(This blog was originally posted on January 15, 2016)
|Photo courtesy of Microsoft|
John Kappas, Ph.D., observed that depressive sleep tends to be light, which allows the individual to maintain enough awareness of the environment and maintain a sense of being able to stay in control. Often, someone who is dealing with depression reports tossing and turning throughout the night and easily awakens. However, the person’s belief that he or she does not sleep at all is usually not completely accurate, the Hypnosis Motivation Institute founder stated.
The hypnotherapist can prove that the client actually does sleep by having the individual place an illuminated clock beside the bed. That way, the individual can always see what time it is whenever his or eyes open. For one week the person should record the time whenever he or she wakes up, and then try to drift back to sleep. By the time the person finally “gets up” out of bed in the morning, the individual can look back at the times he or she woke up during the night to see that there were some solid hours spent asleep—usually between three to five hours.
“If you get that pattern, and the person has had some sleep (a nap) during the day, people can get by on five hours of sleep,” Dr. Kappas explained. Once the person realizes that he or she is actually getting some sleep, the anxiety about not sleeping usually disappears and the person sleep six to eight hours a night. “This mechanism works pretty well with depressive sleepers, and we use it quite regularly.”
However, if the person is genuinely unable to sleep at all, he or she will not have venting dreams and therefore is at risk of stimulus overload and a subsequent loss of the critical thinking/reasoning process. In this case, it would be inappropriate to use dream therapy because the thought of not sleeping would only induce further distress and anxiety.
“Don’t take away what little sleep they have,” the hypnotherapist advised.
Sara R. Fogan, C.Ht. is a certified hypnotherapist based in Southern California. She graduated with honors from the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in 2005. For more information about Calminsense Hypnotherapy® and to set up an appointment, please visit http://www.calminsensehypnotherapy.com/.