Understanding Insomnia

Dr. Colin Lemmon

Insomnia Series

The Three Main Types of Insomnia

  1. Primary insomnia occurs when we have difficulty getting to sleep. This usually results from an overactive mind that is revisiting the concerns of the day and worrying about what may happen tomorrow. Primary insomnia is generally a symptom of general anxiety and an inability to let go and relax.
  2. Middle insomnia or nocturnal awakenings occur when we get to sleep fine but we wake up in the middle of the night and have difficulty getting back to sleep. Proponents of bi-modal sleep cycles consider this a natural pattern of sleep that has been lost in modern society.
  3. Terminal insomnia or late insomnia occurs when you can get to sleep fine but you wake up two or three hours too early and cannot get back to sleep.

Treatment for insomnia generally involves relaxation, dealing with anxiety and a clarifying the misunderstanding regarding our natural patterns of sleep.

Anxiety and Insomnia

Here be the demons that haunt many a sleepless night. Sounds ominous, but for some people the night will play out something like this. You lie in bed dredging up the past and making endless judgments about who did what and whose fault it was as you fruitlessly deliberate over the should haves and what ifs. Then you take this distorted perspective on the past and project it into future. When you look through this kaleidoscope of embellished memories, you create unrealistic fantasies about how things will play out tomorrow and beyond. Then you react emotionally to the fabricated future you created in your mind that will in all probability not play out anything like you imagine. And so you get distressed and cannot sleep.

The important thing to take from this is that anxiety is a process that you run in your mind. You have to do a sequence of things to make it happen. A person experiencing anxiety will generally have trouble compartmentalising between work and home, take on excessive responsibility, indulge in black and white (all or nothing) thinking, rely on emotional rather than cognitive reasoning, feel that they have no control over their life, not handle change and uncertainty well, dwell on the past, and catastrophise about the future – and on it goes.

Hypnosis Treatment for Insomnia

Hypnosis is an extremely effective treatment for insomnia.

The gateway to sleep is relaxation and hypnosis is the perfect way of showing you how to chill out and put the problems of the day aside. We can also help you put issues from the past back in perspective and let things go so that you can relax and find that place of deep inner peace and tranquility. We can give you tools to deal with the inappropriate thoughts and feelings that occur when you are trying to get to sleep or when you wake during the night. We can also re-align any dysfunctional cognitive processes that make you overly sensitive to stress and anxiety which undermines your ability to sleep soundly through the night.

Medical Issues

Before you consider hypnosis for insomnia it is essential that you fist consult a medical practitioner to ensure that there is not a medical issue that is preventing you from sleeping such as sleep Apnea. It is also important to check for other factors such as pain, allergies or an uncomfortable mattress.


Bi-Modal Patterns of Sleep

Patterns of sleep have changed radically since the industrial revolution and history shows us that perhaps a broken nights sleep is actually the norm and our concerns about waking of a night are unwarranted. Read more on bi-modal patterns of sleep in the link below.

Insomnia Series

Read the next installment in the insomnia series.