll create a calm physical state that makes it easier to sleep. If there is no medical condition that is setting up your insomnia, then using hypnotherapy to analyse your strategy for sleep would be a beneficial step. This article focuses on one important stage of treating insomnia with hypnotherapy; take your "relaxed mind" to bed with you rather than your "anxious-mind" and you will sleep more comfortably. When you're working extended hours with close deadlines, you can get into a ritual of taking the laptop into bed and switching it off just before you go to sleep. You can probably manage to get away with this as a temporary measure. But over a pro-longed period, you will teach your mind that exhaustion is the only "response" to get to sleep. You will then find that unfinished anxieties will cause you to wake through the night and you won't have those tiredness responses there to guide you back to sleep. So the objective here is to organise and preserve competent routines. But routines can be learned and "un-learned" with your changing values or changing situations. Moreover, routines don't always change straight away. Sometimes it's like turning the steering wheel on a huge vehicle. You want to make a quarter turn (i.e. sleep) right now, but there's a pause before you can be naturally aligned in your new direction. It takes time to change old habits. Hypnotherapy can help you change your habit that releases your insomnia. Hypnotherapy can also accelerate the learning of your new habit to get to sleep. Another issue with working late is that anything requiring a lot of concentration is usually stimulating for the mind. As the mind is aroused, it will release chemicals into the body, placing you on alert. So working late on a project will damage your sleep ritual. At least half an hour is required for your body to process those chemicals and calm down from that intense concentration. This means being industrious with your time so that you can arrange the next day's work schedule much earlier, the evening before. Establish that you are not going to bed to solve problems – you are going to bed to sleep! One (debatable) ineffective insomnia strategy is keeping essentials next to your bed. In my opinion, they merely encourage your mind to be placed on standby. Essentials can include your mobile phone and a notepad to capture those bright ideas. If you want to break your insomnia cycle, move them away from your bed! It's not too difficult to consider how the notepad will have found its way there. In the absence of earlier relaxation, your mind will have unexpectedly found the answer to an important question during the middle of the night. You turned over and thought "I really mustn't forget that!" In the morning you were left pondering "what was that solution?" Your frustration would have then motivated you to put the notepad next to your bed, just in case you have another "light bulb" moment. However, believe that when you have enough relaxation in your day, those "light bulb" moments will pop into your awareness several times during the day too. You are more likely to act on them, so they don't stand out in your mind as much. Follow this and you won't need the bedside essentials, or the reaction to be on the alert at night. In you effort to diminish your insomnia, recognise that it takes a huge step to make your sleep and your well-being a priority. In the long-term, keeping healthy will mean fewer days absence from work anyway. Your overall insomnia strategy can involve use calming activities like reading to wind down. Relaxing in the bath is a good opportunity to practise self-hypnosis breathing techniques. Hypnotherapy suggestions from this article would be created to help your pathway into deep, more comfortable sleep. By recognising your psychological approach, you can learn how to take "sleep" to bed with you.
Insomnia: Learn self-hypnosis to help you sleepIn my hypnotherapy practice, I regularly meet patients suffering with sleep-related problems. It's reasonable to consider that their insomnia is linked to their anxiety and physical tension. At the beginning of the hypnotherapy course, their sleep ritual is drowned by frustration. The insomnia patient is being dictated by a night of misery that obstructs their mind. As a result, they create even more tension that further submerges any efforts to get to sleep. There are numerous ways to treat this insomnia. During my hypnotherapy consultation, I teach my insomnia sufferer self-hypnosis and breathing techniques to take them out of their negative cycle and focus them in the direction of a new sleep ritual. When a goal is constructed in a positive way, your mind is efficient at directing you towards the achievement of that goal e.g. "I want to create a deep state of calmness that will help me to sleep peacefully tonight". However, the mind fails miserably to focus away from negatively constructed goals. Try "not" to imagine a blue sheep and your mind struggles with this concept. You think of the blue sheep and then your mind focuses on something else. As the insomnia patient who is stuck in your negative cycle, you are driving yourself to your unconscious negative goal. Your typical approach will be "I am cringing just thinking about going to bed for yet another night of restlessness!" So your mind creates an image of you lying in bed, wide awake and is very likely to achieve that