What Is Hypnosis?
First thing’s first: there is no swinging pocket watch, and there are no chants or intense gazes. Hypnosis, or hypnotherapy, involves listening to verbal cues from a hypnotherapist that entice you into a trance-like state. Imagine yourself so engrossed in a good book that you forget all about the world around you. This kind of state is the same you’d find yourself in hypnosis; completely relaxed while also concentrating. So, a session that’s working towards helping you sleep more deeply would probably involve a soft, soothing voice using words like “relax”, “let go”, and “easily”. Afterwards, or even while you’re listening, you might find yourself drifting off to a deep sleep.
Does Sleep Hypnosis Work When Treating Insomnia?
Hypnosis is a great way to help yourself relax. It can also be used to quiet any anxious thoughts that are keeping you awake, or are a result of lack of sleep. This is especially helpful for people struggling with insomnia. Hypnosis could also increase the amount of time that you spend in slow-wave sleep, or deep sleep, by 80%.1 Deep sleep is the most restorative sleep that you need – it’s important for memory and healing, and you’ll wake up feeling refreshed.
Hypnosis, like most things, can be a great success for some. For others, it can be a bit tricky. This is because some people are more “suggestable” than others: they’re drawn into a trance-like state more easily. Studies suggest that about a quarter of people can’t be hypnotised at all.2 Plus, other research found that sleep hypnosis may need to be used alongside cognitive-behavioural therapy to have any results.3 Therefore, for some, simply using hypnosis on its own mightn’t work as well as you’d like.
Trying other relaxing techniques could work, such as meditation, yoga, or mindfulness. Mindfulness encourages you to be in the moment by focusing on the small things. Read more about its benefits here.
Should You Try Sleep Hypnosis?
While sleep hypnosis is generally considered harmless and beneficial to some with sleeping problems, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor first. Consulting your GP will make sure that your sleep problems aren’t a sign of an underlying medical condition. Self-treating and avoiding, or delaying, standard care can have serious consequences for both your physical and mental health as you may still be missing out on the sleep that you need. Your doctor can refer you to a qualified hypnotherapist or find another way that would help you get a good night’s sleep.