Insomnia is one of the more common symptoms of stress and depression. Whether you have a hard time falling asleep, or you fall asleep promptly and then awaken later and are unable to fall back to sleep, you have insomnia.
THERE ARE FOUR TYPES OF INSOMNIA
PSYCHO-REACTIVE INSOMNIA: This is caused by tension. The person’s mind is keeping them awake with worry. In addition, they may begin to worry about getting to sleep because they have to waken in the morning. The person may worry that they may become ill or die from lack of sleep.
ENDOGENOUS INSOMNIA: This is caused by a discomfort within the body ranging from indigestion to pain.
EXOGENOUS INSOMNIA: This is caused by external disturbances such as noise or a partner’s snoring. This is the easiest type of insomnia to cure.
FUNCTIONAL INSOMNIA: This is caused by a functional problem in the subject’s sleep-wakefulness center in the brain.
Many insomniacs develop an irrational fear of getting into bed because they expect to lie awake. This negative expectancy will bring about insomnia all by itself
HERE ARE THE FACTS
1. No one has ever died from or become ill from lack of sleep. The body and mind will get at least the minimum amount of sleep that it needs, no matter what. If you lose some sleep one night, the next night you will get some additional sleep to make up the loss.
2. Our internal clock brings about a valley of fatigue in cycles. Every four to six hours you will experience your maximum fatigue, and this is when its easiest to fall asleep. After the that you will experience a renewed feeling of energy and it will become difficult to fall asleep.
3. Even if you think you haven’t slept a wink all night, it has been proven that we all sleep during the night. Sometimes you feel that you’ve been lying awake thinking, but actually you have been sleeping lightly and dreaming.
4. Trying to fall asleep: There is a law of nature called The Law of Reversed Effect. It says that if you try to do something, you will get the opposite. and the harder you try, the more you will get the opposite. So, trying to fall asleep will insure that you will remain awake.
5. Alcohol will put you to sleep: This may be true; as alcohol is a depressant. However, as soon as it wears off, you will awaken abruptly and it will be harder than ever to fall asleep.
6. Sleeping pills can help: During sleep it is the dream phase of sleep in which you get your rest. Sleeping pills suppress the dream phase of sleep (REM sleep). That is why one generally awakens more tired than before going to sleep after using pills.
EFFECTING A CURE
1. See what time you feel most fatigued in the evening. From then on, every evening at least an hour before that time, take a bath that is slightly warmer than body temperature for 20 minutes. A shower won’t have the intended effect.
2. Have a warm beverage, preferably not coffee or tea because of the caffeine which will wake you up. Warm milk is the best if you can tolerate it.
3. Discontinue thoughts of problems that you have, or what needs to be done tomorrow. If you are worried about forgetting what you have to do tomorrow, write it down.
4. Stay away from stimulating thoughts and television shows. If you must read, then read something that is boring.
5. Reserve your bed for sleep. Read and watch television only from a chair or couch.
6. Get into bed at least 20 minutes before your valley of fatigue. Once in bed, if worries begin to pop into your mind, repeat several times to yourself, “I’ll think about it tomorrow.” This will help to eliminate excessive thinking. Do not try to make your mind blank and don’t try to fall asleep. Just allow yourself to rest.
7. For Endogenous Insomnia, you should eliminate the discomfort to the best of your ability.
8. For Exogenous Insomnia, make the room as quiet as possible. If your partner snores, you can move to another room. Running a fan motor can also help induce sleep, as it will tend to cover up outside noises. The monotonous drone of the fan generally proves to be very relaxing.
HYPNOSIS FOR INSOMNIA – PSYCHO-REACTIVE AND FUNCTIONAL INSOMNIA
Practice self hypnosis every day. Stress exacerbates and can even cause a sleep disorder. Self-hypnosis can help you to quickly dissipate stress. Post-hypnotic suggestions for coping, and to instill the expectation of sleep can help. “I fall asleep promptly, and sleep soundly and restfully all through the night.”
© 2006 By Alan B. Densky. This document may be re-printed as long as it is not altered and the author’s name and web address are retained.