Your insomnia and sleep symptoms are telling you something
Sleep symptoms show up in many different ways. Articles and podcasts give you a lot of different insomnia causes and reasons for why you have difficulty sleeping.
Your sleep symptoms might manifest as:
- Trouble falling asleep
- Waking up in the night and then it seems to take forever to fall back to sleep
- Nighttime anxiety
- Waking up groggy, sluggish, and not fully alert
- Daytime fatigue and low energy
- Sleeping disorders
- Restless sleep
Let’s say you’ve been to the doctor and had a sleep study. You’ve tried seemingly everything and still have difficulty sleeping. So frustrating! I get it. I’ve been there.
Arianna Huffington’s book, The Sleep Revolution, moved me because of the compelling amount of evidence she presents for why we really, really need to get enough quality and quantity of sleep. Beyond the data and research, however, a big part of her underlying message resonates so much with my own: Healing our insomnia and other sleep problems requires us to delve beyond sleep itself. We need to look at other areas of our lives.
My mission to teach people self-hypnosis for sleep came from an understanding that hypnosis uniquely accesses the unconscious. And the unconscious rules the sleep realm. Hypnosis and self-hypnosis rely heavily on the language of metaphor. So do dreams. So do the parts of us that govern our sleep cycles.
When we want to resolve sleep symptoms that are ruled by the unconscious, doesn’t it make sense to look at them as metaphors? Maybe we can decode their meanings to solve our sleep riddles.
When people have chronic sleep issues, I recommend they see a physician who specializes in sleep so they can have a sleep study to get to the root of insomnia causes and to make sure they don’t have a sleeping disorder. We want to identify any risk factors. Certain conditions like obstructive sleep apnea and narcolepsy endanger a person’s health. They may also require specific medical treatments.
Even when these factors come into play, looking at the language of our mind-body connection through the symbolism of our symptoms can be fascinating and empowering. Much of my success with clients who have difficulty sleeping and with my Deep & Easy Sleep Self-Hypnosis Package comes from this holistic approach.
LET ME GIVE YOU SOME EXAMPLES:
If someone tells me that they have trouble falling asleep, I think about that quite different than if they tell me they wake up with nightmares regularly. Why? Here are some of the questions I wonder about when I work with people with sleep problems and when I designed my sleep self-hypnosis audios:
- Trouble falling asleep is actually very specific. It might relate to difficulty shifting from “doing” and being “on” to resting and being “off duty.” This sleep symptom or type of insomnia might reflect challenges with letting go of alertness. Does it mirror ways that a person might not let themselves rest, be able to rest, or has some core pattern that just won’t rest or let go?
- When the sleep problem includes a lack of deep sleep, I often wonder if something touched that person deeply in a way that they haven’t yet put to rest.
- Fatigue might represent ways that someone feels metaphorically exhausted. I’ve observed great improvements when addressing the unconscious with hypnotic suggestions. These can create space for lifting burdens and responsibilities during sleep time. It can also be helpful for a person to ask themselves about what’s draining their energy.
- A different type of insomnia may represent a different type of communication from the mind-body language. Some people wake up with anxiety in the middle of the night and have problems getting back to sleep. This sleep symptom can sometimes relate to having felt interrupted in the middle of being taken care of at some point. Also, it symbolizes an important way in which they were on a path that got or felt disrupted.
- Frequent vivid dreams or nightmares may be saying something else. From a hypnotherapeutic perspective, they should be treated differently. I tend to think, in these cases, that the unconscious wants to communicate through colorful and attention-getting stories. It can be helpful to look at the dramatic events in a person’s life for clues to gain a better understanding of the multi-faceted elements at play. Giving more attention to life events can create more harmony between the waking and sleep states.
WHEN WE APPROACH OUR BODIES AND MINDS AS A COOPERATIVE SYSTEM, WE LIVE HEALTHIER LIVES.
Too often we see sleep symptoms as things to overcome and fix. I have found that we lead happier, healthier lives and sleep better when we listen with interest and gratitude to our unconscious realms. Sometimes our systems manifest in uncomfortable ways to get our attention or while processing important material.
When we hear and comprehend the meaning of symptoms, we gain strength, power, and profound guidance. This can lead to transformation. Once we start to dialogue in that metaphoric language, oftentimes, the unconscious responds. And ultimately, this can lead to us sleeping better.
Understanding what the body — and our sleep — is telling us can transform our lives. Click here to download my complimentary video and eBook, “The 3 Biggest Things that Cause Sleep Problems & The ONE Thing You Can do by 3 pm Today to Sleep Better,” so that you can finally get the rest you’ve been looking for.
*Guest writer, Dr. Dyan Haspel-Johnson. Licensed psychologist, hypnotherapist, and somatic experiencing practitioner, with the goal of helping people to heal themselves at a cellular level to reach their highest potential.
The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of MDCN Tech Ltd.