Insomnia and disturbed sleep patterns of various kinds are experienced at some time
by about 35% of the population - these are increasingly common from middle age. Though
many people experience sleep anxiety out of all proportion to their difficulty, the
condition requires more careful attention than it often receives.
It is normal to have occasional trouble sleeping. People often say 'I am so tired'
or they are ' always sleepy'. Usually they do not refer to serious conditions. But
someone reporting long term fatigue or frequent dizziness and tiredness signals an
unambiguously serious case.
Whilst sleep problems usually cause tiredness - the causes of insomnia may combine
a wide variety of factors :-
physiological - overweight, breathing apnoea, late exercise, stress...etc.
habitual -alcohol, late TV, recreational drugs, eating late....etc.
environmental - unusual location, external noise, restless partner.... etc.
However it arises, sleep deprivation should be treated seriously. Even in moderate
amounts sleepless nights can significantly reduce one's general enjoyment and quality
of life. Over a period it can damage one's prospects, material circumstances & relationships
and can also be injurious to physical and mental health.
Whilst there are sleep aids and even operations for physical conditions like sleep
apnoea, doctors are reluctant to prescribe for other conditions except as an emergency
measure. In any case refreshing natural sleep is what people generally would prefer
- but to achieve this requires attention to a whole spectrum of factors.
Sleeping problems break down into several types. For some the difficulty is how to
get to sleep. But there are several other kinds of 'sleeping problem' :-
- hovering in a light stage of sleep - between sleeping and waking
- difficulty staying asleep, being easily disturbed
- being wakeful when disturbed - commonly called sleeplessness
- not sleeping deeply enough - insufficient quality of sleep
- sleeping longer than necessary - being unable to wake
Clearly then, whilst trouble falling asleep seems clear and unambiguous,terms like
sleepless nights and difficulty sleeping often fail to separate the process into
There are many ways to fall asleep. Each individual does it differently - and usually
without knowing how. Operating properly, this process uses largely unconscious natural
strategies learned from childhood. When these go wrong they can be hard to get back
on track - and people often drive themselves further from solutions by trying too
We seldom ask ourselves how we stay asleep or recognise ' staying asleep ' as a related
phenomenon which is entirely unconscious and generally very easy. Clearly it needs
needs priming in special ways.
As the issue often comes down to how to sleep better, the first essential is a thorough
and accurate analysis of the patterns underlying your difficulty. Ericksonian work
relies entirely on good information about YOUR processes and the way they go wrong.
The objective is to find elegant ways of making it EASY to change.
Ericksonian Hypnosis - intelligently constructed and used - is pretty well unrivalled
amongst the natural sleeping aids. It can be used - together with NLP techniques
- to adjust your perceptions and patterns of behaviour. It can also train the mind
to have a different awareness - program out disturbances - and prevent other daytime
concerns and worries from contaminating your sleep.
Careful examination of your day and surrounding circumstances from a behavioural
point of view can reveal opportunities to re-arrange things in ways which help to
sleep much better. Then suggestions are framed to sensitise the right unconscious
process and encourage the right effects without producing resistant reactions.
Profound changes can be achieved by exact and subtle intervention. Many people also
benefit enormously from personally tailored MP3 tracks to reinforce and consolidate
the changes achieved. Generally people discover how to be far more relaxed and tension
free - not just as a result of their improved sleeping - but by discovering how to
develop a different kind of awareness.
Though sleeping issues present quite frequently, they are so varied and challenging
that solving them continues to be varied and engrossing work even after more than
thirty years in practice. They are usually solved quite quickly.