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Everything You Need to Know About Sleep Hypnosis

Sleep hypnosis may help you get better zzzs.

Have you been wondering what sleep hypnosis really is and if it’s something you should be doing for better sleep? Knowing more about this type of hypnotherapy will intrigue you, and help you decide if sleep hypnosis is the right fit for you.

What is Sleep Hypnosis?

When you’re in a state of hypnosis, you’re awake and conscious but focusing on something so intently that you’re in an altered, relaxed state of mind. Therapists sometimes use hypnosis to help patients become more susceptible to changing unhealthy habits (such smoking)—or as a therapeutic strategy to help reduce pain, mood disorders, anxiety, depression, gastrointestinal disorders and other health problems or illnesses, says the American Psychological Association. Hypnosis can also be used to help people sleep better, especially people with chronic sleep disorders.

How Hypnosis helps Improve Sleep

If you’re having trouble sleeping due to disorders like sleepwalking or insomnia, hypnosis may be just what you need to get better zzzs. Hypnosis allows your mind and body to relax, and let go of stress and anxiety when you have insomnia. If you struggle with sleepwalking, hypnotic suggestion may help train your body to wake up when your feet hit the floor while sleeping. The National Sleep Foundation says hypnosis may boost the amount of time you spend in a deep sleep by up to 80 percent, and that deep sleep aids in better memory, healing and feeling restored.

What Does Sleep Hypnosis Involve?

A swinging pendulum isn’t required for you to enter a deep hypnotic state. Rather, you’ll listen to a hypnotherapist’s verbal cues to help draw you into a trance-like state of mind, tuning out your surroundings. Your therapist may softly whisper soothing words during your session, allowing you drift off to sleep after (or even during) your sessions. You’ll feel relaxed, even though your mind will be in a state of deep concentration. The National Sleep Foundation says people who benefit from sleep hypnosis may notice results after just a few sessions, but about 1/4th of the population simply can’t be hypnotized at all.

Other Ways to Get Better Sleep

If sleep hypnosis isn’t for you because you’ve already tried it (and it doesn’t work) or you can’t front the extra cash for therapy right now, there are natural (free) things you can do to boost your sleep quality. These include regular exercise (but not right before bed), avoiding afternoon naps, avoiding hunger or extreme fullness before bed, lowering stress, making your bedroom dark and quiet, avoiding tobacco, alcohol, and caffeine several hours before bed, and using a white noise machine.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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