I have just read a very well written and researched article by Mariella Frostrup about her problems with sleeping.
It brought back to mind my own problems from many years ago. When I think back now it seems like a long time ago and is actually quite difficult to remember how things were, but if I think hard I can conjure up the thoughts of how things used to be.
There was not a night that I did not lie in bed awake and fretting that I would not be able to get to sleep. I knew that I would lie there for hours and that even if I did get to sleep I would only wake up again and lie there wondering if I would be able to get back to sleep and then if I did get back to sleep I would...well you can see where I am going with this.
When you do have trouble sleeping it is easy to get yourself into a cycle which only makes it worse. A good way to sum up what hypnotherapy does is to say that it can speed up creating a new habit, so in this case the habit of sleeping well. When you have had years of sleeping badly it can seem an impossible thought that you could change that. The reality is that it is just a habit that you have created for yourself. You have taught yourself that you can't sleep and each time you have problems you reinforce that thought in your mind. This may sound like a big problem, but the reality is that if you can get to the heart of the matter you can just push it away and relearn how to sleep. We all learn new skills and habits all the time. I have always been a light sleeper so I can be woken up by loud noises which others may sleep through, but the one thing that happens to me now is that I never need to worry what will happen when my head hits the pillow. It took only a couple of hypnotherapy sessions to learn that I would fall asleep and when I did see that and learnt that I was probably getting more sleep than I thought anyway the fears and worries that caused me not to fall asleep melted away.
There are practical things that you can do to help, such as going to bed at a regular time if you can, and getting up at the same time, even a few minutes earlier, just to train your body when it is good to sleep. Keeping the bedroom free of clutter and things like TV's helps you to associate the bedroom with sleeping and not wakeful activities too.
For me, the most important thing was learning that we all sometimes have a bad nights sleep, and if that happens we can catch up with it the next night and we will be fine. Knowing that took the pressure off me and helped me no end.
It is one of the things that gives me the greatest pleasure now that I help others. Having been there myself I know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
We can all learn to sleep better, more soundly and restfully.
If you would like to read Mariella's article I have linked to it on my Facebook page HERE