By Pierre Benoit
One of the most common requests we have as hypnotherapists is for assistance with sleep disorders or insomnia. There are so many effective and efficient ways in which to overcome these types of problems through hypnosis that success can be as easy as inducing the hypnotic state and delivering your favourite suggestions for healthy, rejuvenating sleep. But there are many simple things a person can do to assist in the process of achieving fulfilling rest.
Here are some helpful hints for participating on a conscious level in achieving your goal to sleep well. By using these you will create an atmosphere of success which will benefit you.
Be Consistent – Going to bed and rising at the same time every day strengthens your internal clock. It establishes a habit of achieving sleep at regular times.
Everything in Moderation – No matter how good it feels to lie in bed for as long as possible, too much of a good thing is not good. Long periods spent in bed can lead to shallow and fragmented sleep.
Get the Lead Out – Research shows that regular daily exercise promotes deeper more restorative sleep. Even light exercise such as a daily walk is very beneficial; just make sure not to exercise right before bedtime because it takes time to wind down from activity.
Keep Your Cool – When the heat rises over 25 degrees Celsius it can lead to less Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep and more periods of waking. Cold rooms are not better. The ideal temperature for restful sleep is between 19 and 21 degrees Celsius.
Let Them Eat Cake – Research shows that a light snack before turning in for the night tends to help sleep. But be aware that heavy meals will interfere with restful sleep.
What the Doctor Ordered – On occasion, a sleep aid, whether over-the-counter or prescribed by your doctor may be helpful. However, be aware that regular use of sleep aids may promote dependency and actually increase problems. Use them only as a last resort. As well as trying sleeping pills, the doctor may advise you to look into purchasing something like Leesa’s full size mattress, to hopefully improve your night’s sleep.
No Java, No Butts About It – Cut out caffeine in the evening. It disturbs sleep. Caffeine can be found in coffee, tea, colas, chocolate and many other sources so be aware. Tobacco use also disturbs sleep. If you are a smoker, consider hypnosis to free yourself of that old habit, but until you do, stay away from tobacco in the evenings.
One for the Road – Cut out the nightcaps. While alcohol sometimes helps people fall asleep faster, the resulting chemically induced sleep is disrupted when the effect of alcohol begins to wear off.
The Sound of Silence – People who sleep through anything can also have their sleep disrupted by noise or unusual sounds. Not waking up does not mean your sleep is not disturbed. Create an atmosphere insulated from outside sound. You may also get a white noise machine to mask sounds. Even a small fan in the room can be effective.
Kiss and Make Up – Never go to bed angry. Going to bed with work or worry on your mind is the perfect way to lose sleep. Always find time to resolve your day worries or clear your mind before you turn out the lights for the night. This is the perfect time to practice your self-hypnosis or listen to a relaxation recording.
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.