Many treatments exist for sleep disorders. While not all treatments work, most people can find some sort of relief from one type. If you've gone through several treatments but haven't found relief, you may want to consider hypnosis.
Hypnosis for Sleep Disorders by Debbie Papadakis
Debbie Papadakis, BCH,CI, is a Master Hypnotist, Sleep Deprivation Specialist, Spiritual Psychotherapist, Reiki Master and Author. She is also the director of the Hypno Healing Institute in Toronto, Canada. As a training professional, she helps her students understand how to perform her techniques so that people with sleep disorders can heal all their relationships to release painful feelings and emotions stored in the body.
LoveToKnow (LTK): How can hypnosis help people with sleep disorders?
Debbie Papadakis (DP): Sleep is NOT a luxury. Restful sleep is just as important to our health as breathing, adequate nutrition and exercise. Insomnia has numerous negative effects on our mind and body. Hypnosis targets and accesses the subconscious mind and reveals the root cause of a person's problem. A qualified Hypnotist guides clients to uncover and resolve the deep hidden issues of their insomnia, and furthermore with positive suggestions (as long as the subconscious accepts them), insomnia can easily be overcome.
Through hypnosis we can tap into our hidden/latent power, dispel fears, negative emotions and limiting beliefs, heal our mind & body, and make positive, lasting changes in our lives in order to reach our full potential. I have created specialized techniques that help access the exact moment when sleep is disrupted and clear the emotional issues responsible for the disruption.
This process bypasses the menial factors at the conscious level and enters the subconscious mind where the true causes lie. It is often called the "Highway to the Subconscious" because it is indeed the fastest route! Hypnosis is extremely beneficial in reversing negative sleep patterns and negative thoughts by giving constant positive suggestions to the subconscious mind. Through hypnosis we can access the blockages in our subconscious mind that affect our lives negatively, understand and resolve them. Carl Jung stated: "Dreams are important to our mental health, and sleep is important for our body to regenerate."
LTK: What types of sleep disorders are best helped with hypnosis?
DP: Since hypnosis works with the subconscious, we can address most sleep disorders. Therefore, depending on the client I have found hypnosis can help with the following sleep disorders:
- Parasomnia frequently interferes with sleep, occurring especially among children. Most common examples include sleepwalking, night terrors and bed-wetting.
- Dyssomnia involves difficulty going to sleep, staying asleep or excessive daytime sleepiness.
- Hypersomnia is the inability to stay awake, constantly sleeping during the day and never feeling energized.
I have successfully helped a few of my clients with sleep apnea and found that the common underlying cause was extreme negative emotions, namely anger, which created palpable tension in the jaw & neck area. I have however, experienced profound results when treating people with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) related disorders helping them release rage and/or other unresolved negative issues, which are held in the facial muscles and seem to be the causative factors for TMJ.
LTK: How long does hypnosis typically last? How long is each session and how many sessions?
DP: The results achieved are fast and long-lasting. Before we begin working with a client we offer a free 20-minute consultation, wherein we determine the individual client's case and the number of sessions that client needs. Each session is typically two therapeutic hours (1 hr 45 mins). We accommodate our out-of- town clients with additional time if required. Typically we suggest minimum three to maximum six sessions.
LTK: What is the experience like when you are helping someone?
DP: Lack of proper sleep affects physical, mental and emotional well-being. Helping people overcome their sleep disorders is extremely rewarding. I believe we came to this life in order to contribute to the universe so that it can become a better place. I also believe that we were all given special gifts to share with others. I feel lucky that I am able to help people to spark their fearless self and find peace.
It's the start of a wonderful chain reaction. Every person that is positively transformed as a result of hypnosis, in this case, experiencing peaceful sleep, feels better and healthier. This has a positive impact on his or her association with others, thus ultimately creating a better, more positive environment for all of us.
The Effectiveness of Hypnosis on Sleep Disorders
LTK: How effective is Hypnosis in the treatment of sleep disorders?
Hypnosis is a very reliable and relevant treatment and has proved successful in treating sleep disorders when the client is open and receptive to the suggestions. In order to understand how hypnosis works, we must first understand how the mind works.
- The conscious mind holds all the analytical and rational information with short-term (temporary) memory and is responsible for thinking and questioning. This is the chatter that occupies a person's mind and obstructs restful sleep.
- The subconscious mind stores all of the emotions, beliefs, feelings, habits and worries. It works like an organic computer. This part of the mind knows and retains everything that happens 24 hours a day and impacts our thoughts, behavior, habits etc.
- The unconscious mind is the domain of our automatic functioning affected by both the conscious and the subconscious.
Once we understand how the mind works, we can see the correlation between our conscious and subconscious mind, emotions and how that affects our sleep. It is also important to note that there are internal (e.g. emotional, limiting beliefs) as well as external (e.g. lifestyle, other outside factors) causes for insomnia.
LTK: Does hypnosis always work for everyone?
DP: Hypnosis does not always work for everyone; however, hypnosis works in most cases.
The effectiveness of hypnosis is dependent as much on the person being hypnotized as the hypnotist herself. The hypnotist assists in accessing the subconscious mind; the answers are already there. An experienced hypnotist acts as a guide, and for the process to work, the person being hypnotized must be open to hypnosis (trusting), willing to change (resolute) and able to suspend his fears (believe that change/transformation is possible).
A relevant, remedial solution for sleep disorders, and an effective, healthy tool to eradicate the ills of insomnia, hypnosis remains a lasting solution.
LTK: What might be some of the reasons why hypnosis won't work for some people?
DP: Hypnosis is a two way street. The client must be open and receptive for it to have positive results. If the person undergoing hypnosis is not willing or does not participate, if he has a secondary gain or does not believe in the process, or if he is rigid and not really wanting to make changes, it may not work. People with mental health issues [may also have trouble].
Additional Tips for Better Sleep from the Hypnotist
LTK: Do you have any additional tips or information that you would find helpful to our readers who are interested in this form of treatment?
DP: Although hypnosis can help with the emotional issues behind insomnia, there are many physical and behavioral aspects that will also help you to improve your sleeping habits:
- Eliminate or cut down caffeinated beverages and stimulants, especially after dinner.
- Limit the amount of liquid you drink a few hours before bed to avoid waking up to use the bathroom.
- Refrain from eating large, spicy, or greasy meals on a daily basis.
- Exercise regularly; it's great way to release tension.
- Drink a warm beverage before bed (milk, herbal tea).
- Ensure that your bedroom is at a comfortable temperature (not too cold or hot), dark and quiet (no television/radio).
- Take a warm bath using aromatherapy or special bath salts (lavender, Chamomile, Himalayan salts) to wind down before bed.
- Listen to a guided meditation or hypnotic CD or instrumental music that induces sleep.
- Practice self-hypnosis using 'anchors' suggested by a hypnotist.
- Meditate - practice breathing exercises to relax the body and slow down the mind.
Find a Hypnotherapist to Help Your Sleep Disorder
For quality treatment, find a hypnotist with specialized training and certification from the National Board of Certified Clinical Hypnotherapists. You can also receive recommendations from sleep clinics and other medical professionals in your community.