Throughout life, sleep is critical to one’s health and overall well-being. Getting enough good rest at the proper times may also benefit your mental and physical health, as well as your quality of life and safety.
In a nutshell, you function better after a good rest because you could digest the previous day’s events and neatly store them away in the limbic system, which is a set of structures in the brain that deal with emotions and memory. Then, the prefrontal cortex receives the experiences from the previous day associated with emotions and feelings.
Effect of Trauma on Sleep
If someone has gone through something traumatic, the brain will work differently. The limbic system will hold onto those life events for two reasons.
First, the brain wants to ensure that the same event will not happen again for that person’s survival. Secondly, these life events are too big to be processed overnight, and traumas end up causing a log-jam in the brain. That is why the memory and sensation of it will remain fresh and raw. And since these memories are not being processed, it often leads to a downward spiral of anxiety, depression, and anger.
Limbic System and PTSD
The limbic system is adept at pattern matching the trauma, which causes PTSD. A classic example is a war veteran who has been traumatised by the loss of comrades in an explosion. Once they return to civilian life, the sound of fireworks or a car backfiring can trigger disturbing memories and cause them to react as if it were a life-or-death situation.
However, traumas are not only from war experiences. They can also be caused by road traffic accidents, different forms of assault and violence, bullying, plane or train crashes, human trafficking, and natural disasters. And this is where hypnosis comes into the picture as a remedy.
How Does Hypnosis Work?
Hypnotherapy achieves a heightened level of consciousness known as trance by combining guided relaxation, intense concentration, and focused attention. While in this condition, the person’s concentration is so focused that whatever is going on around them is briefly shut out or disregarded.
Medical Hypnosis for PTSD
This treatment is not used to erase memories, nor would it be ethical to try to do so. However, regardless of how complex or deeply ingrained the trauma is, or how long ago it occurred, a relatively primary therapy method called a Rewind might process the trauma such that it leaves the limbic system and is stored away.
Processing the trauma has the added benefit of clearing the log jam, allowing ordinary, day-to-day experiences to be processed in a typical way while sleeping.
As mentioned, it does not entirely erase the memory of it; instead, it just stores it away. A person may still access the memories, but only if and when they choose to. To put it another way, individuals will have command over it, and it no longer intrudes into the thoughts or influences behaviour. In many cases, anxiety, sadness, or rage symptoms begin to disappear as well. Yet, the outcomes will differ from person to person.
It’s normal to experience traumatic stress following a disturbing event. People have different ways to cope with it — some advice to avoid isolation, join support groups, and surround oneself with positive things. However, it may not work for everyone. If your traumatic stress reaction is so intense and persistent that it’s getting in the way of your ability to function, you may need help from a mental health professional.
If you are looking for medical hypnosis services in Leeds, Paul Ramsden of Leeds Hypnotherapist can help you create the life that you want to live. If you want to change something about yourself or overcome PTSD, get in touch with us today to see how we can help!