With increased natural light levels and warmer temperatures, people who have difficulty sleeping often struggle more during the summer months. This can have a huge knock-on effect on their mental and physical well-being.
“Sleep is important in so many ways. But why is it important? well it is essential in enabling us to learn effectively and to form memories; that’s why we become forgetful if we’re struggling with insomnia. As a rule of thumb, for every two hours we are awake, we seem to need an hour of sleep to download, process and file the information we’ve gathered during wakefulness.
“If we don’t get enough sleep, we end up with ‘unfinished business’ which clutters our minds, making it difficult to concentrate or to make decisions”.
Many of our clients seek help because they have difficulty in sleeping, making them irritable, grumpy and forgetful. If the sleep deprivation is prolonged they can find it difficult to make rational judgements or to plan effectively.
Sleep is important to our physical well-being too. It has a beneficial effect on our immune and endocrine (hormone) systems, and there’s evidence to suggest that obesity may be linked to a lack of sleep. Insomnia has also been linked with high blood pressure, accelerated aging, depression, anxiety, strokes and gastro-intestinal disorders.
“There can be no doubt that sleep is critical to clients’ mental and physical well-being. I help people to improve their sleep patterns, first by checking they have good ‘sleep hygiene’ in terms of making sure their sleep environment is comfortable and that they’ve taken time to wind down before going to bed.
“I also give all new clients a free CD to help them relax into sleep and to help them to de-clutter their mind from the day’s influx of worries and loose ends.
“Finally I help clients to deal better with the stresses in their lives, using Solution Focused Hypnotherapy techniques. I help people to change their unhelpful patterns of behaviour by encouraging them to visualise more beneficial ways of coping with situations, followed by a session of hypnosis to consolidate their positive image of the future. When they’re coping better, their brain has fewer problems to resolve during sleep. It’s not unusual for clients to report dreaming more vividly after the first few sessions, while their brain is busy de-cluttering a backlog of unresolved issues.
“There’s no doubt that, as clients’ sleep patterns improve, they are better able to cope with the day to day stresses that prompted them to seek help in the first place”.