Sleep is vital for our physical and mental health. After we consume a great amount of energy with our daily activities, our body and our mind need to rest. Sleep is essential for having a healthy balanced lifestyle.
When we sleep:
- Our muscles relax
- Tissues repair and grow
- The blood supply to our muscles increases
- We restore our energy
Lack of Sleep Effects
Sleep gives us the energy we need and supports our everyday activities. But what happens when we do not get enough rest or we start having sleep problems? We distort the balance from our bodies and it can become harder to perform what we have to do in a normal day.
Sleep disorders such as insomnia can have some damaging effects on our bodies and our lives overall. These include:
- Lowering our concentration levels
- Unstable moods
- Serious health issues such as heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes
- Memory problems
- Weight problems
It is important to pay attention to a few symptoms that may indicate we have a sleep problem. If we have difficulties falling or staying asleep during the night for a longer period of time, we feel tired during the day, have difficulties in thinking clearly and concentration and have a feeling of excessive sleepiness, we should consider going to a doctor to see if these symptoms are correlated with a sleep disorder. Specialists consider “insomnia chronic if it occurs at least three nights per week for three months or longer.”
Hypnosis and sleep problems
When we speak about hypnosis, we may tend to associate it with a pendulum or the idea that we “are feeling tired and sleepy”. Yet, it is a medical procedure used in combination with other treatments and therapies under the surveillance of a health care professional.
There are different treatments for sleep problems. Hypnosis has proven to have some interesting effects on how we sleep and it can help improve deep sleep. Until recently, studies that wanted to analyze the relationship between hypnosis and sleep relied on the opinion of the participants. They were simply asked to say how they felt they slept before and after the hypnosis and the results were rather subjective.
A recent study performed by Swiss researchers was the first one that analyzed the effects of hypnosis on deep sleep by measuring brain-wave activity. Basically, it focused on more than just the opinion of the participants. It looked for concrete evidence that could show hypnosis has a real impact on how we sleep.
70 women, with ages between 18 and 35 years, participated in this research. The study included five experiments in which the participants listened to audio tapes that contained hypnotic suggestion. It is important to mention that these women were completely healthy, having no sleep problems or having not taken any sleep medication.
The results showed that suggestible to hypnosis women spent 80% more time in deep sleep than women who did not listen to such audio tapes. The non-suggestible participants did not show any improvement in their sleep. However, listening to these tapes gave them something to focus on, helped them relax and clean their minds before falling asleep.
Boosting deep sleep quantity and improving deep sleep quality are two promising results this study gives us about hypnosis. Although it cannot be directly linked as a treatment that cures sleep problems, it can helps us relax and have a better sleep.
Sleep hypnosis comes with an additional benefit: it has not side effects. Sleep medication, on the other hand, comes with a few side effects which can include constipation, dizziness, headaches, stomach aches and weakness. Also, they promise short-term results. Once you stop taking them, sleep problems can reappear. It is curious to see if hypnosis will help patients on the long run and solve the cause of the problem, not just the effects. Whether hypnosis will ever completely replace these pills is still questionable. However, doctors see hypnosis as a good treatment in combination with sleep medication. It may reduce the need for taking sleeping aids, but this depends on other aspects such as the severity of the condition.
Hypnosis is a promising treatment and it can bring surprising results. However, it is essential to use it as a therapy only with the consent of a health care professional. Doctors know how to guide us through the entire process and can make suitable recommendations for each patient. Every body is different and may require a certain type of treatment. Used correctly, hypnosis may have a great positive effect on our sleep.
Hypnosis showed that it can have a positive impact on our sleep and sounds like a great alternative to other sleep treatments. Although it is not proven that it can replace sleep medication, it may increase the efficiency of already existing treatments and help us have a better sleep.
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