My Hypnosis for Insomnia and Sleep Disorders Program
Most clients I see have suffered from chronic insomnia and come to hypnotherapy as a last resort, often discouraged with dependency on medications and repetitive counseling. Many are having difficulty functioning in work, school and personal relationships. Often alcohol and drug issues or anxiety is present which is dealt with as the primary focus. When a disease and/or pain is causing or contributing to the insomnia (secondary insomnia) it is important to work in conjunction with the client’s medical professionals.
My Hypnosis for Insomnia program is generally 2 sessions with hypnosis on the second session.
Hypnosis for Insomnia First Session Components:
History and fact finding including the following questions:
- How would you describe your sleep problem?
- How long have you had the sleep problem?
- What treatments and/or medical care have you sought? Results?
- How long does it take to fall asleep?
- How many times a week does it occur?
- How restful is sleep?
- Do you have trouble falling asleep or do you wake up too early?
- What is the sleep environment like? (Noisy? Not dark enough?)
- How does insomnia affect daytime functioning?
- What medications do you take? (Include herbs, alcohol, and over-the-counter or prescription drugs.)
- Are you taking or withdrawing from stimulants, such as coffee or tobacco?
- How much alcohol is consumed per day?
- What stresses or emotional factors may be present?
- Have you experienced any significant life changes?
- Do you snore or gasp during sleep (an indication of sleep apnea)?
- Do you have leg problems (cramps, twitching, crawling feelings)?
- If there is a bed partner? Is this person’s behavior distressing or disturbing?
- Are you a shift worker?
- How would life be different if sleep problem did not exist?
Sleep Diary. If a client cannot answer these questions, keeping a sleep diary is a helpful tool. Every day for 2 weeks, all sleep-related information is recorded (including responses to questions listed above). Other information should include the:
- Time you went to bed
- Time spent falling asleep
- Number of nocturnal awakenings
- Rising time
A bed partner’s observations of the patient’s sleep behavior can also help.
Sleep Hygiene Basics Are Reviewed (See “Hypnosis for Insomnia Can Include Suggestions for Healthy Sleep Hygiene”)
Since habits are the realm of the unconscious, changes in sleep hygiene habits can be incorporated into the hypnosis.
Turning Off the Thinking Brain
I have seen with clients experiencing insomnia the tendency to think, analyze and rehearse events, feelings and scenarios from the past or future upon going to bed or waking up. Some ways I approach breaking this habit so the bed is a place for sleeping/ sexual activity only includes some of the following:
- Release worries several hours before bed by bringing them to conscious awareness
- Create images for turning off thoughts (switches, blank screens, boxes, etc.)
- Listen to custom CD or practice the self-hypnosis exercise
- Create suggestions and imagery for anxiety/worrying, when appropriate
Cognitive Behavioral Techniques Taught with Hypnosis for Insomnia
- Eliminating negative thoughts, positive thinking principles
- Focusing on creating what is desired (end result imagery/feelings)
Relaxation Techniques Taught and Practiced with Hypnosis for Insomnia
- Self-hypnosis in less than 2 minutes
- Breathing techniques
- Progressive relaxation (originally created for insomnia)
- Beautiful place imagery
Hypnosis for Insomnia Second Session Components: (1-2 weeks apart)
- Review of work since last session. (Most are already seeing improvements)
- Anchoring techniques using NLP (neurolinguistic programming) taught for reinforcing improvements
- All suggestions are reviewed and incorporated into the hypnosis
- Custom CD recorded and mixed with relaxing music for reinforcement
- Pain control techniques incorporated in the hypnosis if needed
- Instructions for follow-through
Results: My experience is 1 to 2 sessions is all that is generally needed as long as the client follows through with practicing the techniques and listening to the CD. When pain, drugs, alcohol, etc. are important to address additional sessions may be needed. The combination of hypnotherapy, self-hypnosis, cognitive techniques and sleep hygiene practice is very effective for insomnia.
See for yourself. Enjoy restful sleep and a happier more productive life. Call Nancy at 503-684-4112 for a free consultation.