It is important that you see your GP so that you have a formal diagnosis and rule out any underlying medical condition (or side effects of medication) before starting hypnotherapy.
Many of these sleep disorders are made worse by stress and anxiety. It isn’t necessarily the situation, but how we react to it that can make our stress levels soar.
We have all probably experienced lying awake on rare occasions, perhaps due to being excited, anxious or after a bad dream, however we will return to our normal routine after things have settled down again. For other people, having problems sleeping is a much more common occurrence and it can affect your physical, mental and emotional well-being.
Insomnia is defined as having difficulty in getting to sleep (or staying asleep for long enough) to feel awake and alert in the morning. We have all experienced disrupted sleep and how it feels when you can’t drift off or perhaps you find it easy to fall asleep, but continue to wake up through the next night.
Either way, it may leave you feeling irritable and find that you are constantly tired, have a low level of concentration, have difficulty thinking clearly, feel anxious or excessively sleep. When it happens on a regular basis, this can really start to affect your life in many ways. This can lead to physical illness and increase your risk of heart disease and obesity.
Someone suffering from night terrors will wake up suddenly from sleep in a complete panic. They may appear awake, but can be confused, disorientated, physical and unable to speak. Each night terror is different for everyone, and they may have no memory of the night terror in the morning.
Sleepwalking is when someone gets out of bed and goes about normal everyday actions such as walking around a house or even making a cup of tea. They may appear confused and clumsy, quite often with their eyes open and making noises (although not necessarily making sense!) It is more common among children and adolescents (although it still common amongst adults) and it is thought that it is more likely if a relative has a history of sleep walking too.
There a few factors that are thought to affect or increase the risk of sleepwalking such as not enough sleep, stress, intoxication, pregnancy, menstruation and certain medical conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) panic attacks, multiple personality disorder and gastroesophageal reflux.
Bed-wetting (Nocturnal Enuresis)
Bed-wetting is defined as the unintentional passing of urine whilst asleep. This is more common among children under the age of seven and can be a developmental problem. It can however be a problem for adults too. This can be uncomfortable and embarrassing and so sufferers may try to hide their symptoms which may have an impact on their emotional well-being and relationships.
If it starts suddenly, there may well be a trigger such as trauma, or it may take the form of primary or secondary enuresis. Primary enuresis is where someone struggles to maintain bladder control and may be affected by a medical condition such as diabetes, sleep apnoea or a psychiatric disorder whereas secondary enuresis is when someone has had control but now struggles at this moment in time.
“Through the relaxing power of hypnotherapy, I can help you to identify and tackle possible causes of your sleep disorder.”
Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)
Bruxism doesn’t just mean teeth grinding it can also refer to clenching of the jaw. When we are tense we all suffer from bruxism to an extent but when it is ongoing, it can cause long term problems such as earache, headaches and dental damage. It is thought to affect about 6 million people in the UK. It can affect both children and adults (predominantly between the ages of 16 and 44 years old)
Bruxism happens at an unconscious level and that is why hypnotherapy can be so helpful. Anxiety and stress are two of the major factors and these can be addressed by helping you to get to the root of the problem and learning some coping strategies. In some cases, the cause of Bruxism is unclear, so you will need to see your doctor or dentist, but here are some of the more common causes:
Stress and Anxiety
As I have already mentioned, most cases of sleep bruxism are thought to be cause by anxiety or stress. By reducing your stress or anxiety levels, using relaxation, this can have a positive impact on lessening or completing stopping teeth grinding.
Some medications cause bruxism as a side effect (such as antipsychotic and antidepressant medications.) If you think this could be a cause, or are worried about any side effects, then you need to speak to your Doctor.
There are other factors that can play a part in increasing the risk of bruxism. These include drinking alcohol excessively, using recreational drugs, too much caffeine and smoking. I can help you to address these factors and allow you to make changes to your lifestyle that will decrease the risk of bruxism.
How can hypnotherapy help me?
Through the relaxing power of hypnotherapy, I can help you to identify and tackle possible causes of your sleep disorder.
Overcoming these problems may help to improve your sleeping pattern alone, or if it is a habit that is the cause (such as alcohol) then hypnotherapy can help you to break the habit.
If however you are unsure of the cause, that isn’t a problem either as using a variety of techniques I can help you to relax (for some people, physical or mental tension can make sleeping difficult) and when you are completely relaxed I can communicate with your subconscious and make some positive suggestions for change.
These suggestions can be to do with breaking negative thoughts that may have become embedded in your subconscious over time. The sessions will also look at your bedtime routine as practising a routine will improve your sleep hygiene and reduce any stress in the evening. I will also you teach you self-hypnosis.
Using this skill at home can help you to continue the positive work and bring about your desired changes.