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Hypnosis may help with sleep

A woman being hypnotized
A woman being hypnotized
Pixabay/Free photo

There has been a great deal of interest in the vital importance of getting adequate sleep to maintain good overall health in body and mind. Along with a subjective feeling of tiredness from inadequate sleep people can not perform as well physically and intellectually when they are overtired. People also manifest signs of emotional instability due to poor sleep. Drugs to assist with sleep are not desirable for many people due to the side effects often associated with these medications. Hypnotic suggestion has been found by researchers to help with vital aspects of sleep reported the journal Sleep.

This research showing that hypnosis can help with sleep has gained a great deal of interest. It has been observed that slow wave sleep plays a critical role in body restoration and promotes brain plasticity. This type of vital sleep markedly decreases across the lifespan. Researchers at the University of Zurich, Switzerland tested whether a hypnotic suggestion to “sleep deeper” extends the amount of slow wave sleep.

The participants in this study listened to an auditory text with hypnotic suggestions or a control tape prior to napping for 90 minutes while high-density electroencephalography was being recorded. In participants listening to the hypnotic suggestion to “sleep deeper” subsequent slow wave sleep was increased by 81 percent and time spent awake was decreased by 67 percent. Furthermore, slow wave brain activity was significantly enhanced after hypnotic suggestions. It appears that hypnotic suggestions may be a successful tool to help with sleep with a lower risk of adverse side effects than pharmacological treatments.

Deep sleep is important to promote our well-being while improving our memory and strengthening the body’s defenses reports the University of Zurich. Researchers have demonstrated how restorative slow wave sleep can be increased without medication via the use of hypnosis. Sleeping well is a vital factor which contributes to our physical and mental restoration. Slow wave sleep in particular has a significant impact on memory and the functioning of the immune system.

The sleep researchers from the Universities of Zurich and Fribourg have demonstrated to a surprising extent that hypnosis has a positive impact on the quality of sleep. Biopsychologist Björn Rasch said this opens up new and promising opportunities for improving the quality of sleep without taking drugs. With hypnosis processes which are very hard to control voluntarily can be influenced. Hypnotherapy can be used to successfully treat patients with sleep disturbances.

Sleep researchers Maren Cordi and Björn Rasch found in this study that highly suggestible women experienced 80 percent more slow-wave sleep after listening to a hypnosis tape in comparison with sleep after listening to the neutral text. Time which was spent awake was reduced by about one-third. Low suggestible female participants were observed not to benefit as much from hypnosis. The researchers confirmed with additional control experiments that the beneficial impact of hypnosis on slow-wave sleep could be attributed to the hypnotic suggestion to “sleep deeper."

There have been many reports of side effects from drugs used to induce sleep. Hypnosis offers a great drug free alternative to drugs to help with sleep. Increased awareness of the vital importance of sleep for good overall health should encourage more people to look towards hypnosis to help them rejuvenate themselves with deep restful sleep.

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