What is Sleep Hypnosis?

Sleep hypnosis is almost similar to the well-known cognitive behavioral therapy. It addresses the sleeping problems in individuals. It also changes some negative impacts related to sleep. In turn, it helps the individuals to sleep better.

This article focuses on sleep hypnosis, the way it works, benefits, risks, tips to improve effectiveness, and alternate methods

Some people suffer from sleep disorders like apnea, sleep paralysis, insomnia, and snoring. Hence, they may not sleep properly at night. This may cause them to feel tired and drowsy during the day.

In worst cases, these problems continue for months or even years unless medicated. Hence, it is necessary to seek medical advice as soon as possible. If the problems persist even after medication, sleep hypnosis may be the next best option.

How Sleep Hypnosis is Done?

Sleep Hypnosis

Photo by RokerHRO (Wikimedia Commons) (CC BY 4.0)

Usually, sleep hypnosis is performed in sleep clinics. It involves designed verbal cues. A clinical hypnotherapist administers these cues. Using the acute power of suggestions, he leads you to a hypnotic trance.

The hypnotherapists can also use other techniques to make you feel relaxed. They include focused attention, symptom control, and also guided imageries.

During the sessions of hypnotherapy, you will repeatedly hear like “easy”, “let go”, “relax” etc. In fact, these words are designed to relax you. You may also see visual imagery. These meditative steps continue till you fall asleep. Hypnotherapists will monitor you throughout the process

Hypnotherapy is also used in several other applications, including weight loss.

The exact steps involved in this therapy are:

1.) Settle Down – The recipient is made to lay down and comfort himself.

2.) Let Go – Literally, the Hypnotherapist guides the listener to a calm state where he puts aside all his worries or concerns.

3.) Induction – In this stage, the recipient opens up his subconscious mind and releases his conscious mind. In simple terms, he goes deeper into relaxation.

4.) Breathing – Here, the recipient breathes consciously, which helps him to go into further deep relaxation.

5.) Suggestions – Typically, this is the longest and final part of sleep hypnosis. In this session, the desired result is planted into the recipient’s subconscious mind using various techniques, including guided imagery.

Finally, the hypnotherapist guides the recipient to the normal stage slowly.

Does Sleep Hypnosis Treat Sleep Problems?

Typically, sleep hypnosis helps relaxation. It also helps to reorient emotions and thoughts. It may enhance sleep in people suffering from conditions like insomnia.

Many studies have indicated sleep benefits associated with this procedure. In one such study, the “sleep deeper” suggestion during hypnotherapy raised the slow-wave sleep. This is crucial for both mental and physical recovery.

In general, sleep hypnosis lowers the symptoms of depression and anxiety. It also treats pain to some extent. All these factors are correlated with sleep disorders. Hence, curbing them definitely helps healthy sleeping.

All existing studies show the benefits of sleep hypnosis relating to deep sleep. However, we need more robust studies to establish these facts. After that, it is possible to employ this therapy as a standard procedure to deal with sleep problems.

Does Sleep Hypnosis Work for Everyone?

In general, Hypnotherapy is not for everyone. People have varying levels of hypnotizability. As studies indicate, around one-third of the population is defiant to hypnosis. Therefore, they are unlikely to benefit from Sleep Hypnosis.

On the other hand, about 15 % of the population has good reception to hypnosis. This section of people can benefit from sleep hypnosis.

Typically, the reception levels of remaining people fall somewhere in between the spectrum. They may benefit from Hypnotherapy.

However, the positive attitude and strong desire for change in them can increase the success probability. These people can also be trained successfully to increase receptiveness.

In fact, individuals of almost any age can try Hypnotherapy. Among them, adolescents enter into a hypnotic state more quickly. Adults and the elderly follow the suit.

Who Can Benefit from Sleep Hypnosis?

Typically, patients suffering from various health disorders associated with sleep disturbances may benefit from this therapy. This also includes several cases of insomnia ranging from stress to cancers that contribute to sleep problems.

In most cases, sleep hypnosis is done as a supplement to CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy). Depending on the health condition, sleep hypnosis can also be done as solo therapy.

Across the globe, researchers found various populations benefit from this therapy. They include the patients suffering from

1.) Chronic fatigue syndrome with sleep problems
2.) Cancers
3.) Multiple sclerosis with sleep disturbances
4.) Fibromyalgia with sleep difficulties
5.) Women (post-menopausal)
6.) Irritable bowel syndrome.
7.) Sleep bruxism (teeth grinding)
8.) Low back complications
9.) PSTD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)

Risks Associated with Sleep Hypnosis

In general, this therapy is totally safe, especially when trained professionals perform it. However, in the past, certain rare adverse reactions in some patients have been reported. They include dizziness, headache, anxiety, and the creation of false memories.

It is crucial to inform the doctor regarding your health problems before this therapy. So that, he may explain the possible risks to you.

For example, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) patients should receive therapy from experienced professionals only. They may be asked to follow certain precautions with respect to therapy.

Tips to Improve the Effectiveness of the Therapy

If you benefit from sleep hypnosis, use the following tips to improve its effectiveness.

1.) Follow up resources

Some resources like calm music, hypnosis apps, etc., may help you to build on your success. The sleep clinic team which performed the therapy may also have their own specialized resources. They may guide you professionally on this topic.

2.) Routines

In fact, the counselors will guide you on routines to follow after the therapy. If you benefit from this therapy and following routines, practice them regularly. So that it becomes a habit. Remember, habits do have major influences on the behavior of individuals.

3.) Follow up visits

After the surgery and following up tips, try monitoring your quality of sleep at night and health during the daytime. If you are not satisfied, meet your therapist and ask for solutions.

How to do Self Hypnosis at Home

Typically, focusing on self is a great, invaluable skill. This is also the foundation on which sleep hypnosis is performed. You may follow the simple steps listed below for self-hypnotizing.

1.) Find a calm, comfortable space for relaxing – This can be your relaxing chair or bed space.

2.) Use hypnotic inductions – Take a deep breath and focus on the same. Otherwise, you can focus progressively on each muscle from head to toe and release tension.

3.) Introduce suggestions or visuals – You can use simple, clear statements like “be happy” “easy” etc. You can also visualize the scenes you love like fish in an aquarium, goats jumping over woods, etc.

4.) Return to usual alert state – Start counting from 1 to 5. In the meantime, tell yourself that you are returning to a normal state. NOTE: if you are trying this before sleeping, skip this step.

For deep sleep, you can also listen to calm music. We like Jody Whiteley’s music album.

Wakening Up

In addition to restful sleep, you have to wake up at the right time. This is essential to avoid tiredness and grogginess during the following day. You can also make use of sleep trackers like Rhythm’s Dreem to wake up at the right time.

Other Approaches for A Good Sleep

Sleep hypnosis may not be always effective for everyone. Hence, it is essential to find other ways to encourage sleep among individuals.

Typically, sticking to sleep hygiene can promote deep sleep. Examples of the same include:

1.) Follow the sleep schedule regularly, including on holidays.

2.) Avoid exposing yourself to excessive mental stimulation including that from electronic devices. This is particularly important before you sleep.

3.) Avoid consuming stuff that brings harm to your body such as alcohol

4.) Limit excess light and sound inside your bedroom. In most cases, this is enough to get a calm, deep sleep.

Like a saying goes – early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.

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