Do you have an active mind, and a tendency to overthink? Does that impact on your sleep?
Overthinking is a common problem that can affect people in many ways. When our minds swirl with thoughts and worries, it can be difficult to relax, to switch off and fall asleep at night. If this becomes an ongoing problem rather than something short term, this can lead to anxiety. When this combines with poor quality of sleep it can take a toll on our mental and physical health.
According to Professor John Groeger, a lecturer in psychology and director of Sleep Well Science at Nottingham Trent University, “Stress will delay our sleep because we are simply too aroused to relax.” This means that if our minds are preoccupied with worries and anxieties, it can be challenging to fall asleep, even if our bodies are tired.
Hypnotherapy can provide support with overthinking and insomnia in a number of ways. My method of Hypnotherapy uses guided relaxation and focused attention to achieve a focused and relaxed state of awareness. In this comfortable state, a person is more able to access their subconscious mind and together we work to promote positive change.
Hypnotherapy can in my opinion be a helpful way to break the mental habit of overthinking and reduce the experience of anxiety which may leading to poor sleep. Working with the clients the unconscious mind, hypnotherapy can help the client to identify and reframe negative thought patterns. Hypnosis can also promote relaxation and help manage stress, making it easier for clients to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Dr. Meg Arroll, a clinical psychologist and author of Tiny Traumas: When you don’t know what’s wrong, but nothing feels quite right, suggests that hypnotherapy can be a useful addition to sleep-promoting strategies, and lifestyle choices “Hypnotherapy can be used to change the negative self-talk or rumination that keeps us awake at night, as well as to promote relaxation and calm,” she says.
Some of the ways I might work with a client who overthinks and has sleep problems include progressive relaxation, visualisation, and guided meditation. Progressive relaxation involves relaxing different muscle groups, while visualisation uses imagination to promote relaxation and reduce anxiety. Guided meditation can involve breathing exercises which promote relaxation and reduce tension.
In addition to hypnotherapy, you may choose from a range of strategies to promote better sleep. Professor John Groeger suggests journaling or speaking to someone you trust before attempting to sleep, so you don’t bring your worries to bed. Instead, he recommends thinking about the things that went well during the day, and if you can’t think of anything, thinking about a previous day.
Other tips for improving sleep include avoiding stimulating activities like computer games, high energy music or thrillers where possible. Avoid caffeine, and other stimulants, alcohol or recreational drugs in the evening. Try to be active and to exercise, during the daytime and get outdoors. Creating a relaxing sleep environment with a comfortable bed, supportive pillow, and cool temperature can also promote better sleep.
In conclusion, overthinking and anxiety can disrupt sleep and negatively impact our overall well being. Hypnotherapy is a tool that can help you to combat overthinking and anxiety, promoting relaxation, challenging negative thought patterns. Along with other sleep promoting strategies, hypnotherapy may help you move beyond overthinking and towards better sleep and improved overall health.