Perhaps the most simple and obvious cause of insomnia is excess muscular tension and anxiety over sleeping - and/or excessive thinking or worrying.
The approach is a systematic focus on learning to lower arousal, calm the mind and relax muscles, removing unhelpful behaviours and thinking patterns around sleep - and using hypnosis to rehearse and encourage positive thinking and behaviour around sleep while learning to deepen relaxation and sleep.
Treatment programmes vary according the level and duration of the problem - however they typically involve:
- Keeping a sleep diary. How long were you actually asleep?
- Learning rapid deep relaxation techniques to lower stress, anxiety, agitation and muscular tension.
- Learning hypnosis for insomnia and self-hypnosis to increase relaxation and build confidence (relaxation and confidence go hand-in-hand).
- Identifying and challenging negative beliefs about sleep.
- Replacing negative beliefs with positive beliefs about sleep (using hypnosis).
- Sleep hygiene: avoiding stimulants in the evening (caffiene or psychological stimulants), lowering noise levels, lowering light levels, no activity apart from sleep or sex in the bedroom.
- Hypnotic suggestions for easier, deeper sleep.
- Stimulus Control: breaking/removing any negative associations between the bed/bedroom/going to bed and insomnia. Conditioning positive experiences about the bed/bedroom.
Additional elements may be introduced for those with more chronic issues.
* Disclaimer: "The results may vary from person to person"