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What Is Orthosomnia And Can Hypnotherapy Help?

Research shows that 56% of people own at least one wearable technology. Many people use smartwatches and other wearable gadgets as a way to check-in on health, track their fitness and improve overall wellbeing. But, could your wearable device actually be causing more health problems than they’re fixing?  

Orthosomnia is the latest sleep disorder phenomenon and can be caused by the very technology you are using to improve your sleep. So, is the technology that’s meant to be improving your wellbeing actually hindering it?

Do You Use A Sleep Tracker?

Many wearable devices measure sleep. In a world of hustle culture, sleep trackers can be a great way to check and improve the amount of shut-eye you’re getting. However, access to data determining your sleep quantity and quality could actually be having a detrimental effect on your sleep rather than improving it.

While the data gives us a glimpse into our sleep habits, obsessing or stressing about what your sleep tracker says could, in turn, be causing you to suffer from poor sleep.  

The simplest example is when you know you have to get up by a specific time. You set an alarm which states how many hours you have until it will go off. You then go to bed, knowing exactly how long you have until the alarm. Every minute you stay awake eats into the amount of time you have to sleep. You can then struggle to fall asleep because you are worried about the lack of time you have to sleep.

With detailed sleep trackers, they may indicate a specific sleep behaviour, such as restlessness, a lack of deep sleep, or a high heart rate. From this, you may worry about the quality and quantity of sleep you are getting. This anxiety about your sleep could then be causing further sleep issues.

There is now a term for this sleep anxiety caused by wearable sleep trackers: orthosomnia.

What Is Orthosomnia?

Devised by the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, orthosomnia is described as sleep difficulty resulting from sleep-agitation caused by the monitoring of sleep using digital trackers.

Put simply, by looking at sleep trackers; patients are self-diagnosing sleep issues. It is then these self-diagnosed sleep issues that are causing further sleep anxiety and difficulties.

Instead of helping us to learn more about our sleep habits and how to improve them, sleep trackers can actually cause stress by what they say. This stress and anxiety can then impact your ability to get good quality shut-eye.

While it is still a relatively new term, one consultant neurologist says that 20% of his patients have signs of orthosomnia.

Typically, people who haven’t had an issue with their sleep now have the data, making them worry about their sleep. This worry is then causing sleep disturbances and ends up manifesting in a cycle of poor sleep.

Can Hypnotherapy Help With Orthosomnia?

Orthosomnia isn’t a condition but a behaviour. However, this behaviour can be challenging to break and can become worse as time goes on. The important thing to do in this case is to reduce the need for self-monitoring. The best way to do this is to reduce any anxiety around sleep and then work to improve sleep without fear of what a tracker says.

Much of the advice for orthosomnia centres on sleep hygiene. However, many people who are worried about their sleep data will have already tried the common practices to improve sleep, which includes:

  • Reducing or eliminating caffeine consumption
  • Avoiding screens for at least an hour before bed
  • Creating a cool, dark and comfortable space for sleep
  • Maintaining a regular sleep routine.

For orthosomnia, it is important to first address the anxiety around sleep and then manage sleep tracking behaviour.

Hypnotherapy For Sleep Anxiety

Hypnosis works by putting the client into a relaxed state. Then, using verbal cues to focus a person’s attention, it is possible to positively change their thoughts and behaviours. The process of hypnotherapy can change a person’s brain activity, making the brain more receptive to new ideas.

Sleep hypnosis works to reduce the negative habits and thoughts a person has around sleep. Depending on the client’s needs, a hypnotherapist may also include sleep hygiene improvements in the hypnosis. They may also work to reframe any anxiety held around sleep tracking.

Is Sleep Hypnotherapy Effective?

Research shows that hypnotherapy can be incredibly effective for enhancing sleep for those with negative sleep behaviours and conditions such as insomnia. Furthermore, studies have also shown that hypnotherapy may increase the amount of slow-wave deep sleep a person has by as much as 80%.

The majority of studies relating to sleep anxiety show improved sleep after hypnosis.

Hypnotherapy For Orthosomnia

If you’re struggling with sleep anxiety and sleep tracking, then hypnosis can be incredibly beneficial in improving your sleep and reducing anxieties around sleep. Using a bespoke blend of therapeutic modalities, I will work with you to uncover the anxieties around sleep. Then, using hypnotherapy, we can promote positive sleep habits and behaviours while also reducing any specific sleep anxieties that you may have.

We can then work to reduce the anxiety around checking your sleep tracker. This can help you to truly disconnect and switch off for restful, restorative sleep.

To find out more about how hypnotherapy can help to improve sleep while reducing sleep anxiety, please email info@hypnosis-in-london.com to book your complimentary consultation.

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