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Insomnia and Sleep Problems

Sleep is something we all need. Sleep plays a vital role in our physical, mental and emotional well being.  When we sleep our bodies heal and repair and our brains process information from the day before.The blood vessels around our bodies heal, literally regenerating overnight. Through the formation of new pathways, the brain allows us to remember information and enhance problem-solving skills.  All this happens when we are asleep.

Insomnia and Sleep problems make it difficult for some people to get sufficient sleep. This can make you feel tired, lethargic, irritable, depressed and anxious often resulting in poor concentration. Some people can become clumsy and accident prone This can lead to work or school problems as well as causing difficulties in relationships. Lack of sleep can cause physical illness, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke,and high blood pressure this may be because our blood vessels repair when we are asleep and if they are not able to do so then problems can occur.

 Recent studies have also pointed to a link between not sleeping and obesity. Interestingly those who fail to get enough sleep are more likely to be obese. The reasons behind this are not clear.

Insomnia is defined as difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep for long enough to feel refreshed the following morning. This happens even when you’ve had enough time to sleep through the night.

Many of us will know how it feels when you just can’t drop off. Often worrying over problems or chewing over the days events perhaps. Some people find it easy to fall asleep, but keep on waking throughout the night or maybe waking in the early hours and not being able to get back to sleep  only dropping off as it is time to get up. This lack of sleep can leave you feeling drained and stressed the next day. Those who suffer with insomnia will experience this feeling on a regular basis.

It is estimated that a third of people in the UK have episodes of insomnia during their lives. Interestingly women seem to be more susceptible and it is more likely to occur with age.

Different types of insomnia

There are several different types of insomnia, including:

Acute insomnia

When someone has a brief episode of difficulty sleeping, it is considered acute insomnia. Often it is brought on by a stressful life event, such as a relationship break-up, moving house or the death of a loved one.

Because this form is typically associated with an event, it normally resolves over time.

Chronic insomnia

As its name suggests, chronic insomnia sees sufferers having sleeping problems on a long-term basis. Insomnia is usually considered chronic if you have had difficulty sleeping for at least three nights per week for three months or more.

Those with chronic insomnia are likely to have a history of sleeping problems.

Co morbid insomnia

This means your insomnia occurs with another condition. It could be that you are in pain, and because of this you find it hard to sleep. Mental health problems like anxiety and depression can also cause insomnia.

Understanding which type of insomnia you suffer from is important. This information will allow you to seek the right advice and treatment.

Causes of insomnia:

Physical illness and Pain  can cause insomnia, if this is the case then the first port of call needs to be your doctor, some medications can cause insomnia. If you have a chronic condition then hypnotherapy will most certainly help.

Mental Health Problems, depression, anxiety and stress can all lead to episodes of insomnia, combining hypnosis with mindfulness and CBT many sleep problems can be addressed.

Lifestyle factors also influence your sleeping habits. If you drink alcohol regularly for example, you may find you are constantly waking up through the night. This is because alcohol is a stimulant, and while it may help you drop off to sleep at first, it usually leads to poor quality sleep. Eating large meals late at night may also cause insomnia. Drinking tea and coffee late at night can also keep you awake.

Treating insomnia is usually only effective when you know what the underlying cause is. Hypnotherapy, mindfulness and CBT are all evidenced based treatments that are known to be effective in treating insomnia and sleep disorders.

Seeing a  specialist mental health hypnotherapist can help to uncover the root of the problem so give me a call today.

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