At some point in our lives, most of us will experience an extended period of sleeplessness or an insufficiency of restful sleep. Prolonged periods of difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep are often caused by stress, anxiety, illness or a combination of the three. It is believed that there are five basic stages of sleep. It is important that we pass through each stage in the cycle multiple times per night in order to wake up fully rested. When this cycle is interrupted, we experience a lack of energy and alertness. After a while, sleep deprivation begins to effect us both mentally and physically and will begin to effect our professional and social lives, as well.

It is well known that limiting sugar and caffeine intake after noon, getting enough exercise and switching off all light-emitting electronics before laying down to rest is helpful for promoting sleep. We also know that sleeping medications and supplements can be addictive and come with a host of side effects, but what is one to do when they are desperate for sleep and achieving restfulness is beginning to seem impossible? Well, in situations like these, it is important to remember that it is the mind that is causing the problems in the fist place, so does it not make sense that it is the mind that must be treated? In this article, we have outlined three basic principles of hypnosis that are proven to be effective in helping you achieve a deeper, more undisturbed sleep.

1. Relaxation

During hypnosis, it is not uncommon to experience a sense of deep relaxation. This level of relaxation is often achieved through deep breathing exercises, and letting go of tension in each major muscle group. It is also helpful to address stress and anxiety related issues via the subconscious mind head on, helping to reduce frantic, anxious thoughts. These are strategies that we can practice outside of a hypnosis session and take home with us to practice any time, especially while laying in bed at night.

Sometimes it is important to re-learn how to properly prepare our bodies and minds for sleep. We can teach ourselves through hypnosis to relate certain things, such as being in the dark, under the covers, and in silence, to bed time. If we can learn how to relax in an office, during hypnosis, it is possible for us learn to relax anywhere using the same techniques. It is typical for feelings of calmness and relaxation to last for hours, even days following a session with a hypnotherapist.

2. Switching Your Focus

It is important to recognize that being unable to sleep is not an issue that will remain in your life permanently. An important part of hypnosis is believing that you can change and being willing to change. The more willing you are to change, the more likely it is that hypnosis will be an effective strategy in managing stress and, ideally, sleeping more soundly.

Instead of replaying negative experiences over and over in our minds, which can keep us up at night for hours on end with worry, we can train our minds to focus on positive situations, images, settings and feelings that give us a feeling of calmness and comfort.

3. Forming and Reinforcing Healthy Habits

Once we have learned strategies that can help us create positive change, it will be much easier to continue building upon those changes. After we re-train our bodies and minds to associate certain feelings and settings with peaceful sleep and relaxation, it will become much easier for us to create new, healthy sleep patterns. The next step is to sustain a regimented sleep schedule while continuing to attend frequent hypnosis sessions.

It can be useful, when starting hypnosis, to listen to pre-recorded audio tapes in between sessions to reinforce what we’ve learned and continue to build upon this knowledge. Generally, the more an individual subjects themselves to hypnosis, especially if they are particularly suggestible to it, the more progress they can make in a shorter period of time.

In conclusion, there are many things that we can do to aid us in forming healthier sleeping habits. Hypnotherapy can be an incredibly useful and efficient tool for targeting obstacles such as this from the root of their cause: the mind. Through relaxation techniques, learning how and when to control our negative thoughts, and actively working to form a new, healthier routine, we can finally sleep soundly and deeply.