People with sleep disorders cannot control the process of falling asleep on their own. Therefore, often in order not to suffer from insomnia, they resort to various medications. However, doctors note that this is not the only way to establish a regimen. Sleep hypnosis may well help such patients. In what cases such therapy is indicated and how effective it is, MedAboutMe understood.
The effectiveness of hypnosis for sleep
Hypnotherapy has been successfully used for various sleep disorders. Moreover, for some patients it is considered as an alternative to sleeping pills. Thus, a review of 24 studies was published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, which showed that the use of this method is effective for 58.3% of patients. At the same time, unlike drug treatment, hypnosis has no side effects, and even those patients who reported no benefit did not notice a deterioration in the condition after the sessions.
A study by the University of Zurich notes another important detail — hypnotherapy can not only affect the duration of sleep and facilitate the process of falling asleep, but also improve sleep quality. This was revealed by measuring the electrical activity of the brain: 70 women listened to a 13-minute hypnotherapy tape before falling asleep, and then fell asleep for 90 minutes. In subjects with high suggestibility, the non-REM sleep phase increased by 81%. This phase is important for restoring energy costs, which means it helps to feel alert after waking up.
Who is sleep hypnosis for?
Hypnosis is used in the following cases:
- Insomnia due to anxiety, stress.
- Short sleep, frequent awakenings at night.
- Sleep problems.
- Fatigue after sleep, drowsiness during the day (no deep sleep).
- Violations of the regime caused by frequent changes in time zones (for example, during flights).
In a National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) study, hypnotherapy, including self-hypnosis, is also recommended for menopausal women. It is known that hot flashes can lead to insomnia, and this in turn greatly impairs the quality of life. The study involved 90 women, after sessions of self-hypnosis, an improvement in sleep and an increase in its duration were noted by 50–77% of the participants.
Contraindications for hypnotherapy
Despite the effectiveness of hypnotherapy, it is not for everyone. If sleep problems are caused by neurological disorders or other diseases and are only a symptom, hypnosis treatment will not help.
In addition, in order for the sessions to give results, the person must be suggestible. This quality cannot be revealed simply by the character or behavior of a person. Doctors conduct special tests that show how a patient can be hypnotized.
Therapy may also be ineffective due to the subjective attitude of a person to hypnosis. Fear of a session or an internal protest can become an insurmountable barrier.
There are also medical contraindications, including:
- Mental illness (hypnosis for sleep is only acceptable after consulting a psychiatrist).
- Diseases of the cardiovascular system and other diseases accompanied by respiratory disorders.