Deep Sleep Hypnosis
Deep sleep is a stage of sleep you should go through several times each night. If you don’t, your body and mind don’t have adequate time to make important repairs or to fill essential functions.
If you want deeper rest, hypnosis could help. Studies show positive although somewhat mixed results in terms of the benefits of self-hypnosis and hypnotherapy on insomnia. Hypnosis, either with a professional therapist or on your own, is low risk and could help, so it’s worth trying.
What Is Deep Sleep and Why Does it Matter?
Deep rest occurs during stages 3 and 4 of the 5-stage cycle you go through a few times every night.
During deep sleep, your heartbeat, breathing, and brain waves slow down significantly. Your body is very relaxed, and it is difficult to be awakened during deeper stages.
Adequate deep rest is satisfying and important for health. This is when processes occur that do the following:
- Consolidate memories and learning
- Promote growth and development in young people
- Restore energy
- Regenerate and repair cells
- Fill muscles with blood for repairs
- Make tissue repairs
- Strengthen the immune system
Inadequate deep sleep is associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.
What Is Hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a state of consciousness in which you remain awake and relaxed with increased attention and focus. Hypnosis has previously been more of a parlor trick. There are some unfortunate stereotypes of entertainers who will fill your mind with compromising suggestions, but modern hypnotherapy is different.
While in a hypnotic state, the mind is open to suggestions. A trained hypnotherapist can fill your mind with useful suggestions that change your perceptions and behaviors to improve your health. They watch you throughout to ensure you remain safe.
Also known as hypnotherapy, hypnosis is used by therapists to help patients meet specific mental and physical health goals. This might include treating insomnia, quitting smoking, or managing chronic pain, among many other goals.
Potential Benefits of Hypnosis
Hypnosis is tailored to specific goals, so it provides benefits when it helps patients meet those goals. Research into the effectiveness of hypnosis is ongoing and limited but does show that it can benefit many people.
The strongest positive results in studies come from patients being treated for chronic pain, irritable bowel syndrome, and post-traumatic stress disorder. People most likely to get good results from hypnotherapy are motivated to make changes and believe it can help.
Is Hypnosis Safe?
Hypnosis is generally considered safe when provided by a professional, trained health care provider. Some people find that it causes mild dizziness, anxiety, headaches, nausea, or drowsiness. Most people do not experience any side effects.
Hypnosis might not be safe, even under professional care, for anyone with severe mental illness.
Should I Watch a Video, Music, or Nature Sounds for Hypnosis?
It’s best to leave hypnosis to a trained therapist until you learn how to use this therapeutic strategy. There is no harm in watching videos that enhance relaxation. You’ll find many videos online that promise to hypnotize you into sleep, but be skeptical.
While watching a video or listening to nice music or soothing nature sounds can be useful for falling asleep, they don’t provide a professional hypnotherapy experience.
These videos can certainly help, but if you really struggle with insomnia, a video will be of limited help. Consider talking to an experienced therapist.
Can Hypnosis Help Me Fall Asleep?
Insomnia can be treated with hypnosis. Hypnotherapy can help some people fall asleep faster and manage other symptoms of insomnia.
The work of sleep hypnotherapy is generally designed to manage underlying issues, not to make you fall asleep during the session.
A paper that reviewed multiple studies of the use of hypnosis for sleep issues found good results. More than half of the reviewed research showed that patients had positive outcomes that improved their symptoms A few had mixed results, and less than one-third showed no benefits.
These studies highlight the fact that it is often some underlying condition or symptom that hypnosis manages to help people improve their sleep. Many of the patients who benefitted were being treated for a mental health condition or pain that made getting adequate rest more difficult.
Does Self-Hypnosis Work for Sleep?
While hypnosis is a genuine type of professional therapy, you can also try it at home. Self-hypnosis helps some people manage symptoms and conditions. It can help you fall asleep faster, for instance.
In this way, it is a little like meditation, a home practice that may or may not help but can’t hurt to try.
What Is Deep Sleep Hypnosis?
If you struggle to fall asleep deeply throughout the night, hypnosis could help. Some research has found that hypnotic suggestion can increase the frequency and time spent in deep sleep, also known as slow-wave.
There are not many studies on deep sleep and hypnosis, but the available results show promise. While some hypnosis is good for falling asleep, it doesn’t always focus on the slow wave state.
To Sleep Deeply, Hypnosis Might Help. Here’s How:
If you’re interested in hypnosis to improve your deep sleep, you can start with self-guided sessions. This will give you a feel for what hypnosis is like and whether or not you need a professional therapist to get results.
Try These Hypnosis Meditations for More Deep Sleep
Meditation is a good place to start. Both meditation and hypnosis focus the mind and improve attention. They both induce relaxation and have positive benefits on insomnia. On the BetterSleep app, you can find several meditations with hypnotic principles and a focus on deep rest suggestions:
Sleep Hypnosis for Beginners
Start with this beginner series of eight sessions. They will guide you through several nights of an introduction to the basics of self-hypnosis and guided hypnosis. It’s a good foundation for exploring longer and deeper hypnosis practices.
Stairways to Sleep Hypnosis
Next, try this 45-minute session that uses the imagery of spiraling stairs to lead you gently into deep sleep.
Canyon of Peace Hypnosis
Guided by a trained professional in hypnosis, this session takes you deep into a peaceful canyon to as an allegory that suggests deeper rest.
Deep Forest Hypnosis for Rest
This guided session uses another helpful analogy to guide your brain into a deeper state of sleep. You will relax progressively and rest more deeply as you move further in your mind into a restful forest.
Sweet Dreams Hypnosis
Use this session to slide into a deeper stage of slow brain waves while also enjoying more peaceful dreams.
Add Music and Videos
While trying to improve your nights, watching a video of nature sounds or listening to soothing music can enhance the experience. Search online for relaxing videos, and you’ll find all kinds of results.
On BetterSleep, you can find nature sounds, music, and mixes that benefit your meditative and hypnosis experience.
When to See a Professional Hypnotherapist
If you really struggle with insomnia and self-practice doesn’t help, consider seeing a therapist. Talk to your doctor for recommendations. Be sure you choose someone who is specially trained in hypnotherapy and has experience working with patients with insomnia.
One of the great things about professional sessions is that a therapist can help you learn how to self-hypnotize more easily. You can take the practice home and use it more effectively on your own.
Hypnosis can be a powerful tool, even if science is still catching up. Try guided home sessions to rest more deeply, but talk to a professional if you still have difficulty feeling refreshed in the morning and it impacts your daily life.