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Can Hypnosis Improve Your Sleep?
by BetterSleep
Aug 24 2022 • 16 min read
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Hypnosis has been used as a therapeutic tool for centuries. It can be used to address a wide range of issues, including smoking cessation, anxiety, and weight loss. Some people even use hypnosis to improve their sleep.

Does hypnosis work? And is it safe? The use of hypnosis for sleep dates back to the early 1800s. In 1841, Scottish physician James Esdaile used hypnosis to treat patients with various medical conditions, including insomnia. Esdaile found that patients under hypnosis fell asleep quickly and slept soundly throughout the night.

Today, there is limited research on the use of sleep hypnosis. However, a few studies suggest that sleep hypnotherapy may be an effective treatment for insomnia and other sleep disorders. Let’s look at some research on hypnosis as a promising treatment to improve sleep.

What Is Hypnotic Therapy?

Hypnosis, also known as hypnotherapy or hypnotic therapy, is a trance-like state in which you have heightened focus and concentration. During hypnosis, you are more receptive to suggestions for change.

Hypnosis is usually done with the help of a therapist using visualization and verbal repetition to induce a hypnotic state. It is important to know that you cannot be forced to do something against your will while in a hypnotic state.

Therapists use hypnosis (also referred to as hypnotherapy or hypnotic therapy) to treat conditions such as anxiety, stress, depression, insomnia, substance abuse, and eating disorders. They may also use it to help people cope with the side effects of cancer treatment, such as pain and nausea. There is some evidence that hypnosis may also help treat hot flashes associated with menopause.

While there is much debate about how hypnosis works, it is generally accepted that it produces changes in brain activity similar to those seen during meditation and other forms of relaxation.

In a hypnotic state, your breathing and heart rate may slow, and blood flow may increase to some regions of your brain. These changes allow your body and mind to relax and focus on positive thoughts and suggestions.

How Effective Is Hypnosis for Sleep?

There are shreds of evidence that hypnosis can help improve sleep. According to a study published in the Journal of clinical sleep medicine, hypnosis is considered a cost-effective and safe intervention for multiple health problems, including sleep disorders. The study further showed that hypnosis as a treatment for poor sleep had shown benefits for both acute and chronic insomnia (inability to fall asleep, stay asleep, and feel rested)

A more recent study found that hypnosis may help treat insomnia. This study found that people who underwent hypnosis for insomnia had better sleep quality and were more likely to stick with their treatment than those who did not receive hypnosis.

Sleep researchers Maren Cordi and Björn Rasch, in this study, were able to prove that hypnosis increased slow-wave sleep by s much as 80% in some women. While the research on hypnosis for sleep is still relatively limited, the evidence suggests that it may be a helpful treatment for some people.

Hypnosis is a state of focused attention and increased suggestibility. In other words, you’re more likely to respond to suggestions when you’re under hypnosis. Some people view hypnosis as a way to control the mind, but it’s a way to tap into the power of your subconscious mind. When used for sleep, hypnosis can be an effective way to overcome insomnia and get the rest you need.

During sleep hypnosis, you’ll typically recline comfortably and close your eyes. The therapist will then guide you into deep relaxation using a soothing voice and calming music.

Once you’re relaxed, the therapist will begin to suggest improving your sleep. For example, you may be instructed to picture yourself floating on a cloud or driftwood log. The therapist may also give you positive affirmations such as “You are safe and sound asleep” or “Every night, you fall asleep easily and peacefully.”

Hypnosis works by bypassing the critical part of your conscious mind that might ordinarily resist change. When you’re in a state of hypnosis, your subconscious mind is more open to suggestions that can help you make positive changes in your life.

Research suggests that sleep hypnotherapy can be an effective treatment for insomnia. A 2014 study found that hypnosis increased slow-wave sleep (deep, healing sleep) by as much as 80 percent in some sleepers.

Another study reviewed hypnosis as a treatment for school-age children with sleep problems and concluded that it was an effective treatment for insomnia in children as young as seven. So, if you’ve been struggling to get a good night’s sleep, don’t hesitate to try sleep hypnotherapy. It might be the key to finally getting the restful night’s sleep you deserve.

