Hypnotherapy for Insomnia and Stress Relief by Felicity Kirsch, MA, HT
Today, I would like to write about Insomnia, because almost everyone I speak to lately has been talking about being “stressed” and either not being able to fall asleep or not being able to stay asleep.
Our body requires rest periods during each day to heal and regenerate our cells and minds so we can function optimally. Sleep deprivation makes us feel tired and irritable, it is often difficult to concentrate, our reaction time becomes slower, our mental alertness diminishes, our immune systems can become weakened, the risk of depression, anxiety and substance abuse increases.
We just get tired of being tired and resort to taking medication. Medication for insomnia is often addictive and only “knocks you out” so you can sleep, it does not address the issue of why you do not sleep deeply and restfully and it does not teach you how to train your mind and body to sleep deeply.
There are a number of environmental, physical, mental and emotional factors involved in not being able to sleep. On my next posting, I’ll write about helpful suggestions, lifestyle changes you can make and a script for sleep that you can use to record your hypnotherapy tape for insomnia.
Below are suggestions that are helpful for deep and peaceful sleep, that can help you wake up rested and alert.
• Be realistic about the amount of sleep you need
• Limit activities in bed to sleep and physical pleasure
• Do not use alcohol as an aid to sleep.
• Limit caffeine intake, including de-caf coffee, tea, soda and chocolate.
• Eat dinner at least 3 – 4 hours before sleep time.
• Exercise during the day, take walks and practice relaxation techniques
• If you are mentally overactive at night and begin to think about your “to do” list – get up and write it down and then tell yourself, now is the time to rest not ruminate.
• If you are having anxious thoughts or feelings, write them down and give yourself permission to replace the anxious thoughts with pleasant and relaxing ones.
• Play a relaxing sleep CD or download to train your body to sleep deeply at night and to release non productive thoughts. (We have audio recordings available for sale in Our Store section on the website.)
• Read the following mini script slowly before going to bed. If you like you can elaborate on it and add additional suggestions that are pleasing and relaxing to you. You can also record it in your own voice and listen to it before sleep and / or if you wake up in the middle of the night.
• Practice doing relaxation visualization every night before going to bed, include the suggestion to see yourself waking up refreshed in the morning.
The following is a short visualization to promote deep and restful sleep.
This is really do-it-yourself hypnotherapy for insomnia and can be very helpful for many people. First read it silently, then read it out loud very, very slowly and in a relaxing tone, Keep practicing until feels and sounds right to you. Each time you read it you will feel more relaxed and your voice will become more relaxed. Use this visualization each night right before going to sleep to assure peaceful and restful sleep. Do not listen to it in the bath or while driving a car.
Begin your relaxation by visualizing yourself asleep in your bed in a comfortable position with a peaceful expression on your face. Now imagine a very gentle wave of relaxation washing over, under, around and through your whole body. As the gentle wave of relaxation washes over your body it removes all thoughts, emotions, memories and sensations that are not serving your desire to sleep deeply and peacefully.
As the wave of relaxation continues to soothe and relax your body, begin to relax each part of your body starting with your toes. Feel our toes relax, your feet relax, ankles relax , calves relax, knees relaxed, thighs relaxed, pelvis relaxed, abdomen soft and relaxed, diaphragm open and relaxed, now take another deep breath and bring the relaxation into the core of your being, as you exhale you continue to release anything that is not serving you, your chest relaxes, back and spine completely and totally relaxed, nervous system becoming more and more relaxed, shoulders relaxed, arms very loose and relaxed, hands relaxed, throat soft and relaxed, facial muscle and scalp and even the roots of your hair relaxed.
Each time you hear the word relax you become more and more relaxed, more relaxed than you have even been. Then imagine your brain waves slowing down and becoming slow and quiet and very peaceful and relaxed.
Then imagine yourself in a beautiful safe place, a sanctuary of your creation, just for you. Look around and notice all the details as you become more relaxed, going deeper and deeper into a peaceful feeling of relaxation. Then notice the pleasant fragrances in the air all around you — as you continue to go deeper and deeper still – into a peaceful feeling of relaxation. And then notice how the temperature of the air is so comfortable as you continue to feel more and more relaxed. You realize how sleepy you are in this wonderful safe sanctuary – you notice a beautiful bed with soft pillows and covers. You lie down on the bed and it the most comfortable bed you have ever felt, you become more and more sleepy and comfortable, you are so sleepy that you just let go completely and doze off immediately – sleeping deeply and peacefully all night. (silence for a few minutes) Then see yourself waking up in the morning after sleeping deeply, looking and feeling rested, alert.