What is sleep hypnosis and does it work?

What is sleep hypnosis and does it work?


Hypnosis has been known for years as a method of relaxation and risk-free sleeping aid. Doctors and physicians have used this subconscious technique for several human problems like overcoming insomnia, reducing chronic pain, helping in quitting cigarettes and alcohol, and many more. 

Hypnosis has been always known as a mysterious method of self-improvement. 

Before we know about its efficiency and effectiveness, let’s know in detail what sleep hypnosis is and why it is so unique.

What exactly is sleep hypnosis?

Hypnosis is a technique in which a hypnotized person goes to sleep consciously while he/she is still subconsciously aware. 

In sleep hypnosis sessions are taken by a hypnotherapist directly in person or by a voice recording. In this session, the hypnotherapist guides the person through verbal cues that make them feel relaxed and take them in a trance-like state which helps them to sleep. 

In sleep hypnosis, the conscious activities subside due to the lower-level activity of brainwaves. This leads to the heightening of subconscious activity. Therefore, with the help of sleep hypnosis, a listener can be put in deep sleep. These are the following steps of a sleep hypnosis session-

  1. In the initial step, the listener is settled down comfortably. 
  2. Secondly, the listener is required and advised to remove all the concerns and stress from their mind. 
  3. Thereafter, the listener is made to go into a deep relaxation state by suppressing the conscious mind and raising the subconscious one. 
  4. The listener is guided to keep breathing consciously to keep the listener deep in relaxation mode. 
  5. In the final step which is the longest, the listener is guided to imagine the desired results so that they can be planted in the listener’s subconscious mind.

How can sleep hypnosis help you?

Deep sleep:

The use of hypnotherapy to treat sleeping issues is known as sleep hypnosis. The purpose behind sleep hypnosis is not to make anyone fall asleep when under hypnosis. 

Instead, it aims to change unfavourable sleep-related beliefs or habits so that a person can sleep better after hypnosis. Sleep hypnosis can be applied in conjunction with various other treatments. 

Sleep hypnosis may also aid in the development of healthier sleep-related practices by improving sleep hygiene. Hypnosis may be an effective method in improving sleep by increasing relaxation and providing an opportunity to refocus thoughts and emotions.

Small studies have found that sleep hypnosis can help anyone sleep better. The recommendation to ""sleep deeper"" during hypnosis enhanced slow-wave sleep11, which is critical for physical and mental recovery, according to one study. 

Sleep hypnosis has been shown to help people with anxiety and sadness, both of which are linked to sleep issues. It's also been used to manage pain, which can lead to sleep disturbances. While sleep hypnosis appears to be a promising treatment, additional clinical research is needed to confirm its sleep benefits. 

The majority of studies observed better sleep12 in persons who had hypnotherapy, but larger, more robust studies are needed before it can be regarded as a conventional treatment for sleeping disorders, according to a study of the existing evidence.


Sleepwalking is a human disorder where a person starts to walk unconsciously while he/she is sleeping. 

This sleepwalking disorder can be found in adults as well as children. Any person who experiences sleep deprivation or extreme sleep disruption can face the problem of sleepwalking. 

Generally, it starts in childhood and vanishes in adulthood. But if the person's sleep is disrupted or limited it can reoccur. Generally, sleepwalking does not involve dangerous activities which include driving. 

Several types of treatments are used by professionals for sleepwalking. Treatments such as medications, safety measures, reassurance, and hypnosis can be used for patients having sleepwalking disorders. 

If a patient is not cured by reassurance, doctors use safety measures for the patient’s safety. Safety measures like hiding vehicle keys, blocking stairs or using the sensitive alarm in the patient's bed for awakening the patient while getting out of the bed during sleep. 

In addition to safety measures, sometimes the patient is also medicated with benzodiazepines and tricyclic antidepressants for treating sleepwalking. 

Including all the above measures, another measure known as sleep hypnosis can also be used for the treatment of sleepwalking. As per the reports of small-scale studies sleep hypnosis can have positive effects on sleepwalking patients. 

As per the study reports published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, Hauri, Silber, and Boeve, hypnotherapy helped in 50% improvement of sleepwalkers within 18 months and more than 67% in 5 years. 

The theory is based on the approach of relaxation and comfort a patient receives due to hypnosis. This relaxed mind helps the patient with less disrupted sleep. Peaceful sleep (Sleep apps aids peaceful sleep as well) shall lead to the reduced partial awakening of the patient in deep sleep


One of the most frequent sleep disorders is insomnia. As per studies, more than 10 to 50 per cent of persons across the globe suffer from insomnia. 

The problem has the potential to harm one's health and well-being. Stress and anxiety, as well as chronic pain and other factors, can cause insomnia. To get their sleep back on track, many people try a variety of techniques, methods, and treatments. 

When it comes to coping with sleep issues, hypnotherapy isn't at the top of the list. For many people, simple but essential modifications to their behaviours and environment, known as sleep hygiene can make all the difference. 

They don't, however, work for everyone. Sleeping in bed with a new partner might lead to sleepless nights in some cases. Because both cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia (CBT-I), a type of psychotherapy that reframes negative sleep thinking, and hypnotherapy are effective in treating insomnia, many patients try them. 

Many people find sleep hypnosis to be a useful therapeutic choice. Sleep hypnosis for insomnia can address any underlying issues while also assisting you in relaxing and falling asleep. If your insomnia is caused by worry or depression, hypnosis for sleep could be a useful addition to your current treatment. 

