Living with insomnia can be a difficult.
Hypnotherapy in conjunction with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can help you to fall asleep faster, stay asleep, and feel more rested during the day. (CBT-I or CBTI) is an evidence-based method to support you to sleep better. It can also be described as a form of mind or sleep training. The more you actively work on the techniques to be better the results will be.
The treatment works by focusing the connection between our thoughts and behaviour and our sleep patterns. We can help you to identify thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that are contributing to the symptoms of insomnia. Thoughts and feelings about sleep are examined and tested to see if they’re accurate. Behaviors and habits are looked into to determine if they promote sleep or if they are contributing to the problem. We can support you by reframing misconceptions and challenges.
Treatment often takes from 2-8 sessions1, although the length may differ depending on a person’s needs.
CBT-I combines several different approaches. Sessions may include cognitive, behavioral, and educational components.
Cognitive interventions: Change inaccurate or unhelpful thoughts about sleep.
Behavioral interventions: Relaxation training,meditaton, self-hypnosis, stimulus control, and sleep restriction promote relaxation and help to establish healthy sleep habits.
Educational interventions: Providing information about the connection between thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and sleep.
Worrying about sleep may lead to spending excessive time in bed to trying to force sleep. Worry and too much time in bed can make falling and staying asleep more difficult. This can lead to anxiety and frustration and create a negative habits and pattern in relation to sleep.
Cognitive restructuring breaks this cycle through identifying, challenging, and altering the thoughts and beliefs that contribute to insomnia.
Thoughts and beliefs that may be considered during treatment include worry and anxiety about past experiences of insomnia and quality, and worry about daytime fatigue or other consequences of poor sleep.
Relaxation techniques , meditation and self-hypnosis can help reduce the racing thoughts and tension that often accompany lying in bed awake.
These techniques can increase the body’s natural relaxation response5, which is helpful for the body and mind.
The best relaxation techniques are those that can be reasonably incorporated into a person’s routine.
Here are a few relaxation techniques commonly taught in CBT-I:
Meditation, Hypnosis & Guided imagery: Learning to focus attention through meditation has demonstrated a variety of health benefits8, including reduced stress, anxiety, and increased relaxation. Meditation may also involve practices that combine focused attention with movement, such as yoga and tai chi.
Good sleep hygiene is vital to positive sleep. Sleep hygiene involves practices that encourage and support sleep, while decreasing or eliminating those that discourage sleep.
The American College of Physicians recommends that all adult patients receive CBT-I as a first-line approach10. In some patients, CBT-I is more effective than medications11.
Sleep training can take time to learn and practice the skills learned in treatment. Some techniques, like stimulus control and sleep restriction, often help to adjust sleep habits slowly.
Try to stick to a regular sleep schedule to maintain a rhythm and make it easier to fall asleep.
If you cannot sleep get out of bed and find something relaxing to do until you feel tired again.
Create a nightly ritual: Give yourself enough time to get ready for bed – the longer the better ideally 2 hours. Turn off your electronics early and find some relaxing activities that help you wind down before sleep.