It is not easy to overestimate the importance of sleep.
The right amount of regular, undisturbed, deep sleep…..
Without it we can’t enjoy life or live to our full potential and are likely to feel tired, irritable, anxious or depressed.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes sleep deprivation as a "public health epidemic" linked to a wide range of medical issues, including hypertension, diabetes, depression, obesity and cancer. Yet, the demands of our modern society increasingly can shorten the time available for rest. While serious sleep disorders such as Narcolepsy, Cataplexy and Sleep Apnea are relatively uncommon, a large percentage of us do suffer, often unknowingly, from poor sleep quality.
It is not just about the quantity of sleep, but the quality is important too. You may be lying in bed for eight hours a night but if the quality of your sleep is not good then you might be suffering any of the symptoms below:
-Waking up during the night or having difficulty falling asleep.
- Finding it difficult to awaken and get up in the morning.
- Feeling generally anxious, depressed or negative.
- Waking up still upset about things that have happened the day before.
- Being aware of dreaming a lot or of having vivid dreams.
- Being forgetful and finding it hard to concentrate or learn.
- Craving high calorie snacks or caffeine to keep alert through the day.
- Needing to take a nap in the afternoon.
A chronic lack of sleep can detrimentally effect our immune system as well as effecting our memory, concentration, intellectual faculties and ability to cope with everyday stresses. It can even endanger us and others if we attempt to drive or operate dangerous machinery without sufficient rest.
Recent published medical research papers have focused on the following:
Your brain works harder in dreaming than when taking a degree exam, as it engages in processes which are essential for your mental health.
During deep sleep the brain’s billions of synapses separate to allow cerebral fluid to wash away plaque. The long term buildup of this plaque has recently been linked with the development of dementia.
Teenagers require about 9.5 hours of sleep a night, more than anyone else whilst their brains are developing so fast. But they don’t feel tired at night because they don’t produce the sleep hormone Melatonin. This means teenagers are often sleep deprived and so suffer and behave accordingly.
Poor sleep quality is linked to increased activation of the limbic system and, in particular, the amygdala. Recent research has found this activation effects the immune system and increases the risk of heart attacks.
Poor sleep quality in childhood effects growth hormone production and can contribute to obesity problems later in life, as can raised cortisol levels which may be provoked by night lights and increased levels of stress associated with poor sleep patterns.
Reduced, or poor sleep quality, has been shown to increase the amount of Grehlin and decrease the amount of Leptin in the blood stream - with the result that hunger and appetite are increased, leading to obesity in the long term. (Leptin and ghrelin are two hormones that have been recognized to have a major influence on energy balance. Leptin is a mediator of long-term regulation of energy balance, suppressing food intake and thereby inducing weight loss. Ghrelin on the other hand is a fast-acting hormone, seemingly playing a role in meal initiation.) The role of leptin and ghrelin in the regulation of food intake and body weight in humans: a review. Klok MD1, Jakobsdottir S, Drent ML.
Perhaps you find that you struggle to get to sleep – you go to bed feeling tired, but as soon as the light goes off, your mind starts to race.
Maybe you fall asleep easily, but then you find yourself tossing and turning all night.
Or you wake up in the middle of the night, and struggle to get back to sleep.
Or maybe you wake up in the very early morning (usually about 4 or 5 am) and can’t drop back off despite feeling tired.
Or you just wake up in the morning feeling un-refreshed, exhausted and unmotivated to enjoy the day.
Sleep problems such as these are very common, and when any of these problems (or a combination of them) become persistent, they can become a real issue, seriously affecting quality of your life.
Solution focused hypnotherapy offers a safe and effective means to restore your natural ability to sleep.
Most people suffering with sleep problems will require a series of sessions to fully treat the problem, and therapy is tailored to your specific needs.
Apart from hypnotherapy, including a CD to guide you into a deep refreshing and revitalising sleep, I will explain the dynamics of sleep - empowering you to reduce the causes of disturbed sleep - reducing stress levels and helping you to ensure your environment and life style supports a life enhancing sleep pattern.