According to the American Sleep Association, between 50 to 70 million adults in the United States suffer from a sleep disorder. Not only is adequate sleep important for our physical health but also for our mental and emotional well-being.
Often when people have trouble sleeping, they turn to over-the-counter or prescription medications. The problem with these solutions is, many come with side effects and can be addictive.
A potentially effective strategy for falling and staying asleep, but one that is often overlooked, is sleep hypnosis.
What is Sleep Hypnosis?
Hypnosis, or hypnotherapy, is a mental health protocol where an individual is put into a trance-like state from which they can alter their unhealthy habits and behaviors. For example, someone may use hypnotherapy to stop smoking or emotional eating. Hypnotherapy is also successfully used to manage chronic pain, improve mood, decrease depression and anxiety, and yes, help people get a better night’s sleep.
How Does Hypnotherapy Work?
No, your therapist won’t swing a watch in front of your eyes. That is the stuff of old Hollywood movies. They will simply talk softly and suggest some relaxation techniques to put you into a calm and trance-like state.
Don’t be put off by the term “trance-like”. You know that feeling you get when you zone out a bit and find yourself staring off into space for a minute or two? You just sort of zone out? This is a bit what hypnosis feels like. It is deeply relaxing and my own clients feel refreshed after a session.
Once you are in this deeply relaxed state, you will have greater access to your unconscious mind. You can then “install” ideas and concepts, in this case, that sleep comes naturally.
Is Hypnosis for Sleep Safe?
Hypnosis is completely safe. While you will be very relaxed, you will remain fully conscious the entire time. You will only do things and accept suggestions you feel 100% comfortable with. And no, you will NOT quack like a duck afterward!
And, unlike sleeping pills or other self-medicating behaviors, sleep hypnosis does not come with any unwanted, long-term side effects.
If you or someone you know has difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep and would like to explore sleep hypnosis, please get in touch with me. I would be happy to discuss how I may be able to help.
Chelsy A. Castro, JD, MA, AM, LCSW