What Is Insomnia?
Do you have trouble falling or staying asleep? A common condition in modern life, insomnia is essentially difficulty falling or staying asleep, even when you have the chance to. With insomnia, there are differing degrees of severity, ranging from acute to chronic. There are many causes, ranging from genetics, behavior, and environment, along with many different treatments such as medication, as well as more lifestyle-based behavioral habit changes.
What Causes Insomnia?
While there is no one cause for all insomnia cases, there are several ones which are most common among many cases. They include:
○Poor sleep habits
○Irregular travel or work schedule
○Caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol
Did you know that…?
○About 10 percent of people have experienced chronic insomnia
○Insomnia is more likely to occur in women than in men
○Insomnia can be more likely in people who nap during the day, making sleep more difficult at night
Conventional vs. Alternative Holistic Treatments
The most common medical treatments of insomnia consist of over-the-counter and prescription medication such as benzodiazepine hypnotics, non-benzodiazepine hypnotics, and melatonin receptor agonists. However, their effectiveness and side effects may vary and be undesirable. Also, long term reliance on medications may impair your ability to fall and stay asleep naturally.
Alternative treatments focus more on root causes, allowing your body to revert to a natural sleep pattern once again and regain your ability to fall and stay asleep.
Hypnosis is a completely natural state of mind, like sleep, except for the fact that the senses become more alert and heightened. Hypnosis alters the state of consciousness in such a way that the analytical left-hand side of the brain is distracted or bypassed, while the more creative right-hand side is invited out to be more alert and aware. The conscious mind is diverted or distracted whilst the subconscious mind is woken up.
Hypnotherapy can be used to treat insomnia by working on positively changing the subconscious mind, which is where many of the root causes of insomnia lie. By targeting the subconscious mind, stress, negative thinking patterns, and anxiety can be relieved which are some of the main causes of insomnia.
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The goal of Meditation is to focus and quiet your mind, eventually reaching a higher level of awareness and inner calm . It may come as a surprise to learn that you can meditate anywhere and at any time, allowing yourself to access a sense of tranquility and peace no matter what’s going on around you.
When it comes to insomnia, meditation can greatly help due to its anxiety and stress reducing effects. People practicing meditation often report feeling rejuvenated and refreshed, allowing them to have better sleep quality.
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Acupuncture is one of the most common treatments of insomnia in China, and clinical studies have shown that acupuncture may have a beneficial effect on insomnia.
Many of the root causes such as stress and anxiety are relieved through acupuncture, allowing people to fall and stay asleep easier. Studies have shown that acupuncture increased nighttime melatonin production as well as total sleep time. It also relieves chronic pain, which is a very common contributor to sleeplessness.
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Craniosacral Therapy is another great way to treat insomnia.
Every day your body endures stresses and strains that it must work to compensate for. Unfortunately, these changes often cause body tissues to tighten and distort the craniosacral system. These distortions can then cause tension to form around the brain and spinal cord resulting in restrictions. This can create a barrier to the healthy performance of the central nervous system, and potentially every other system it interacts with. Fortunately, such restrictions can be detected and corrected using simple methods of touch.
With craniosacral therapy, tensions and other causes of insomnia can be relieved by improving the performance of the central nervous system and treating issues that hinder it. It can help get rid of tightness, pain, and related issues that lead to insomnia.
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For people with insomnia, irrational thoughts may lead to difficulty with sleep. For example, former experiences of insomnia may lead to worry about falling or staying asleep. This can become a disruptive pattern that can be difficult to break. Cognitive restructuring begins to break this cycle through identifying, challenging, and altering the thoughts and beliefs that contribute to insomnia. The therapist assists with identification of these disturbing thoughts and objective evaluation.
Providing information about the connection between thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and sleep is important to CBT-I. For some patients, CBT-I is more effective than medications. This treatment has also been shown to be effective in groups that are at particularly high risk of experiencing insomnia, such as pregnant women, wpost-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and cancer patients,. CBT-I is considered effective with many types of insomnia, even showing potential benefits for people with short-term insomnia. This means that CBT-I may be useful in treating insomnia symptoms even when they don’t meet the criteria for chronic insomnia.
Nightmare Exposure And Rescripting
Exposure to- and rescripting of- nightmares is a helpful technique for taking control of bad dreams. There is evidence that imagery rescripting for nightmares can be used as a stand-alone intervention. Nightmare Exposure And Rescripting elicits the nightmare/image, elicits the current emotion, considers the desired emotion, then develops a new image to accompany the desired emotion.