As a result of resolving these concerns, your sleeping pattern may improve. Alternatively, hypnosis for insomnia might help you break a behaviour that is causing your insomnia (such as drinking alcohol).

Anxiety and stress:

Anxiety is a sensation of unease and anxiety that can cause a person to sweat, stiffen up, and have a fast heartbeat. Anxiety disorders are characterized by persistent anxiety. It disrupts people's regular lives and makes them feel stressed. 

Hypnosis may aid anxiety sufferers by lulling them into a peaceful and serene condition. Individuals who are afraid can benefit from hypnosis. Fear can be measured in terms of blood pressure and heart rate. 

By leaving the mind and body into a peaceful and quiet state, the practice may help to reduce blood pressure. People can refocus their minds away from their fears once sleep hypnosis calms their bodies.

Scientists studied the brains of 57 participants who were receiving sleep hypnosis in a 2016 study. They discovered changes in brain areas that allowed for enhanced emotional control and a reduction in emotions of self-consciousness. 

According to a Trusted Source review from 2017, sleep hypnosis has a significant, immediate, and long-term benefit on anxiety in cancer patients. It was especially helpful for people who were afraid of procedures. 

When paired with other psychological interventions such as cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) or exposure therapy, sleep hypnosis is most effective at reducing anxiety. Depression is a serious mood disease that affects one's ability to think, feel, and function in daily life. 

There are many different types of the disease, however, the following are some of the more prevalent symptoms:

  • Irritation
  • difficulty in sleeping and focusing
  • lack of interest
  • anxiousness or depressed mood

Sleep hypnosis is an excellent way for reducing depressive symptoms. Heart rate variability (HRV) – the difference in time between successive heartbeats — is lower in people with serious depression.

 According to one study, HRV increases hypnosis, suggesting that the technique could be used to treat depression. However, because the researchers employed a small sample size, more research is needed to corroborate their findings. 

According to a meta-analysis of hypnotic therapies, hypnosis for depression may be as beneficial as CBT and interpersonal therapy.

How is sleep hypnosis achieved?

A professional hypnotist or hypnotherapist generates a condition of strong concentration or concentrated attention during sleep hypnosis. With verbal cues and repetition, this is a guided process. 

In many ways, the trance-like state you enter resembles sleep, yet you're fully aware of what's going on. Your therapist will give guided suggestions to help you reach your therapeutic goals while you're in this trance-like condition. 

Because you're more focused, you might be more receptive to suggestions or advice that you might dismiss or dismiss in your usual mental state. When the session is over, the therapist will either wake you up or you will escape the trance-like state on your own. 

It's unclear how this high level of internal concentration and concentrated attention produces such a powerful effect. During the trance-like state of sleep hypnosis, the seeds of various thoughts may be planted in your mind, and those changes will soon take root and flourish. 

Deeper processing and acceptance may also be facilitated by sleep hypnosis.

Is there a risk of sleep hypnosis?

Sleep hypnosis is not suitable or helpful for everyone. Some people are unable to achieve a full dreamlike state. As a result, the treatment is less effective. Anxiety, headaches, dizziness, and drowsiness are all possible adverse effects in rare circumstances. 

When performed by a skilled expert, sleep hypnosis is usually safe. Not all states need hypnotherapists to be certified before they can practice. Make sure anyone you're considering has a hypnotherapy license or is a member of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis or the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis as part of your study. 

For persons with major mental illnesses such as hallucinations, delusions, drug and alcohol abuse, and schizophrenia, sleep hypnosis can be harmful.

Experts are divided on whether or not patients with schizophrenia can achieve total hypnosis. Some believe that those who utilize sleep hypnosis may develop additional mental health issues. 

Doctors may employ sleep hypnosis to reawaken memories or traumatic situations associated with your mental illness. This practice is fraught with controversy. If the individual administering the treatment is not a trained expert, it may result in the production of false memories, further complicating a person's mental health concerns and causing more problems. 

If you're thinking about using sleep hypnosis to help with chronic pain, make sure your doctor has ruled out any other issues that might require medicine or surgery. People with less significant mental or physical disorders are the best candidates for sleep hypnosis.

Is sleep during sleep hypnosis effective at all?

You might be wondering whether sleep hypnosis is just wishful thinking or if it works. Fortunately, the effects of sleep hypnosis have been extensively studied. 

Although sleep hypnosis is useful for a variety of health issues, experts are still trying to figure out how it impacts the brain. It's still unknown how sleep hypnosis delivers its therapeutic effects due to these outstanding problems.

Nightmares, sleep terrors, and parasomnias, such as sleepwalking, are all treated using sleep hypnosis.

However, not everyone responds to sleep hypnosis. People's levels of hypnotization have been discovered by researchers. Though figures vary, it is thought that about 15% of the population is very susceptible to hypnosis. About 1/3 of people are hypnosis resistant and unlikely to benefit from sleep hypnosis. 

The remaining people fall somewhere in the middle and may benefit from hypnosis. A desire for change and a positive attitude can help these people have a more successful hypnosis session. 

People in this category may also be taught to be more hypnosis receptive. People of practically any age can benefit from sleep hypnosis. Although adolescents are regarded to be more susceptible to hypnosis14, adults and the elderly can also be hypnotized.


Although hypnosis appears to be a potential treatment for sleep disturbances, additional research is needed. Existing research, fortunately, provides optimism, indicating that hypnosis may be effective, adaptable to various sleep disorders, and linked with few side effects.


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