Hypnotherapy Treatment for Insomnia - Learn to Relax Into Sleep

woman suffering insomnia pekking over the bed covers wide eyed

Insomnia is the inability to regularly get to sleep or stay asleep for a good length of time. Results of this sleep disorder can be devastating on your home and work life. Women suffer more than men but, there are millions of people of both sexes that suffer. There are many symptoms listed here for you to look out for. We have outlined some helpful example treatments for you which may be used during your hypnotherapy sessions for insomnia. Contact us by email or call today (07979 814 388) to book your appointment that can help with your sleep problems.

What is Insomnia? - Insomnia Defined in Plain English

Man staring at a screen late at nightInsomnia is a chronic (persistent and/or recurring) sleep disorder affecting millions of people worldwide. Someone with insomnia will regularly find it hard to get to sleep or stay asleep. Those with it may wake up in the middle of the night, perhaps several times. They also may wake and then not be able to get back to sleep. They may lie in bed for hours trying to sleep but, not be able to. They may wake up too early in the morning and then again, not be able to get back to sleep. Even though you are exhausted and tired even getting a nap during the day can be difficult for insomnia sufferers.

Worth noting here is the fact that insomnia is very different to sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation happens when you don’t get opportunity to sleep either by choice (staying awake watching films or working all night etc) or by life situation (baby wakes you up, working shifts, traffic noise outside etc). This is more a behavioural  or lifestyle issue.

Who Suffers With Insomnia?

Woman wide eyed in bed suffering form insomnia due to menopauseUnfortunately, insomnia can affect anyone at all, no matter who you are, no matter what age you are, no matter what your lifestyle is like. The Sleep Foundation (2022) tells us about 20% of all adults in the U.S.A. suffer with insomnia. This is an incredible number of people in the millions and yet, that is not even considering the rest of the world. They also say approximately 39% of older people suffer.

Research also says a higher percentage of women are affected than men. There are several explanations as to why but, it seems insomnia symptoms happen to them mainly during episodes of PMS (premenstrual syndrome) and during pregnancy. Baker et al (2018) says it can also affect women (around the age of 47 years old) during the menopausal transition. There are symptoms of this specific to the menopause such as hot flashes and sweating in the night which would obviously cause sleep disruptions. Also waking in the middle of the night because of these symptoms or any other reason is increased around this time of life.

What are the Symtoms of Insomnia?

The symptoms of insomnia (consistently getting an inadequate length of sleep or a lack of good quality sleep) may show up in a number of different, individual ways for you.

  • You may regularly find getting to sleep difficult.
  • You might find staying asleep for a good period diffilcult, waking up, perhaps several times during a night.
  • You can find focussing or concentrating for any length of time difficult.
  • You may lay awake for an hour or more at night because you are not getting to sleep.
  • Even after some sleep, you might wake up and still feel tired.
  • You may end up feeling physically unwell and you may be noticing pains in muscles and/or joints in your body.
  • You may also be feeling and mentally unwell and having mood swings.
  • You may find It difficult to make good, informed decisions because you are so very tired.
  • Insomnia can leave you feeling tired, listless, on edge or irritable during your day.
  • You may also be suffering from anxiety about your lack of sleep.
  • Your well-being will be affected negatively, leading to a reduced quality of life.
  • All of this can result in reduced performance in life’s tasks both at work and home.
  • However, don’t despair, hypnotherapy can help you.
Hypnotherapy Can Help – Example of an Insomnia Treatment

Woman sleeping with cat on the bed

The first stage of therapy is understanding your individual problem. Everyone is different and the reasons for you not sleeping well may also be different to others. So, we need to know the details about you and your issues. You will be asked to fill out a detailed intake for about your issue and how they affect you. Then we will talk about them. These acts in themselves can help. Once we have the details then a personalised treatment plan can be created.

To begin your treatment, we teach you how to relax. There are many people, perhaps 1/5 of the adult population, who like you, can’t sleep very well. Part of the reason for this in some people is because they can’t or don’t know how to relax when they try to get to sleep.

All of your pent-up energy from the day, all those worries about work or home, all those thoughts about solving problems are running around your head even when you lay down to sleep. This means your nervous system will be feeling the stress. Your mind and body need to be calmed for you to get a good night’s sleep. There are several ways you can learn do this through hypnotherapy.

Please note the list below are examples of techniques which may be used during your treatment. However, this list is not completely comprehensive and other techniques may also be used. It all depends on which ones you find work best for you.

  1. Hypnotherapy relaxation techniques you will be taught can be used to calm or relax your mind and body.
  2. Breathe deeply using the 4-7-8 (relaxing breath) method, like the armed forces do to aid sleep. Deep breaths start in through the nose for a count of 4, hold for a count of 7 and then release for a count of 8. Repeat for 4 full breathes when you first start this. This can be extended to 8 or more as you get used to it. This can be taught in or out hypnosis as an N.L.P. (Neurolinguistic Programming) technique.
  3. If your mind needs calming from your days “mind chatter” (that days problems running around and around in your mind), mindfulness practice or mindful breathing can help. Imagine a white, cleansing, relaxing light coming in as you breath in. Feel your breath come into your body as your chest and tummy expands. Feel your breath as it leaves, taking any muscle tension or holding with it. Relaxation in, tension out. Also accept that your mind will wander. Its OK, that’s what minds do. When it does, congratulate yourself for noticing and thus being mindful and gently guide your mind back to feeling your breathing coming in and out of your body. Relaxation in, tension out. Repeat until you are feeling the calm in your mind and body and ready for sleep.
  4. Deeper relaxation can be achieved using visualisation, which is a classic example of hypnotherapy. Imagine you are at the top of a set of stairs. Starting with 100, count down the steps as you slowly, safely move down then saying the words “deeper and deeper” after each step. “100, deeper and deeper. 99 deeper and deeper. 98 deeper and deeper…” Eventually you will lose the numbers. The numbers will not matter anymore. You will simply find yourself going “deeper and deeper” into relaxation.
  5. Deeper relaxation still can be achieved by imagining you are in your own personal peaceful place. Then using something called an “anchor” in hypnotherapy, you can go back to all the feelings of calm, peace and relaxation you were experiencing in your therapy session any time you wish. It can be somewhere you went and really relaxed on holiday, somewhere you have always wanted to go (a peaceful beach in the Caribbean), somewhere you know well (your favourite spa) or even somewhere imaginary that you create to relax in (a peaceful wood with a beck running through it). It will be up to you to create it and then your therapist will use your own words so your sub-conscious recognises it and allows you to totally relax there.


Waller D (2018) Working with Insomnia: A Guide for Therapists Yorkshire Therapies and Training Ltd