No one enjoys a sleepless night. There’s nothing worse than tossing and turning in bed only to find, no matter what you try, you still cannot fall asleep. Sleep helps us function, and sleep can be one of the most wonderful activities of the day (yay naps!) or night. Insomnia is a chronic disorder that causes habitual sleeplessness (inability to sleep). There is acute and chronic insomnia, both of which are really no fun. Insomnia can be caused by a number of things, from stress from everyday life, chronic illness or emotional distress to more environmental issues like noise (for example, the person who lives behind you letting their children use their pogo stick on the deck when you’re trying to take a nap), temperature, aural stimuli (lights), medications, caffeine, or anything else could possibly interfere with normal sleep patterns.
There are a number of ways to treat insomnia: using a sleep diary, changing bedtime habits, understanding the body’s relaxation response, completing cognitive behavoir therapy, using herbal supplements or medications, and alternative options like self-hypnosis.
Self-hypnosis is hypnosis that is self-induced, relying heavily on self-suggestion which ultimately makes a person more open to yielding than they normally would be. Hyponsis in general has been used since the mid-1800s when a Scottish doctor and sugeon, James Braid, coined the term after using hypnosis on himself, and then on his patients, after he discovered how beneficial it could be in treating illness.
Self-hypnosis works for those who approach it with an open mind; a person wanting to use self-hypnosis for insomnia needs to want to be hypnotized. People who are able to become hypnotized are not frightened by it, and they do not harbor a lot of skepticism for the practice either. Hypnotism works with the subconscious, ultimately opening a person up to suggestion, and the process of self-hypnosis requires four unique requirements:
There are a number of self-hypnosis techniques, but the most simple and easily administered is a three step process: induction, suggestion, and awareness. The first step, induction, requires visualization and body self awareness, where a person visualizes walking down a staircase and feeling his/her body become more relaxed as s/he decends each step. There are a number of ways to do induction, and each way is unique to the person performing the self-hypnosis. Suggestion is the second step and occurs when the person has reached the ‘trance’ like state of induction. This is where s/he is more open to suggestion, and this is the stage where someone suffering from insomnia could suggest an overall feeling of peace or releasing any stress of the prior day that could potentially be the cause of the insomnia. The third step, awareness, occurs after suggestion and it’s the process of bringing oneself out of the trance and back into a physically aware state. Awareness is generally characterized by doing the opposite of what was done in induction and ultimately arriving at a fully conscious and alert state.
Hypnosis isn’t a guarantee, and it’s widely known there are individuals who are more easily hypnotized than others. Insomnia is not something to take lightly, especially when it can affect a person’s normal functioning. Sleep hypnosis is an easy and drug free option for anyone wanting to find alternative cures to help with insomnia. If you’ve spent too much wasted time on trying to fall asleep, why not try self-hypnosis the next time sleep evades you?