Hitchin hypnotherapy expert Ian Murton shares tips on how to treat insomnia

By Layth Yousif

18th Dec 2022 | Local News

Hitchin hypnotherapy expert Ian Murchison on helping to relieve insomnia. CREDIT: Pexels
Hitchin hypnotherapy expert Ian Murchison on helping to relieve insomnia. CREDIT: Pexels

The latest in our occasional Nub News series from Ian Murton, a highly-qualified Hitchin hypnotherapist who specialises in helping people to overcome anxiety and insomnia, so they can look forward to enjoying life with confidence.

Read on for Ian's expert help in helping to relieve insomnia

Estimates reveal that approximately a third of the UK population struggle to get to sleep on a weekly basis. Insomnia can be defined as 'the inability to fall asleep or to be able to maintain sleep'.

Insomnia differs from sleep deprivation. We can quite regularly deny ourselves sleep without any long term adverse effects to our sleep routine. We might for example stay up late to watch a movie or work into the early hours in order to finish work.

Insomnia suffers, however, don't deny themselves the opportunity to sleep. They simply find it very difficult to fall or stay asleep.

Insomnia is always caused by a trigger. This might be a stressful occasion such as a divorce or it could be something simple like a common cold. The trigger causes us to lose sleep. As humans we're intolerant to a lack of sleep. If we don't sleep well for a couple of nights, we start to worry.

We might then try to catch up on sleep by either going to bed early or by laying in. By doing so we actually make the situation worse, as we spend our time in bed either worrying about our current situation or our inability to sleep. We also throw our natural sleep/ wake cycle out of synch.

Our brains very quickly associate our bed as a place to be anxious. We start to fear being awake, so the emotional part of our brain registers a threat. Our body temperature rises and our heart rate and breathing rate increase, all of which are quite the opposite of the conditions we need to sleep. 

We then often resort to doing activities such as reading, being on a device or watching tv in bed to entertain us while we can't sleep. This really confuses our brain. It believes we want to be awake so it will release stress hormones such as cortisol to keep us awake. 

Before long our bed and bedroom have become a battle ground.

You cannot force sleep. You will only sleep when you have built up a strong sleep drive, you have a regulated sleep/ wake cycle and you are not anxious. Insomnia is a pattern in your brain that can't be changed by following a sleep hygiene routine.

If you suffer from insomnia, the number 1 thing you can do to help is to wake up and get up at the same time every day. This helps to regulate your sleep/ wake cycle and over time your brain learns when to release melatonin at night to make you sleepy and when to release cortisol in the morning to wake you up. 


North Herts hypnotherapy expert Ian Murton on the Anxiety Paradox

By Ian Murton HPD, DSFH, AfSFH Reg, NCH Reg, CNHC Reg

To find out more visit Ian's website here


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