By: Pierre Benoit
You’ve had a tense and difficult day. The problems are not resolved, and tomorrow promises to be worse. You need a night of refreshing, rejuvenating sleep. But you know you are worried, upset, depressed, anxious or troubled with any of countless other feelings. You know you face another sleepless night.
Of course, your own certainty of an inability to sleep is a large part of the problem. A few sessions of hypnotherapy could change your attitude, eliminate your fears and teach you a self hypnosis procedure which could remove the problem from your life and in the process enable you to handle problems in a manner less likely to produce sleep destroying stress.
How does insomnia affect you personally? Do you feel anxiety and lie awake for hours before finally sleeping fitfully for brief time before starting the new day? Or do you fall asleep promptly, then awaken later with mind churning and trash around for the rest of the night? Or do you drift in and out of sleep all night long, and arise in the morning totally exhausted?
Insomnia has a specific cause. Relief may well involve seeking out the cause if it is unknown. Hypnotic regression may be helpful in such cases
Relief may require medical attention in some cases, or professional counselling in others. Or too many stimulating beverages may be factors – coffee, tea, soft drinks, etc. Strenuous physical or mental activity before bedtime can interfere with sleep – workouts, challenging games, emotional conversation can be culprits. Napping during daylight hours will affect night time relaxation. It may be necessary to consider your life and habit patterns, discuss them with professional counsel, and then utilize hypnotherapy to create beneficial changes. Simply learning hypnotic relaxation can create physical and mental conditions conducive to achieving the necessary rest patterns.
Sometimes sleep is forfeited due to excitement. Anticipation of an important event, happy or otherwise, can disrupt the sleeping process. Such occasional insomnia is seldom a cause for concern. But when an overactive mind attempts to deal with tensions, anxieties, pains and problems, sleepless nights are predictable.
WHAT’S THE ANSWER?
Old-time remedies, such as warm milk, counting sheep, reading, exercise, etc., are at best temporary solutions. Yet insomnia responds wonderfully well to hypnosis. Often, following a hypnotic session and even without suggestions, the subject will sleep quite soundly due to the deep relaxation achieved during the session itself. Direct suggestions, also, can be given to the subject with wonderful effectiveness. Post-hypnotic suggestions can be given in hypnosis, resulting in sleep at a specified time for a specified period. Individuals can give post-hypnotic suggestions to themselves after instruction by the hypnotherapist.
Appropriate suggestions for self hypnosis might include instructions to concentrate on relaxing daily. Elimination of doubts about ability to sleep can be achieved through hypnosis. Remaining in one comfortable position can be helpful – tossing contributes to the inability to sleep. Unnatural sleep aids should be avoided. Further, it can be helpful to practice resting and/or relaxation in the presence of noises, pain or other disturbances, for easy sleeping can be learned and can become a beneficial habit.
For those who awaken at night and cannot get back to sleep, a simple but effective technique is to count backwards from 100. The count should be slow – very slow – as follows: 100 (pause) “sleep.” 99 (pause) “sleep.” 98 (pause) “sleep.” And so on. After each count, speak or think the word “SLEEP.” It is important to get comfortable before starting, but having done so, few counters are able to stay awake to number 90.
It may prove effective to modify physical surroundings. It is important to determine the specific irritation – whether it is a sound, a feeling or a body sensation. A minor amount of instruction in self hypnosis can enable an individual to live and sleep well with those elements he cannot change, after changing those which he can. Dim light or darkness, circulating air, appropriate temperatures are important.
YOUR HYPNOTHERAPIST CAN HELP!
Those seeking rapid, effective relief may turn to hypnotherapy. In addition to programming a client with suggestions conducive to restful sleep and teaching self hypnosis, the therapist can help the client create a personalized CD or tape designed to deal with individual problems. The CD or tape can simply lead the client into deep, comfortable relaxation with instructions in the end of the CD or tape to enjoy restful sleep throughout the night and in the morning awaken refreshed and enthusiastic about the new day.
The insomnia induction likely will entail permission given to subconscious to enjoy relaxation, to be aware of past accomplishments and the comfort of having experienced success together with the recognition that success is contagious, generating feelings of well-being.
Your hypnotherapist will tend to replace negative thinking and attitudes with positive viewpoints, resulting in mental conditioning conducive to relaxation, peace and contentment. Problems of significance can be set aside, as the conscious mind is in essence disconnected to allow sleep to take place.
Finally, you will be programmed to relate the night time to sleep time, so that body and mind are synchronized and not in conflict. Through visualization a mental picture can be created of a filing system in which the problems of the day can be stored for the night, safe and secure, in a manner which will prove undisturbing during sleep hours yet available as needed on awakening. The refreshed awakening will enhance much better handling of any disturbing elements as a bright new day begins.
When choosing a hypnotherapist, it is important to be sure that he or she is qualified. Pierre Benoit, CHt, RCCH, is a member of the Association of Registered Clinical Hypnotherapists of Canada (ARCH) and of the International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association (IMDHA) and can be reached at (514)472-3535.