The words hypnosis and sleep are often used in the same sentence. As a hypnotherapist I like to make people aware of the stark differences between the two, and that the assumption that hypnosis is sleep, is a huge fallacy. When in hypnosis the subject is wide awake and in a state of focused concentration, some would say in an incredibly alert state; when asleep you are unconscious – unable to react to anything.
However, hypnosis and sleep can be related in lots of ways. Hypnotherapy can really help with sleep problems. The Helpguide website says insomnia can be caused by four main things, psychological problems, for example depression, anxiety and stress. Medications, for example alcohol, drugs or those prescribed. Medical Problems such as asthma or chronic pain and sleep disorders for example sleep apnoea or restless leg syndrome. The good news is that a lot of these problems can be helped using hypnosis in a therapeutic form. By using hypnotherapy many psychological problems can be significantly aided if not eliminated. The need for any unnecessary medications, for example alcohol or drugs, can be removed. Sometimes it may be that with the help of hypnosis certain medications, prescribed by a medical professional, can also be reduced (on consultation with the medical professional). Medical problems and sleep disorders can also be helped using various hypnotherapy techniques, to manage pain or other uncomfortable feelings for instance.
Hypnosis gives an incredibly relaxed feeling; if the ‘user’ can learn self hypnosis effectively they will be able to achieve deep relaxation. Often this will lead to sleep but if not will still give a long period of relaxation allowing the brain to unwind and recharge. Hypnosis is not a replacement for sleep but is a very big bonus on top of some sleep. It is possible to give the post hypnotic suggestion (a suggestion given whilst in hypnosis to be activated/acted upon when in a normal awake state) that the subject will feel as though they have had a deep and peaceful sleep. In this situation the subject can wake feeling refreshed and vibrant. It is common for my clients to say they feel euphoric after a hypnotherapy session and with continued practise, this same feeling can be achieved through the use of self hypnosis so that sleep deprived clients can wake every day feeling exhilarated, despite maybe having just a few hours sleep. The ideal is for the user to utilise self hypnosis to the maximum effect and achieve a good night’s sleep every night.
For someone who suffers from insomnia or other sleep problems, seeing a hypnotherapist is certainly a good idea. Firstly the hypnotherapist can try to find the root cause of the problem and help you move forward from it, by either using techniques to work with the issue or help eliminate it completely. Then the hypnotherapist can teach you self hypnosis or hypnotherapy techniques so that you can use these life skills to have a peaceful night’s sleep every night regardless of what happens in your waking hours.
Juliet Hollingsworth is a Harley Street Hypnotherapist and co-founder of Fertility2Birth and HypnoGastricBand.
For more information about Juliet or Hypnotherapy in general visit www.juliethollingsworth.comImage by Ambro