A guide to insomnia

Sleep is a phenomenon common to us all and human being, on average, spend one third of their lives asleep. The most usual definition of the state is “an altered state of consciousness with reduced responsiveness to external stimuli”.

The main causes of insomnia are as follows:

1. General anxiety to the extent that the subconscious/primitive mind deems it too dangerous to lose awareness. This hyper vigilance factor might cause over responsiveness to noise both before sleep and during sleep.

2. The inability to “switch off”. Few people fall asleep when they are in the middle of an interesting or demanding work problem. Reviewing the day’s events or sorting out what has to be done in the morning is a sure way to stay awake.

3. The subconscious mind disrupts REM sleep for technical reasons, and then prevents the person from going back to sleep.

4. Belief systems that put too much pressure on the mind particularly with people prone to obsessional thoughts. The belief that unless we have our statutory seven or eight hours sleep, we will underperform and court disaster which can create the “Law of Reversed Effect”.

5. Doing silly things prior to bedtime. These can include:

  •   Taking late exercise
  •   Taking stimulants such as coffee or alcohol
  •   Eating too much
  •   Going to bed too early or staying up too late
  •   Not sticking to a sensible routine or conversely sticking obsessionally to a routine that does not work etc etc
  •   Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or some other fear response.

Suggestions for helping you get to sleep:

  •   You need to learn how to become relaxed prior to sleep. This involves reducing your levels of anxiety in your life generally.
  •   CD’s can help enormously to create the relaxed processes necessary to good sleep patterns.
  •   You need to have a clear understanding as to how the mind works and in particular why insomnia is part of the symptomology of depression.