While hypnosis may be effective for some people, there’s no guarantee that it will work for everyone. There’s also no evidence that it’s dangerous. According to a National Library of Medicine report on hypnosis intervention effects on sleep outcomes, 58.3% of 24 reviewed abstracts were positive, while 12.5% had mixed results. The remaining 29.2% of the sample reported no hypnosis benefit.

However, suppose you’re considering using hypnosis to improve your sleep. In that case, it’s important to consult with a doctor or sleep specialist first to discuss whether it’s right for you and to rule out other potential causes of your sleep problems. If you try hypnosis, work with a qualified practitioner who can tailor the technique to your specific needs.

How Does Hypnosis Put You to Sleep?

When you go to sleep at night, your mind and body relax. This naturally occurring state is called hypnosis. Hypnosis is a normal, relaxed state of inner concentration and focused attention. It’s a bit like daydreaming.

You’re fully aware of your surroundings but may be less responsive to outside stimuli. In other words, you’re in a heightened state of suggestibility during hypnosis. This means you’re more likely to respond to suggestions someone else makes, such as a hypnotist.

Hypnosis can help people sleep more quickly and experience deeper and more restful sleep. One of the reasons hypnosis may help improve sleep is that it helps to quiet the mind and relax the body. Additionally, hypnosis can help people address any underlying issues that may prevent them from getting a good night’s sleep.

There are many types of hypnotic suggestions, but progressive relaxation is one common method used to induce sleep. This involves slowly and systematically tensing and relaxing different muscle groups in the body while focusing on the sensations of heaviness and warmth that accompany each phase of relaxation. This can help to reduce anxiety and promote feelings of drowsiness and sleepiness. For many people, hypnosis is an effective way to fall asleep and stay asleep through the night.

Can Hypnosis Work for Anyone?

Despite its growing popularity, there is still some debate about whether hypnosis is an effective treatment. Some people are naturally resistant to hypnosis and cannot be hypnotized.

For others, hypnosis may only work partially. And even for highly suggestible people, it is not always clear whether hypnosis is responsible for the positive changes they experience.

However, there is increasing evidence that hypnosis can be a helpful tool for many people. A review of studies on smoking cessation found that hypnosis was more effective than other methods, such as willpower or going cold turkey.

And a meta-analysis of studies on pain management found that hypnosis was significantly more effective than no intervention. While more research is needed to understand the full effects of hypnosis, there is unmistakable evidence that it can be a powerful tool for change. In short, if you are willing to try it, there is a good chance that hypnosis will work for you. In cases where hypnosis does not work, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is often recommended as an effective treatment for insomnia.

How Many Sessions of Hypnosis Do You Need for Sleep?

According to the National Sleep Foundation, most people need around 7-9 hours of sleep per night. However, many people struggle to get enough sleep due to stress or insomnia. If you’re struggling to get a good night’s rest, you may consider hypnosis to improve your sleep. But how many sessions of hypnosis do you need for sleep?

The answer may vary depending on the individual and the severity of their sleep issues. An effective hypnosis program will last more than one session. However, most people will see some improvement after just a few hypnosis sessions. In general, starting with 5-10 sessions of hypnosis is recommended, spaced out over several weeks. After this, you can reassess your sleep patterns and see if additional sessions are needed.

Hypnosis is a safe and effective way to improve your sleep, and many people find that just a few sessions are all they need to get the rest they need. So if you’re struggling to get enough shut-eye, don’t hesitate to try hypnosis.

What Sleep Disorder Would Hypnosis Be Used For?

Sleep disorders can be extremely disruptive to everyday life, making it difficult to function at work or school and impacting personal relationships. Different treatment options are available for sleep disorders, including medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes. In some cases, hypnosis may also be used as a treatment.

Although hypnosis is often associated with side effects such as sleepiness and lack of concentration, it can be used to treat many conditions and is generally considered a safe therapy.

Hypnosis effectively treats insomnia, sleepwalking, and even post-traumatic stress disorder. In one study, people who underwent hypnosis for insomnia slept more soundly and woke up feeling more rested than those who didn’t receive hypnosis. If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, hypnosis may help you get the rest you need.

