The impact of short summer nights on sleep

Posted by on 21 May, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

By Annette MacCaul – 21st May 2014.

As we are approaching the summer solstice and the nights are getting shorter, it might be useful to take a moment to consider the importance of a good night’s sleep.

With increased natural light levels and warmer temperatures, people who have difficulty sleeping often struggle more during the summer months. This can have a huge knock-on effect on their mental and physical well-being.

Having enough sleep is important in so many ways. It’s essential in enabling us to learn effectively and to form memories; that’s why we become forgetful if we’re struggling with insomnia. As a rule of thumb, for every two hours we are awake, we tend to need an hour of sleep to download, process, and file the information we’ve gathered during our waking hours.

If we don’t get enough sleep, we end up with ‘unfinished business’ which clutters our minds, making it difficult to concentrate or to make decisions.

Many clients who come to see me at my Truro practice are seeking help because they have difficulty in sleeping, causing them to feel irritable, exhausted, and forgetful. If this sleep deprivation is prolonged it can lead to difficulties in making rational judgements or to plan effectively.

Sleep is important to our physical well-being too. It has a beneficial effect on our immune and endocrine (hormone) systems, and there’s evidence to suggest that obesity may be linked to a lack of sleep. Insomnia has also been linked with high blood pressure, accelerated ageing, depression, anxiety, strokes and gastrointestinal disorders.

There can be no doubt that sleep is critical to our mental and physical well-being, and hypnotherapy can help people to improve their sleep patterns. This is achieved by helping clients to improve their ‘sleep hygiene’ by helping them to identify problems in their sleep environment, and working to make changes to improve these, such as not using tablet computers or smart phones late at night, and making sure that they’ve taken time to wind down before going to bed.

Through the use of Solution Focused Hypnotherapy clients can find ways to help them to deal better with the stresses in their lives. Solution Focused Hypnotherapy techniques help people to change their unhelpful patterns of behaviour by encouraging them to visualise more beneficial ways of coping with situations, followed by a session of hypnosis to consolidate their positive image of the future. When they’re coping better, their brain has fewer problems to resolve during sleep. It’s not unusual for clients to report dreaming more vividly after the first few sessions, while their brain is busy de-cluttering a backlog of unresolved issues.

By helping people improve their sleep patterns and get the right amount of restorative sleep, hypnotherapy can help them to cope better with the day to day stresses that prompted them to seek help in the first place.

If you would like help with sleep problems, tiredness, or stress, anxiety and worry, please fill out the contact form on this page to arrange your free initial consultation.

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