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Insomnia: How Hypnosis Can Help You Get a Better Night’s Sleep

Everyone knows how important a good night’s sleep is — and everyone knows how frustrating it can be when you’re not getting those necessary Zzz’s. If you struggle with sleepless nights or insomnia, hypnosis can be a fantastic tool for identifying and treating the root cause of the problem.

“Essentially, sleep is attached to our days, and if we’re running super stressed out all the time, our sympathetic nervous system (fight, flight or freeze) is constantly engaged releasing adrenaline and chemicals into the body and the brain can’t relax—it becomes harder and harder to move into our parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) and fall into deep sleep,” says Jamie Trevillyan, hypnotherapist and center manager at Positive Changes, a hypnosis center in Tucson that inspires people to achieve their goals through the power of positive thinking and behavior modification.

Stress: the Root of the Problem

When people can’t sleep, it’s often because their mind feels turned when it is supposed to be resting. Treating that stress rather than medicating the problem with sleeping pills is key.

“Hypnosis helps the stress mechanism in our mind relax it and makes it easier for someone to detach from all the demands of today and tomorrow,” Trevillyan says. Through techniques like deep breathing exercises, hypnosis signals relaxation, moving the person gradually into a deep, restful sleep.

Breaking a Vicious Cycle

When people can’t sleep, they often turn to bad habits like late-night snacking, online shopping, or turning to sleep aids which often causes them to gain weight and stress themselves out further.

“Hypnosis breaks this cycle. When you’re engaging the relaxation mechanism, nervous behaviors and boredom eating stop because you’re more relaxed, calm better rested and you feel more alert. All of these things make it easier to keep up with the day and get all the things on your ‘To-Do’ list done,” Trevillyan says.

The Power of Visualization and Positive Thoughts

A client seeking help for sleeplessness or insomnia will receive a very personalized hypnosis recording and listening to this message for 30 days creates a strong neural response to the new pattern and behavior for restful, relaxed sleep. At nighttime, when they’re in the throes of insomnia, they’ll listen to the recording which in turn engages the relaxation response.

The language used in these sessions often centers around visualization and imagery. Trevillyan will have clients picture themselves breathing deeply or walk them through a pleasant experience: visualizing their muscles relaxing one stage at a time, visualizing floating in clouds, or being washed in a waterfall of color. “While imagery and visualization work for most people, there are some people who have difficulty with this. In these cases, we will use a different approach that uses the fast pace that the brain is already engaged in and gradually assist the mind in unwinding through a series of steps that work best for that specific person.”

“There are a variety of metaphors and analogies we use that speak to the subconscious mind,” Trevillyan says. “Your subconscious is very much like a child and doesn’t understand the concept of time, so even when your conscious-critical mind is agitated because you have a big presentation tomorrow, you can still override the stress mechanism and engage the subconscious through relaxation and initiate the deep relaxation mechanism that allows your mind to release and let go.”

Ultimately, the goal is to set off a chain reaction: once a person starts sleeping better, they feel more alert and active during the day, more productive, and ultimately more positive and confident about themselves which allows them to rest easier during periods of sleep.

In their online store, Positive Changes offers three sessions to treat insomnia through techniques like tension release, developing a pre-sleep routine, and motivation to eliminate trigger foods.

Founded in 1987, Positive Changes has helped thousands of people lose weight, quit smoking, sleep better, manage stress and more through guided hypnosis. The motto at Positive Changes is “Live Life @ 100 Percent,” and they encourage clients to do just that. For more information, visit PositiveChanges.com or call (520) 639-8299.

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