Difficulty getting a restful, rejuvenating, night’s sleep – or insomnia, is a surprisingly common problem. It affects over 60 million Americans, and almost one-third of the UK adult population. We all suffer the odd night when we have difficulty sleeping because of a worry, or excitement, or a minor illness. That’s not insomnia. Insomnia is when it happens night after night after night and you wake feeling almost as tired as you when you went to bed and often feel as if you haven’t slept at all.
Some people feel they aren’t getting any sleep night after night, but the good news is that you do actually get some sleep, simply because after several days without any sleep, you start to experience micro-sleeps (lasting half a second to half a minute) outside of your awareness, and you may also begin to experience hallucinations. Physical health also starts to suffer with prolonged sleep deprivation eventually leading to death. What tends to be experienced is long periods of being awake and getting frustrated at the lack of ability to fall asleep – interspersed with short periods of sleep, which tend to be forgotten.
Others have difficulty falling asleep, but when they eventually do, they have a decent sleep.
Yet others have no problem falling asleep, but awaken after a couple of hours and then can’t get back to sleep.
The patterns are quite varied so here’s a little help:
- have difficulty drifting off to sleep
- experience patchy sleep, waking frequently
- Go to bed and can’t drift off
- Have a short sleep but awaken too early
- Don’t feel refreshed after sleep
- Have trouble concentrating because of tiredness
Then you have insomnia.
The amount of sleep each person needs is different, but generally speaking an adult requires around 7-9 hours. If you think you’re sleeping but feel permanently tired then you probably have insomnia.
It doesn’t matter how long it’s been going on for you, insomnia isn’t normal, and, unless there is some underlying physical problem, you can be helped.
There are some easy fixes and some less easy fixes. Sort out the comfort of the room if it’s too hot or too cold. It may be that your bed is not as comfortable as it could be. Stop taking non-prescription drugs. Use earplugs if noise is a problem, and eye-shades if the room is too light – this can be a particular problem in higher latitudes. Where I live (UK) in summer it starts getting light at about 3:30am and on a clear morning is almost fully daylight by 4:00am.
Less easy to fix is sleep deprivation caused by stress, anxiety, or even depression. If you suffer from any of these problems I highly recommend that you have a read of my book Change Your Life with Self Hypnosis. It is full of tips and helpful techniques to use to reduce stress and anxiety as well as helping you to move toward lifting your depression.
Most insomnia, whether or not you realise it, is down to the establishment of poor sleeping habits, and one thing hypnosis is very good at is breaking bad habits. With that end I have created this Insomnia recording available for instant download. It is not designed for listening at bed time, so listen at least a couple of hours before you go to sleep. Listen daily until you have established better sleeping patterns.
As well as this you can help by introducing a regular bedtime routine. Stop doing anything mentally stimulating about an hour before you sleep. If there is anything on your mind write it down and pick it up again in the morning. Have a warm milky drink – chocolate is good. Get into a warm bath with lots of bubbles and just soak and maybe listen to some soft music. Read rather than watch TV and most definitely turn off the computer/phone/tablet at least an hour beforehand. Relaxing music is good even if you’re not in the bath.
Once you are in bed do not read, do not watch TV, do not listen to music, just settle down as comfortably as you can and give yourself permission to have a good and restful nights sleep. If you download the recording you will discover that there is just one more thing that you can do that will assist you in drifting off for a deep and satisfying sleep until the alarm goes off in the morning.