Sleepwalking is a type of parasomnia, which is a disorder that causes abnormal behavior during sleep. Sleepwalking episodes can range from walking around your home aimlessly to leaving your home and driving your car.

While sleepwalking, you’re usually unaware of what you’re doing and don’t remember the episode afterward. Episodes usually last 10 minutes or less but can occur multiple times per night. Hypnosis may help prevent sleepwalking episodes if you have this condition by training you to wake up when you feel your feet hit the floor.

While more research is needed to confirm the efficacy of hypnosis for sleep disorders, it’s generally considered a safe therapy with few side effects. Talk to a licensed therapist trained in this treatment if you’re interested in trying hypnosis for your sleep disorder. You may visit the American Society of clinical hypnosis directory to find hypnotherapists near you.

What Is the Best Time for Hypnosis?

Hypnosis is a trance-like state in which a person is highly responsive to suggestions. To be effective, hypnosis must be induced by a trained therapist, and the individual must be willing to participate.

Though hypnosis can be used for various purposes, it is most often used as a tool for stress relief or pain management. The best time for hypnosis is typically when the individual is relaxed and receptive to suggestions. This may vary from person to person, but it is generally recommended that hypnosis be done in a quiet place with few distractions.

Green JP and colleagues, while researching the optimal time for hypnotherapy, concluded that the mid-morning might be the optimal time to be hypnotized and the afternoon the least favorable. Published in the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, Green and colleagues noted that they were “…unable to conjecture why participants were less responsive in the afternoon”.

Before hypnosis, it is also important that the individual feels comfortable with the therapist and trusts that they will not be coerced into doing anything against their will. With these factors in place, hypnosis can be an effective way to promote relaxation and well-being.

How Does a Hypnotist Put Someone to Sleep?

A hypnotist does not put someone to sleep. Rather, hypnosis aims to induce relaxation and focus on the subject. This can be done through various techniques, such as deep breathing exercises or guided visualization.

Once the subject is in a state of relaxation, the hypnotist can then begin to give suggestions for change. For example, a person trying to quit smoking may suggest that cigarettes taste unpleasant.

Over time, these suggestions can help to change the subject’s behavior. Although hypnosis is often associated with sleep, it is important to remember that the subject remains aware and in control throughout the process.

Can Self Hypnosis Help with Sleep?

Many people struggle with insomnia or other sleep disorders that make it difficult to get a good night’s rest. If you’re one of those people, you may wonder if self-hypnosis can help.

The answer is yes! Self-hypnosis is a relaxation technique that can help you let go of the stress and anxiety that keep you awake at night. By entering into a state of deep relaxation, you’ll be able to drift off to sleep more easily.

In addition, self-hypnosis can help break any negative thinking patterns that might contribute to your insomnia. Many resources are available online or through your local library if you’re interested in trying self-hypnosis for yourself.

Give self-hypnosis a try - you might find it’s the key to finally getting a good night’s sleep.

What Are the Risks Associated With Sleep Hypnosis?

Sleep hypnosis is a state of deep relaxation induced by a hypnotist through verbal instructions. It is similar to guided meditation and can be used to help people fall asleep, stay asleep, and manage pain.

Although sleep hypnosis is generally considered safe, there are some risks associated with it. The most common side effect is drowsiness, which can make driving or operating machinery unsafe.

In rare cases, people may experience nightmares or night terrors. There have also been reports of people acting out their dreams during sleep hypnosis, which can lead to injury. For these reasons, it is important to only use sleep hypnosis under the guidance of a qualified practitioner.

Is Hypnosis Mind Control?

Many people believe that hypnosis is a form of mind control. However, this is not the case. While hypnosis can influence someone’s behavior, it does not involve taking over their thoughts or will.

Instead, hypnosis works by causing a person to focus their attention in a particular way. This can make them more receptive to suggestions, but they always retain the ability to choose whether or not to act on them.

In other words, while hypnosis can be used to change someone’s behavior, it cannot be used to force them to do something against their will. As such, hypnotists can’t achieve true mind control.

Is Hypnosis the Same Thing as Hypnotherapy?

