What is sleep hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a technique used in psychotherapy by hypnotists. This process teaches the person to hypnotize themselves to sleep. The process includes relaxation and then helping in falling asleep. The process is usually used for people that are highly in need of some sleep and cannot sleep naturally. It can also help people that have a chronic sleeping disorder.
The process works by eliminating anxiety and other factors that cause a hindrance to the sleeping pattern. It is also used for people that tend to sleepwalk and sleep talk up to a point where it can be dangerous.
History of sleep hypnosis
Trance states have been a way to relax people since about 1600 BC. From Egyptians to Hindus, they all used several different techniques to relax people by either stroking their hand or using verbal ways to help them feel calmer and fall asleep. However, the most prominent theory came from Franz Anton Mesmer who believed that the body had magnetic fluids which we now refer to as energy.
Later in the 18th century, Dr. James braid worked with the theory of the magnetic fluid and came to the conclusion that hypnosis could help go into a trance state which can help the person in sleeping. A few well-known doctors came about and it was finally polished enough in the mind 20th century and used ever since.
Is sleep hypnosis safe?
Contrary to the truth, most people tend to think that hypnosis is losing control and getting under the control of the hypnotist. Hypnosis, in fact, helps the person gain more control of their mind. This process is considered safe and unlike the myths, people actually remember what they are being talked about.
Hypnosis does not necessarily bring long-term effects, but it is even safe to do yourself if you know how. It helps in gaining focus and control over the situation and the feelings of pain, anxiety, and harmful behavior.
How does hypnosis help improve sleep?
Hypnosis has a powerful placebo effect which makes research difficult. However, it doesn’t really matter if the benefits are due to a placebo effect or due to the therapist’s hypnotic suggestions, sleep hypnosis improves sleep. For individuals who are struggling with chronic or acute insomnia, that’s the factor that is important. It’s not like a drug where we need to know which ingredient is active. Hypnosis by a trained and ethical hypnotherapist doesn’t have the negative side effects associated with drug therapies.
Sleep hypnosis is a safe and very common way to help people with chronic sleep disorders catches some sleep. It is also perfect for people that are going through something that makes them temporarily insomniac and will cause troubles for them. Sleep hypnosis helps these people by slowly taking them into a trance by closing their eyes and making sure that they are focused. The hypnotist then talks to them and makes them aware of their surroundings and helps them come in control over their feelings.
This process helps to control the anxiety and other feelings that become the source of insomnia. The process further helps people understand their feelings better and focus on them. Eventually, the person is removed from the trance and most of the time, the trance brings back the result of them being able to control the amount of anxiety and depression that they get into.
The process allows people to have ample sleep if not a full eight hours to relax their bodies and remove any other unnecessary health hazards because of insomnia. In some cases, the process goes on for hours while for others, a few fines can help. Patients who can do the hypnosis themselves can also calm them down under situation where they have extreme cases of anxiety.
What does sleep hypnosis involve?
Sleep hypnosis is not a medical process that needs pills. This is process usually needs to be done through your psychotherapist. It is conducted in a safe space and controlled environment that is provided by your therapist. For people that are most anxious, they also require a voice or a sound that is highly familiar to them. This reason is probably why for a fraction of people the hypnosis procedure does not work.
If a person is doing this procedure themselves, then they need to be in a room where they feel safe. It is ideal to get a recording of their hypnotist or a recording that helps them relax and fall into deep slumber.
The most important thing is a soothing voice and the right hypnotist. It is highly recommended to choose a trusted person who is letting you in the trance and will not take your state for granted.
How long does the process of hypnosis last?
Hypnosis is a psychological procedure that works according to the different minds. Therefore, the time period of this procedure lasting is different for every person. A person who is strong-willed and intelligent will probably take longer to be hypnotized and will take shorter to get out of the impact.
However, the vulnerable person will take a shorter time and the effects may last for a longer time. Additionally, it is important to remember the procedure will work on people that have an opened mind to the process and those who are willing.
Also read: How Much Sleep Do I Need
How hypnosis works step by step
The following are the steps of sleep hypnosis which make the whole procedure.
- Pre relaxation: The pre relaxation allows you to relax in the calm environment and it should be a safe space. You relaxation should also be physically relaxing which means that you need to be in a position that is comfortable.
- Induction: The process of induction is conducted to ensure that your mind is open to suggestions. Scientifically, this process includes switching from the active beta brainwaves to the relaxed alpha state. The process needs to use right tones which are why the hypnotist will use a slow and deep voice saying every word very calmly. You may also find yourself following a pattern or a repetitive state like a pendulum. The process of induction slowly helps take you away from the place you are into a new place which makes you happy or feels calmer.
- Deepening: The process of induction is going into a sort of a shallow trance. The next step is to help you go deeper to have a more powerful hypnosis process. To help you go there, your hypnotist will help you imagine you going deeper into a staircase, or a long path, counting down backward. This process is also done slowly and steadily to help the person go into trance deeper. Again, it is important to keep in mind that a person who was not willing to be hypnotized will probably not be able to go in deeper and the process may not be effective.
- Utilizing: The real part begins here since you are in a deeper trance state. In this state, the subconscious is more active and is open to new ideas. The hypnotist is going to make statements now which are more like affirmations for you. In the case of sleep hypnosis, it can be something like “I can fall asleep.” You may also be asked to picture things that will help you remember them as visual aids and will make the process even smoother.
- Coming back: It is very important to come back to the original state in a proper way otherwise it can cause different problems. The hypnotist will use various methods like counting down forward or walking back from the path to help you come back to the original state which is from the alpha to the beta regular waking state.
Hypnosis as a powerful treatment for insomnia
Since we have become occupied with our daily routines and tasks, we have lost the control over our subconscious mind. The process of hypnosis helps in gaining that control and helping the patient in controlling their mind and their feelings. The controlling of the mind helps the insomniac in dealing with sleep and allows them to work under the set conditions during hypnosis.
The process also helps the person in getting rid of sleepwalking and other sleep terrors that prove to be very harmful to the people surrounding the patient and the patient themselves too.
Besides insomnia, hypnosis is used almost everywhere for making it easier for people to have control over themselves. In the armies, it is also used to forget the pain for a while and be treated. The process is also used to increase self-confidence and be more optimistic in life.
Other ways to get better sleep
If you are not willing to into sleep hypnosis then you can follow the following ways to help you get better sleep.
- Make a sleeping schedule: Slowly and steadily, but it is very important to train your brain to have a routine. No matter what is on the clock, sleep at the same time and wake up at the same time every day including weekends to train your body clock. In this way, your body will get into a routine of sleeping.
- Define your sleeping place: An important thing to train your brain about is to define your sleeping place and try not to change it. Try to fall asleep by closing your eyes and slowly losing consciousness on your bed. If for some reason you cannot fall asleep and would like to do something else, then get up from your bed and do it. Do not let your brain believe that your sleeping place can be used for anything other than that otherwise, that activity can be more dominant oversleep.
- Practice a ritual: Another way to train your brain is to do some kind of activity that makes your body feel sleepy. You can try reading a book and sleeping immediately after that. You can do any other process that you find convenient like even your beauty routine.
The process of sleep hypnosis is not a complicated process at all. It can be done through your therapist and can help you in many ways. It is very important to remember that the process requires patience and willingness. Do not expect it to work if you remain stubborn throughout the idea.
Sleep hypnosis is also a short-term relief from anxiety and other mental disorders. If you have those, then it is highly recommended that you visit a therapist and help get the problem out of the roots. However, if the problem is nothing but insomnia, then this procedure can be beneficial for you.