Hypnotherapy to treat sleep disorders

Sleep hygiene

Insomnia can manifest itself in a variety of ways: difficulty falling asleep, prolonged night-time awakenings or waking up too early, etc. Often linked to anxiety, insomnia can have serious long-term consequences for your well-being. To combat this sleep disorder, more and more people are turning to hypnosis.

How insomnia works

There are several types of insomnia:

  • Insomnia with difficulty falling asleep
  • Insomnia characterised by frequent and/or prolonged waking at night
  • Insomnia with early awakenings

All types of insomnia can shorten sleep duration (although in some cases it can remain unchanged), which has the effect of reducing its recuperative effect. Even in cases where sleep duration is only slightly shortened, there is significant fatigue during the day, which is sometimes accompanied by difficulties in functioning at work, on a personal or emotional level.

These difficulties will gradually lead the patient to dread the night and to fear of “not being able to sleep”. It’s a vicious circle that gradually increases the patient’s anxiety about sleep. The intellectual hyperactivity surrounding insomnia then leaves little room for respite and well-deserved sleep.

Treating insomnia at source with hypnosis

While hypnosis is mainly indicated for stress-related sleep disorders, as well as for reprogramming sleep cycles that may have become out of sync, it can also help improve sleep by reducing painful perceptions or disturbing sounds, working on defocalisation or sensory isolation.

After experiencing periods of insomnia, it is also necessary to work on confidence in one’s ability to fall asleep, so that negative anticipation and fears about sleep give way to a feeling of calm.

Hypnosis is a totally natural state. Guided by the practitioner, the patient will enter a modified state of consciousness that will be experienced differently from one person to another. This state is not relaxation, but gives the sensation of being somewhere between being awake and asleep, while remaining conscious and allowing easier access to the imagination.

While hypnosis can help patients regain quality sleep, it can also help limit the use of sleeping pills. Tolerance and dependence are the most feared risks associated with sleeping pills, which is why these treatments should only be chosen on a temporary basis.

As part of medical treatment, hypnosis is an interesting natural alternative for reducing or even stopping the use of sleeping pills and other treatments (such as antidepressants with sedative properties) in order to fall asleep more easily. It can also be used as part of a gradual withdrawal from hypnotic sleeping pills, with the agreement of the doctor treating the patient.

Self-hypnosis: how does it work?

After a few hypnosis sessions with a professional, you canlearn to practise self-hypnosis to continue your treatment with the help of audio recordings or by doing your own hypnosis session.

The therapist will be able to pass on various hypnotic induction techniques, in particular through focusing and mental visualisation similar to that used in sophrology, to achieve a state conducive to falling asleep. For example, visualising a pleasant image, an object or a place in as much detail as possible and slowly sketching out its contours can help to calm stress by occupying the mind, projecting oneself into a place of well-being, triggering soothing thoughts and setting up rituals for falling asleep can all extend the work done in a session with a therapist.