Monsters under the bed when you are little, become monsters in your head as an adult when you just can't sleep for yet another night.
Sleep is something that we all take for granted, that is, until we don't get enough of it. Then something that once seemed so natural and easy becomes a torment that can overshadow our day.
We all need different amounts of sleep, but the optimum sleep cycle needed to keep us healthy is apparently between six and eight hours. The effects of too little sleep are wide ranging and, according to the NHS, include obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.
According to research from Rand Europe, sleep deprivation also costs the UK economy £40bn a year as tired employees are less productive and sometimes absent from work altogether.
Weight - two hormones are involved in sleep and eating, ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin tells you when to eat and the less you sleep the more is produced, so you eat more. Leptin tells you to stop eating and the less you sleep the less you produce, so you don't stop eating. Also when you are tired your metabolism slows down, you are more likely to reach for a sugary snack to give you energy, you are less likely to exercise and often too tired to cook a healthy meal.
Heart Disease - sleep deprivation leads to increased heart rate, increased blood pressure and higher chemicals related to inflammation which can put extra strain on your heart.
Diabetes - people who sleep less than five hours a night have an increased risk of type 2 diabetes because of a change in the way the body processes glucose.
Mental Well-Being - sleep deprivation can make you grumpy and irritable but it can also contribute to anxiety and depression.
Fertility - regular sleep disruptions in both men and women can cause difficulty in conceiving by reducing the amount of reproductive hormones.
The only answer to a lack of sleep is to get more sleep. Hypnotherapy works by gently changing the sleep cycle into one that allows you to get a regular, restful night's sleep so that you wake up feeling refreshed with plenty of energy to face your day, whatever it may bring.