This question raises some important issues about the importance of insight in changing patterns, symptoms and behavior.
Hi BellRuth (sic), I believe my insomnia comes from deep rooted fears, so I believe I would have to have a cd that addresses fears/ or lack of. Which CD do you suggest?1 I do not fear leaving the house.
If your children have gone back to school, and you are finding that all they want to do is go back to sleep in the morning, you are not alone.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has declared sleep insufficiency to be a nationwide public health epidemic, and the American Academy of Pediatrics in its recently released policy statement, School Start Times for Adolescents said "Insufficient sleep represents one of the most common, important and potentially remediable health risks in children, particularly in the adolescent population, for whom chronic sleep loss has increasingly become the norm."
We got this question from a woman with a host of worries and concerns, none of which are exactly small potatoes. In spite of all these issues, she's clearly managed to keep her sense of humor intact. Check it out:
I've had two of your tapes for years (depression and pre-surgery). Now I need one for rising blood pressure.
I had a pace-maker/defibrillator installed last year for my exceedingly low heart rate (cardiomyopathy triggered by viral pneumonia years ago), and now my blood pressure's rising with accompanying dreaded drug onslaught.
Seems to get worse as they raise the dosage, which I hate, resist, and fear etc. Other pressures have increased, too = big work project I'm excited to be working on. Plus increasingly wretched relationship with alcoholic son, which I work on with my Alanon 12-step study and sponsor.
Guided imagery, it turns out, is an ideal intervention for insomnia. The voice tone and music soothe the primitive, over-alert, survival-based parts of the brain; and the content and images distract the neocortex that's busy worrying over the to-do lists of the coming day or reviewing the slights and shoulda-saids of the day before.
Here's what the wife of one sleep-deprived guy had to tell us (We know it sounds over the top, but this is verbatim):
The guided imagery for Healthful Sleep has changed my husband's life. Not an exaggeration. He used to take medicine to help him relax at night. He could sleep, but it wasn't restful sleep. He thrashed, had nightmares, and always felt tired the next day - even after 12+ hours of sleep. After using the imagery a few nights, he was able to quit taking medicine because he began sleeping so restfully. One big, unexpected side-benefit: he's much better company!
I also sleep much more soundly and feel more rested. The mornings after I listen to this particular imagery, I feel what I can only describe as 10 years younger. It occurs to me that truly healthful sleep would improve general health, energy, mood and prepare you to deal effectively with stress. Good sleep is invaluable! I tell my patients, if they can only afford one guided imagery audio, they should get the sleep one.
Doubly Delighted Doc
p.s. If you liked this post, you might enjoy getting our weekly e-news with other articles just like it. If so, sign up here!
A mom writes:
My very active, sociable little 7-month-old is adorable in every way, but he is not a great sleeper. I get the feeling he doesn’t want to miss anything by napping. It’s been a challenge getting things done, because the little guy NEVER naps.
Rocking him and settling him down has never quite worked. Just as he starts to relax, he realizes he’s about to fall asleep, and he jerks awake and wants to play some more.
I decided to try playing BR’s sleep CD for him, which has always worked for me, while rocking him, and, lo and behold, the little live wire fell asleep!!! I now play the Healthful Sleep CD whenever I need him to nap. So far, so good, it works like a charm. I don’t know if it’s because it affects me and I’m holding him, or if it just affects him directly, and I don’t really care. I can get some laundry and dishes done. What a thrill! (sarcasm).
Grateful Chicago Mom
Researchers from the Sleep Disorders Center at the Mayo Clinic College in Rochester, MN replicated and extended an earlier study (by Hurwitz et al, 1991) looking at the effectiveness of one or two sessions of hypnosis in substantially improving “parasomnias” (sleep disorders such as sleepwalking, sleep-eating, nightmares, night terrors, bedwetting, sleep sex, teeth grinding, sleep talking, restless legs syndrome, and so on) up to five years later.
The study sample consisted of thirty-six patients (19 male, 17 female), ages ranging from 6 to 71, with an average age of 32.7 years. Four were children aged 6 to 16. All had chronic, self-sustaining parasomnias. All underwent 1 or 2 hypnotherapy sessions and were then followed with a questionnaire for 5 years.
Listen to an audio sample
of Healing Trauma
BR got this wonderful note from a hard working EMT who was suffering from all the times he couldn’t save someone –the images of kids especially stayed in his mind and kept him awake at night. Check it out:
I figured out recently that I have PTSD. I am an EMT who has seen a lot of hard situations.
The scenes that stayed with me, kept me awake at night, were the ones where I tried but couldn’t help, in spite of my best efforts. Especially the failures with kids got to me. It was years of building up.
My social worker girlfriend hooked me up with the HJ site. The reviews of the Trauma imagery got my attention. I ordered the download and to my surprise, it helped me immediately. I listened to it every night for about a week. It never failed to bring tears to my eyes, but they were good tears and I was okay with that.
These days I listen to it every now and then. It is my booster shot.
I sleep well now. I stopped faulting myself for the failures. I do the best I can and I know I am good at my job. I feel strong and appreciative of what I try to do. I know I make a difference when I can.
I want to encourage others to use it. It’s the best thing I’ve done for myself when it comes to emotional trauma from the work I do.
Listen to an audio sample of Healthful Sleep
A woman asks for instructions on what the recommended level of sound should be while listening to our guided imagery, and more specifically the audios for Healthful Sleep and some others. Belleruth provides an answer below.
How loud or soft should we be listening to the cd's?
I have the Healthful Sleep cd, and a couple others, no instructions as to what the recommended level of sound should be....loud, same voice as if I was talking to someone, soft, so soft that when you move or adjust you can't hear it??? Help.
To support our contention that guided imagery makes a huge dent on insomnia and general sleep insufficiency, we went looking on Amazon for feedback. There were 40 comments posted under Healthful Sleep, and almost all were extraordinarily positive.
Here are a few, and then we’ll rest our case!
I keep my iPod and headphones by my bed. It almost always works the first time -- sometimes I listen to it twice. The music is beautiful. After a full-body calming it is a bit groovy with the gentle guardians but occasionally it's the guardians part that does the trick. Thank you for a wonderful product.
Researchers from the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder at the VA Boston Healthcare System and Boston University Medical Center performed a meta-analysis to evaluate the efficacy of imagery rehearsal therapy (IRT) as a treatment for nightmares, general sleep disturbance, and symptoms of post-traumatic stress.
Bibliographic databases and cited references were searched to identify clinical trials of imagery rehearsal in individuals with post-trauma nightmares.
Thirteen studies met inclusion criteria and reported sleep and post-traumatic stress outcomes in sufficient detail to calculate effect sizes.