While hypnosis and hypnotherapy may sound the same, there is a difference between the two. Hypnosis is simply a state of focused attention that allows someone to be more open to suggestions.

This can be useful in many situations, such as helping someone sleep well, quit smoking, or lose weight. On the other hand, hypnotherapy is a form of therapy that uses hypnosis to treat specific conditions or problems. Better put, hypnotherapy is using hypnosis to help treat a physical or mental condition.

So, what does this have to do with sleep? Sleep hypnosis is a type of hypnotherapy specifically designed to help people who have trouble sleeping. This can be done in several ways, but the most common method is to use relaxation techniques to help the person relax and fall asleep.

What Happens to the Brain During Hypnosis?

What happens to your brain during hypnosis? That’s a question that scientists are still trying to figure out. However, a recent Stanford University School of Medicine study provides some insight.

The study found that two areas of the brain responsible for processing and controlling what’s going on in your body show greater activity during hypnosis. Likewise, the area of your brain responsible for your actions and awareness of those actions appear to be disconnected during hypnosis.

This suggests that hypnosis may alter your state of consciousness in a way that allows you to focus more intently on suggestions and easily change your behavior. However, more research is needed to understand the full effect of hypnotic suggestions on the brain.

What are the Special Consideration before Hypnosis

Anyone considering hypnosis should be aware of the potential risks and benefits. Hypnosis is generally considered safe, but as with any treatment, some risks are involved.

People who are suffering from the following should avoid hypnosis:

  • Severe depression,
  • psychosis
  • chronic pain that is yet to be diagnosed by professional doctors

It is also important to note that people with a history of drug or alcohol abuse may be more susceptible to the effects of hypnosis. Therefore, it is essential to consult with a qualified doctor before undergoing any type of therapy, including hypnosis. Sometimes, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) may be a good alternative to explore in finding deep sleep.

Do Doctors Recommend Hypnosis to Improve Sleep?

Though hypnosis has been shown to be a promising tool for sleep in some studies, most doctors still do not consider it a standard sleep treatment.

One reason for this is that there is a lack of training among medical professionals when it comes to hypnosis. Many doctors and mental health practitioners are unfamiliar with the technique and how it can be used effectively to treat conditions like insomnia.

As more research is conducted on the potential benefits of hypnosis for sleep, more doctors may start recommending it as a treatment option for their patients. In the meantime, if you’re interested in trying hypnosis, you can consult with a trained hypnotherapist to see if it might be right for you.

What are the Common Methods of Hypnosis?

There are several different ways that hypnosis can be performed. The most common methods used by hypnotists include:

  1. Verbal suggestion – this is where the hypnotist gives suggestions to the client verbally, either in person or over the phone;
  2. Audio recordings – this is where the client listens to a recording of the hypnotist’s voice, which gives them a hypnotic suggestion.
  3. Video recordings – this is where the client watches a video of the hypnotist giving them suggestions.
  4. Hypnosis apps – several apps are now available that allow the user to be hypnotized by listening to or watching a recording.
  5. Group hypnosis – this is where several people are hypnotized at the same time, usually by a professional hypnotist.
  6. Self-hypnosis is when individual hypnotizes themselves, either using a recording or following instructions in a book.

All these methods can effectively induce a state of trance, though results may vary from person to person.

What to Expect in the First Session of Hypnosis

If you’re considering undergoing hypnosis, you may be wondering what to expect during your first session. It’s important to know that not everyone experiences hypnosis in the same way, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to hypnotism.

However, most hypnotists or hypnotherapists will follow a similar process during the first session. Importantly, your first visit with a hypnotist or hypnotherapist may not end with hypnosis.

Typically, the therapist may begin by talking to you about your goals for the session and explaining the hypnosis process. Based on the outcome, it may lead to carrying out the first session. They will then help you relax in a comfortable setting and use repetitive verbal cues to guide you into a trance-like state.

In this state, you may be more receptive to suggestions from the therapist. For example, they may suggest you work to achieve specific goals, visualize your future, or make healthier decisions.

Once the therapist is finished making suggestions, they will bring you back to full consciousness and end the session. You may feel refreshed and relaxed after the experience, and many people report feeling more motivated to achieve their goals.

