Hypnotherapy can help enormously with sleep problems, even if the problem has been going on for years. Perhaps surprisingly, although most people will have heard Stage Hypnotists use the word "sleep", in fact hypnosis and sleep are quite different states. In hypnosis, the conscious mind is still functioning, whereas sleep is a state in which the conscious mind is effectively switched off.
The key to understanding how hypnotherapy can help lies in this simple fact: the conscious mind cannot switch itself off, it does not know how to do that. Normally it is the Subconscious that shuts down or starts up the conscious mind, but the regular pattern of when to do that can become disturbed. If this goes on for any length of time (more than a week) the Subconscious can become unsure of when to shut down the conscious mind, so rather than risk getting that wrong, it does nothing - or else handles the matter with such inconsistency that it causes serious problems.
Sleep deprivation has long been used as a method of torture, and that is because the conscious mind needs rest, otherwise it becomes over-stressed. Since the conscious mind knows it cannot solve the problem, insomnia causes fearful and obsessive reactions on a conscious level, which actually make the problem worse - as indeed insomniacs realise, they just don't know how to stop doing that.
An important part of the hypnotherapy solution is to give the Subconscious a clear and detailed framework to establish a new sleep pattern that will suit the client, and also explain how to prevent obsessive conscious thinking (worrying) from getting in the way. Sometimes it may also be necessary to deal with the issue that caused sleeplessness in the first place, although in many cases that will have been resolved long ago anyway. The resolution of that issue does not automatically lead to normal sleep patterns being resumed, but effective hypnotherapy does. In fact, the client's Subconscious mind is glad to get some guidance on the matter - since the Subconscious mind never needs to sleep anyway, this is not really its area of expertise. Once the details are properly established though it can solve the problem easily, much to the relief of the poor old conscious mind.
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Consultant Hypnotherapist Chris Holmes BA(Hons) HPD DipCAH MNCH is a Senior Registered Hypnotherapy Practitioner (General Hypnotherapy Register) and has been providing effective and confidential hypnosis and hypnotherapy services at Central Hypnotherapy for Stockport, Manchester, Tameside and Cheshire since August 2000.