Solving sleeping issues with hypnosis?

Postby SeikoGreatest » Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:45 pm

A friend of mine is having a hard time sleeping and I thought hypnosis might be a possible solution (medication doesn't work as they have built a tolerance). As I began to do research I noticed there is a lot of stuff out there and I cant tell what works from what doesn't.

I would like to know if i could hypnotize them to sleep or maybe they could hypnotize themselves, and what would be most effective? Is this possible? if so, sharing techniques, guides, books, and any other resources would be much appreciated.

Thank you
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#1

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:26 am

SeikoGreatest wrote: As I began to do research I noticed there is a lot of stuff out there and I cant tell what works from what doesn't.


I recommend using Google Scholar to do your research.

If you just use a basic Internet search you will find people making all sorts of claims. It can be hard to sift through and determine what is what. If you use Google Scholar you will find peer reviewed scientific evidence regarding the topic.

Here is a 2013 paper, only 4 pages, that probably has the most positive position on the potential use of hypnosis for sleep disorders.

http://iranarze.ir/wp-content/uploads/2 ... anArze.pdf

And here is a 2006 abstract:

There is a plethora of research suggesting that combining cognitive-behavioral therapy with hypnosis is effective for a variety of psychological, behavioral, and medical disorders. Yet, very little empirical research exists pertaining to the use of hypnotherapy as either a single or multitreatment modality for the management of sleep disorders. The existing literature is limited to a small subset of nonbiologic sleep disorders. The objectives of this paper are: to provide a review of the most common sleep disorders, with emphasis on insomnia disorders; discuss the cognitive-behavioral approaches to insomnia; and review the existing empirical literature on applications of hypnotherapy in the treatment of sleep disturbance. The overreaching goal is to educate clinicians on how to incorporate sleep therapy with hypnotherapy. There is an immediate need for research evaluating the efficacy of hypnotherapy in the management of sleep disturbance.

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10. ... 0701338662

There is other research, but the overall gist is that not enough research has been conducted to draw any real evidence-based conclusions on hypnosis as a stand alone treatment, but the potential role of hypnosis is promising.

Specifically, it appears that most sleep disorders are treated first with medications, CBT, or some form of sleep hygiene. Hypnosis is offered as a potential option if these other methods fail to produce results.

You may also want to look into meditation. The below 2015 study showed promising results.

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamain ... cation=ufi

Hypnosis, meditation, or some other technique, why not give them a go? There is limited downside. My only caution is don’t lay out £200 for some “hypnotist” that tells you definitively that hypnosis works on sleep disorders. Any professional hypnotist will be familiar with the scientific literature and will admit the limitations of current research.
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#2

Postby Candid » Mon Mar 11, 2019 7:31 am

I wonder whether your friend has any idea as to what's keeping her awake?
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#3

Postby jimmyh » Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:15 am

Hypnosis, meditation, or some other technique, why not give them a go? There is limited downside. My only caution is don’t lay out £200 for some “hypnotist” that tells you definitively that hypnosis works on sleep disorders.

Good post, thanks for sharing some of the relevant literature.

A couple minor points..

1) "Hypnosis works on sleep disorders" is a pretty vague statement. It could be taken to mean "attempts to use hypnosis for sleep disorders work *reliably* across *all* sleep disorders", but it could also just be intended as "sleep disorders are in the domain of things that hypnosis can work on". If there's any uncertainty about what is meant, it's worth checking.

The reasons one interpretation might be prioritized over the other are interesting, but not really necessary for the point here.


2) There is a large variance in the abilities of hypnotists to effect change. If you study the question "can hypnotists help people with sleep disorders" it matters *greatly* which hypnotists you choose to study. Even if the science says "works great!", that is no proof that the local hypnotist knows what he's doing and will be able to replicate the results. Even if the science says "has never worked", that's not proof that there aren't hypnotists out there that know things the ones in the study didn't which allow them to get positive results. The relevance, as it applies here, is that it's *possible* that someone definitively saying "hypnosis works for sleep disorders" may actually be right and justified, even if the science has not caught up to his or her understanding yet and studied the practitioners who know how to do it.

Knowing what the science says is still important for a good *baseline* to start from when judging "competent or quack?", but care must be taken before extrapolating too far from what the studies themselves say.

Any professional hypnotist will be familiar with the scientific literature and will admit the limitations of current research.


Heh, sure would be nice. Unfortunately, since there are zero qualifications needed in order to call oneself a "hypnotist" and charge money for it, not everyone who charges money for hypnosis has any idea what they're doing.

I get what you're saying though, and agree.


Is this possible? if so, sharing techniques, guides, books, and any other resources would be much appreciated.


Yes, "helping people sleep" is in the domain of things which hypnosis can work on.

It's a complicated topic, and I'm not familiar with any material which focuses on sleep in particular. In general, things like these are "hypnotherapy complete" problems, and simple "techniques" used in isolation are likely to miss the mark.

However, as Richard says, there's not a lot of reason not to try. It is definitely conceivable that a simple induction that you see on youtube used to help instill "triggers" that allow your friend to start the process of falling asleep will be a helpful thing.

In my experience helping people fall asleep, a significant part of the issue is stress over not being able to sleep. Sometimes (but not always) relieving that stress is all it takes.

Go ahead and give it a shot and report back :)
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#4

Postby moonlightress » Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:25 am

Chalk up one person for whom hypnosis works very well for getting to sleep. I use some select YouTube audios, when needed. I recommend Michael Sealey's channel.
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