How to Make the Most Of Sleep Hypnosis

While you can find many sleep hypnosis recordings online, it is generally best to work with a professional trained in hypnotherapy. This is because recordings may not be tailored to your specific needs and could worsen sleep problems.

Talking with your doctor about sleep symptoms can help rule out underlying health conditions or sleep disorders that may be causing them. Once it has been determined that sleep hypnosis is right for you, working with a professional can help ensure that you get quality care integrated into your overall treatment plan.

If you find hypnosis effective, the following tips can make it better.

  1. Ask your hypnotist for follow-up resources - Your hypnotist should be able to provide you with techniques to build upon your success in deepening sleep. It may include a recording of your session, a book on self-hypnosis, an app, or even a list of suggestions and exercises.
  2. Develop helpful routines - Routines can be helpful before and after your session. Consider taking a relaxing bath, reading, or meditating for 20-30 minutes before your session to clear your mind. Afterward, avoid watching television or working on the computer for at least an hour to give yourself time to process the hypnotic suggestions.
  3. Monitor your progress & schedule follow-up sessions- Keep track of how well you sleep and feel during the day. Keep good sleep hygiene by getting rid of sleep disturbances. If you find your sleep improves, continue to practice the self-hypnosis techniques for healthy sleep on your own or schedule follow-up sessions as needed. Soon, your sleep may improve to the point of finding deeper sleep.
  4. Be patient - Like most things in life, hypnosis takes time and practice. Be patient and give yourself time to adjust to the new changes to find restorative sleep. Soon, your hypnosis therapy will improve sleep impairment, anxiety, stress, and other conditions.

Is Sleep Hypnosis Any Better than a Placebo Effect?

Hypnosis shows marked differences in brain activity compared to the placebo effect. The placebo effect is a well-documented phenomenon in which a patient’s condition improves after taking a fake treatment.

The power of the placebo effect has been attributed to the power of suggestion: simply believing that a treatment will work can sometimes be enough to produce positive results. However, recent research has called into question whether the placebo effect is truly as powerful as previously thought.

In a study published in the Journal Science, researchers found that patients who were told to receive a placebo still showed measurable improvements in their condition. Still, those improvements were nowhere near as large as those seen in patients who were given an active medication.

Interestingly, the same research team found that patients who underwent hypnosis showed even more significant improvements than those who received an active medication. This suggests that hypnosis may be more than just a placebo effect; it may be a powerful therapeutic tool with real physiological effects.

Further research is needed to confirm these findings, but the current evidence suggests that hypnosis may be a promising new treatment for various conditions.

Sleep Hypnosis FAQs

  1. Is hypnosis real?

    Yes, hypnosis is a real psychological phenomenon that has been studied by scientists and medical professionals for many years. While the exact mechanisms of how it works are still not fully understood, there is plenty of evidence to show that hypnosis can be a useful and effective tool for improving sleep.

  2. Is hypnosis the same as sleep?

    Sleep and hypnosis are two different states of consciousness. Sleep is a naturally occurring state characterized by a lack of awareness and responsiveness to external stimuli. Hypnosis, on the other hand, is an induced state of consciousness in which a person is highly focused and receptive to suggestions. Though they are different, there is some overlap between sleep and hypnosis. Both states involve a decreased level of consciousness and an increased ability to respond to suggestions. Additionally, both states are associated with alterations in brain activity. Though they share some similarities, sleep and hypnosis are two distinct states of consciousness.

  3. Can people be hypnotized over the internet?

    Yes, people can be hypnotized over the internet. Many apps and videos promote internet hypnosis. The hypnotist uses a special headset that sends signals to the subject’s brain, which produces a state of relaxation. The subject is then able to follow the hypnotist’s instructions.

Final Thoughts

So, what’s the verdict? Can hypnosis improve your sleep? The answer is a tentative yes. There’s still more research to be done in this area, but so far, it looks like hypnosis may help people fall asleep faster and enjoy deeper sleep. If you’re curious about trying out hypnosis for better sleep, consult with a qualified therapist in your area. They can help you get started on the path to better slumber. Thanks for reading!

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