Posted tagged ‘Insomnia’

Not Sleeping? You need to read this.

September 10, 2014

insomnia

More and more studies are pointing out the importance of sleep and the harmful effects when we don’t get enough of it. Sleep insufficiency is widely linked to chronic health issues like heart disease, stroke and obesity, as well as vehicular accidents. Sleep problems are also a major cause of productivity loss among employees.

Sleep is essential to your health as food, air and water. Cell repair and healing takes place during sleep, that’s why we feel more energetic and refreshed as we wake up each morning. But this is not the case for many people, particularly those who have insomnia.

Insomnia is one of the most common sleep problems. According to the NHS, about a third of people in the UK have episodes of insomnia. This sleeping disorder tends to be more common in women and more likely to occur with age. Untreated insomnia can cause serious problems to a person and may significantly affect his or her quality of life.

Below are some surprising facts about insomnia that you need to know, especially if you think you have it.

Insomnia and depression are linked.

It’s often hard to tell which one comes first. That’s because insomnia can lead to depression and depression can cause insomnia. In a 2014 study published in the journal Sleep Medicine, insomnia was linked to depression, generalised anxiety disorder, and panic disorder in teenagers. The study authors note that “having insomnia in addition to anxiety or depression can further intensify the problems being experienced with each individual disorder.” Meanwhile, a 2013 Canadian study found that treating the two conditions simultaneously can improve symptoms of both.

Some people are predisposed to insomnia.

Bad news: sleep problems could also run in families. In a 2007 study published in the journal Sleep, researchers found that about 35% of those with insomnia had a family history of the said sleep disorder. Another study, which involved nearly 800 teens, found that those whose parents have insomnia have an increased risk for using prescribed sleeping pills, and having mental problems.

Sleeping pills won’t help you in the long term.

If you want to get rid of insomnia for good, medication isn’t the answer. Whilst sleeping pills can make you fall asleep easier, their effects can wear off if they’re used long-term. What’s better than popping pills is establishing healthy sleep habits. Keep your bedroom dark and cool, go to bed at the same time each night, don’t take too much caffeine, and don’t oversleep on weekends. Proper diet and regular exercise are also crucial. It’s also recommended that you see a GP regularly for check-up because some health conditions can cause sleep difficulties.

A ‘sleep ‘diary may help.

GPs recommend keeping a sleep diary so you gain a better understanding of your sleep patterns. This in turn helps you decide which method of treatment to use. The NHS recommend keeping track of the following: the time you go bed; how long it takes you to get to sleep; the number of times you wake up in the night; what time it is when you wake up episodes of daytime tiredness and naps; what time you eat meals, consume alcohol, take exercise and when you are stressed.

Women are more likely to have it.

Women are two times more likely to have insomnia than men, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Experts speculate that the reason may have to do with women’s hormones. Sleepless nights and daytime sleepiness have been linked with hormonal changes in a women’s life, including pregnancy, menopause, and the menstrual cycle. For instance, for women experiencing menopause, when hormone levels are erratic, sleep problems are a common complaint.

Chronic insomnia ups risk for alcohol abuse.

In 2012, researchers from Trinity College Dublin, in Ireland, found that people who drink alcohol to help them get to sleep could wind up developing a drinking problem. An earlier study, published in 2001 in the American Journal of Psychiatry, showed that participants with insomnia were about twice as likely to report using alcohol to sleep, compared with those without insomnia. Attempting to self-medicate insomnia with alcohol, however, will ultimately worsen insomnia, the study authors said.

Natural remedies are available.

Researchers from Louisiana State University found that drinking tart cherry juice before bed improved insomnia symptoms in older adults, and previous research has suggested that herbal remedies, like chamomile tea, may help as well. Psychotherapy and cognitive behavioural therapy, and in my own professional experience hypnotherapy has also been extremely effective.

Richard Scott
Clinical Hypnotherapist
http://www.greymatterz.co.uk

 

Insomnia – How to get the sleep you deserve

January 16, 2013

 

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Insomnia is the disturbance of a normal sleep pattern, and it’s estimated that approximately one in four people will suffer from the condition at some point in their life.

Insomnia can leave people feeling drained and exhausted, resulting in poor performance at work, lack of concentration and irritability.

Some people need more sleep than other people, and age often influences the amount of time an individual spends sleeping. Generally, a baby needs about 16 to 17 hours of sleep a day, an older child needs about 9 to 10 hours, and most adults need approximately 7 to 9 hours each day.

However, this varies from person to person, their lifestyle, diet and environment. Anyone can suffer from insomnia, however sleeping problems are very common among menopausal women, the elderly, smokers, alcoholics and the ill. Insomnia can last for days, weeks or even years and can be extremely distressing, exhausting, depressing and frustrating.

If the condition lasts 2 to 3 days it’s often referred to as transient insomnia, if it lasts for more than a few days but less than 3 weeks it’s usually referred to as short-term insomnia, and if it lasts for more than 3 weeks it’s referred to as chronic insomnia.

Chronic insomnia can lead to other health conditions such as depression and the misuse of drugs or alcohol.

Symptoms

* Difficulty in getting to sleep
* Waking repeatedly during the night
* Waking early in the morning and not being able to get back to sleep
* Not feeling refreshed after sleep
* Tired
* Irritable
* Difficulty in concentrating
* Headaches

Causes

There are a number of reasons individuals may suffer from insomnia, including:

* Disruptions within the sleeping environment, such as noise, light, snoring or a partner’s movement
* Physical conditions causing pain, discomfort or movement, including arthritis, hot flushes, restless leg syndrome and headaches.
* Loss or worry, such as bereavement, work worries, anxiety about not being able to sleep and relationship problems
* Mental health problems such as depression or anxiety
* Alcohol, caffeine, antidepressants and other medicines
* A big change such as a house move, new job or starting university

Tips for self help

* Limit alcohol, caffeine and nicotine, especially late in the day
* Exercise regularly, but don’t overdo it before bedtime. Meditation and yoga can be relaxing, preparing your body for sleep
* Don’t take naps during the day
* Don’t eat too much late in the evening, but don’t go to bed hungry either
* Establish a routine of going to bed at a certain time and getting up at a certain time each day
* Write down any worries to clear them from your mind
* Have a warm bath before bedtime
* Have a milky drink or listen to soothing music to create a relaxed mood
* Make sure your bed is comfortable, and your room isn’t too hot or too cold
* If you can’t sleep, do something relaxing such as reading until you feel sleepy

Treatment

Hypnosis is often an effective treatment for those suffering from insomnia. Hypnotherapy can help an individual to relax, both mentally and physically, using varying relaxation techniques. Hypnotherapy can also help an individual to understand some of the causes of insomnia and sleeping problems.

Many people suffering from insomnia believe they are not going to be able to sleep, which often means they don’t. Hypnotherapy can help to re-educate an individuals mind to expect a good night’s sleep.

Hypnosis CDs for Insomnia

It’s estimated that approximately one in four people will suffer from insomnia at some point in their life. Insomnia can leave people feeling drained and exhausted, resulting in poor performance at work, lack of concentration and irritability.

If you have any questions just send an email to Richard at Grey Matterz and a bespoke CD can be created for you.

Richard Scott

Clinical Hypnotherapist
http://www.greymatterz.co.uk