negative unwanted state. How a goal is phrased also plays a part in its outcome. For the insomnia patient (and most general anxiety patients), you are making matters worse by using "anxious" language patterns e.g. must, should, have to, got to etc. Telling yourself that you've just "got to get to sleep tonight" is another way of taking tension to bed with you. Understandably, when a goal is phrased using this pattern of language, it reflects the desperation of the sufferer. Despair (and any negative emotion) however, generates the common stress responses and physical tension that harms your attempts to sleep. Your mind is very sensitive to what you are instructing it to do. So the insomnia patient is setting up another frustrating night of sleeplessness without realising they are "fuelling the fire". Want, can, will, going to etc. are confident ways of structuring your language. This will help align your mind towards your desired state. Having recognised these adverse internal language patterns, you can then consider what methods will have the positive effect of helping you with your sleep ritual. Simply lying in your bed, waiting for your luck to turn, won't help you control your sleep. Self-hypnosis is a technique that is comparable to other disciplines that use focused thinking e.g. meditation, yoga etc. Essentially, self-hypnosis or self-guided hypnotherapy uses three stages:
- Relaxed breathing techniques
- Muscular relaxation and
Insomnia: Getting to sleepWhen a medical condition is affecting your life, some of the symptoms can creep up on you. You are innocently dragged along by your predicament. Before starting a course of hypnotherapy, it is important to identify whether your insomnia has a medical cause:
- Medical conditions – Cardiovascular conditions can make it challenging to get comfortable and control your breathing when in a lying position. Similarly, joint (arthritic) conditions can be painful when lying down.
- Medication – Some prescribed drugs can have a stimulating effect on the mind.
- Eating or drinking late – Problems with heartburn and reflux can be a symptom of eating late meals within an hour of going to bed. Drinking caffeine e.g. coffee or certain fizzy drinks at night can keep you awake.
- Late and extended napping – Dozing in the evening can upset your internal body clock. It can alter your natural tiredness responses that your mind would use to help you to go to sleep.
- Exercising late at night – When you exercise late in the evening, you produce Cortisol. This also has a stimulating effect on the mind and body.
- Working/studying late or doing shift work – Anything that requires intense concentration just before going to bed can put the mind on the alert. Working shift patterns e.g. days and nights can upset your body's natural internal clock.
- Anxiety and stress – Stress also produces the chemical Cortisol. Taking your anxieties to bed generates physical tension for your body. This makes it more difficult for your mind to use natural relaxation responses when you go to sleep.
- Frequent changes to your bedroom – Retaining an amount of familiarity helps your mind to feel secure. Repeated changes to your bedroom can agitate your mind at night. Noise from neighbours or a partner that snores in bed can distract your own sleeping habits.
Insomnia: Waking up in the nightA positive sleeping habit is important for your health and general wellness. When you're deprived of your sleep, you can experience tiredness, irritability and poor alertness. As an experienced registered hypnotherapist, I see several patients with some degree of insomnia. This can be the case even when it isn't their main therapeutic purpose. At the beginning of a hypnotherapy course, some questions into my patient's general lifestyle usually show that they are also having disrupted sleep patterns. Insomnia can be a symptom of anxiety and when your life is distressing; your sleep routine can be unbalanced. There are several kinds of insomnia. Some insomnia sufferers have problems going to sleep and others have intense dreams. Nocturnal awakening is the term used to describe irregular waking through the night. It is also used to characterise early waking with the inability to return back to sleep. This article deals with nocturnal awakening and how hypnotherapy can be used to treat it. Nocturnal awakening can be caused by a variety of ways:
- Anxiety about being awake – Having woken from your sleep, worrying about this only makes it more difficult to go back to sleep again. 'Sleep anxiety' can then further disrupt your insomnia.
- Anxiety and depression – Any anxieties that you battle with in bed can leak into your dreams. Anxiety produces cortisol, a chemical that places your mind and body on the high alert.
- Medical conditions – Certain medical states can interfere with your sleep at night including heart, lung and arthritic conditions. Pain awareness can make it more of an effort to go back to sleep.
- Medication – Some medication can have a stimulating affect on your mind. If you have made the recent choice to withdraw from your sleeping tablets, your body needs time to adjust to the chemical changes.
- Alcohol - Drinking alcohol at night can alter the natural cycle of your REM sleep causing you to wake up early. Once you have woken up, you don't have the sedating influence of the alcohol to get you back to sleep (unless you drink more!)