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Insomnia or habitual sleeplessness is not a specific disease but a symptom of some underlying problem.

If you suffer from insomnia you are not alone. According to the Neurolgical Foundation of New Zealand an estimated 500,000 New Zealanders suffer from chronic, long-term sleep problems and about 1 million have insomnia frequently or for extended periods.

Insomnia manifests in many ways. Some people lie awake for hours before getting off to sleep, while others may have difficulty staying asleep and once awake, struggle to get back to sleep. Long term this can lead to severe sleep deprivation and seriously affect your health and well being.

Insomnia photoThe following are typical insomnia scenarios:

  • work stress/ long hours
  • A-type personalities
  • extended periods in front of a computer or TV screen
  • illness
  • lack of exercise and fresh air
  • over exercising / over-training
  • anxiety/ depression
  • prone to negative thoughts
  • recreational drugs
  • caffeine
  • nicotine
  • asthma broncho-dilators
  • eating late
  • hot, stuffy bedroom / over-heating

Sleeping disorders are still poorly understood and while there are many possible causes, one of the last things usually considered is breathing.

Breathing more than the body requires stimulates the sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system and places the body on alert mode.  Insomnia sufferers typically exist in a permanent state of sympathetic stimulation and while this may go unnoticed during daylight hours, the resulting busy chattering mind limits the chances of a productive sleep.

However, whatever the stress in your life, it is possible to improve your response to it by learning how to manage your breathing. In other words it is not the stress itself but how you respond to it.

The Buteyko Breathing Clinic breathing re-training programme helps to normalise the breathing pattern, putting the body in a naturally calmer state for optimal sleep. The majority of our clients are sleeping better and waking more refreshed within the first two or three sessions. Benefits include greater energy levels sustained throughout the day and a sense of wellbeing.  Contact us to learn more.


Helping people with breathing disorders since 2001

20 Arthur Street, Freemans Bay, Auckland 1011, New Zealand  |  Phone +64 9 360 6291  |  Email

Download our leaflets [PDFs]:  Do you suffer from asthma or allergies? »    Do you snore or suffer from sleep apnoea? »

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