Hypnotherapy for Sleep Disorders in Teeside
Sleep is an essential part of our health and well-being. The sleep cycle allows the body to rest, refresh, process the day’s experiences, recover and continue functioning normally.
For many of us, sleeping is a natural part of our daily routine. While the health benefits and importance of a good night’s sleep are well known, few of us truly appreciate how much we need it or know what happens when we don’t get enough. On average, an adult will need approximately seven to eight hours of sleep each night. However, it is thought that one in three adults are affected by sleep disorders of one sort or another.
These problems may include:
- confusional arousal
- restless leg syndrome
- teeth grinding
- sleep paralysis
What are Sleep Disorders?
Almost all of us will find ourselves lying wide-awake on rare occasions. This can happen when we feel anxious, excited, roused by a bad dream or if we have been brooding about something over the last few days. However, it is likely that we will be able to return to our normal routine when things have settled down without further problems.
Sleep disorders are now considered to be one of the most common health complaints. They can seriously affect the physical, mental and emotional functioning of many individuals.
Sleep disorders is the term used to describe any problems relating to sleep, and so in this sense, ‘disorders’ may be equally called ‘problems’. Some sleep disorders may stem from an underlying medical condition such as a psychological disorder. Others may occur as the side effects of prescribed medication.
There are a variety of warning signs which may be indicators of a sleep problem such as:
- feeling as though you have had sufficient sleep but are very tired throughout the day
- drifting off into sleep mid-conversation
- a partner disturbing you regularly by snoring, physical movements, sleep-talking or sleepwalking
- starting a new medication and finding your sleep to be affected
Please note that not everyone who exhibits all or some of these symptoms will have a sleep problem. Everybody experiences sleep disorders and problems in their own unique way.
The Cycle of Sleep
Most of us will think about sleep as one continued state of unconsciousness. In fact, it is a multi-stage process comprising of two distinctive recurring stages: Non REM sleep and REM Sleep (REM = Rapid Eye Movement).
The first phase of the sleep cycle we experience is known as non-REM sleep and occurs in four stages. Often, the first stage is referred to as “light sleep”. Here the muscle activity slows down and although we are sleeping, we can be easily woken. Stage two occurs after about ten minutes and lasts about 20 minutes, during this time our breathing and heart rate slow down. The third stage sees us entering deep sleep. In this satge our brain begins to produce delta waves and the rate of breathing and heart rate slow to their lowest levels. Following this, we enter the final stage of non-REM sleep comprising a combination of limited muscle activity and rhythmic breathing.
During non-REM sleep, the body has the opportunity to fix any wear and tear from the day. The body will repair and regenerate tissue, build muscle and bone and strengthen the immune system.
Around 25% of the sleep cycle is spent in REM sleep. This phase normally occurs around 70 to 90 minutes into sleep. It is at this stage that the brain is the most active: our breathing rate and blood pressure rise and our eyes dart from side to side. Despite increased activity in the brain, our central nervous system (specifically the proprioceptive control system) ‘switches off’ our the muscles associated with movement so that we don’t physically act-out our dreams and fall out of bed, although, of course, some people do!
We experience 3 – 5 REM phases each night. During the night, each cycle will become less dominated by non-REM phases, progressively becoming more dominated by REM sleep. Dreams are at their most vivid when woken from REM sleep.
Hypnotherapy for Sleep Disorders
It is important to consult your GP if you are experiencing a sleep disorder. They will be able to provide you with a diagnosis and advice, as well as being able to rule out any underlying medical conditions. At this stage your doctor may recommend a special treatment or service, such as hypnotherapy.
Hypnotherapy focuses on understanding and changing patterns of behaviour. Though the cause of the problem will vary for each individual, there are many conditions that may increase the risk of developing a sleep disorder.
Hypnotherapy has been used as a way of altering and reconditioning negative patterns of behaviour for many years. Hypnotherapy for sleep disorders will do this by helping you to identify associated and exacerbating problems.
This is because many sleep disorders are worsened by issues that can be effectively treated with hypnotherapy, such as stress and anxiety. Usually it is not the situation itself that causes stress but the way we react to it. Hypnotherapy will target the negative thought patterns, teaching the individual how to manage the feelings and view them in a positive perspective.
Hypnotherapy will also allow you to develop a much deeper level of relaxation and personal insight all of which can almost certainly help to reduce the symptoms of sleep disorders and problems.