Insomnia and Sleep Hypnosis

Applying Hypnotherapy to Behavior Modification

Among the various holistic or alternative therapies for insomnia hypnosis or hypnotherapy is much more accessible today than it used to be. Hypnotherapy has been used in medicine for generations to relieve pain and discomfort and assist patients in overcoming stubborn habits like smoking and alcoholism, as well as modifying behavior like insomnia.

The idea that chronic insomnia symptoms are somehow learned and become part of your regular behavior is behind the idea that hypnosis can help.

Adapting Hypnosis to Insomnia

Insomnia by some accounts is a series of learned behaviors and can be worsened by bad bedtime behaviors, or poor sleep hygiene. If you believe that instances of temporary insomnia can mutate to habitual sleep beliefs and behaviors then you might see how hypnosis could help you modify those beliefs and permanently rewire them in your brain.

How Hypnosis Works

Hypnosis only works if you’re willing. Hypnotherapy is a careful combination of relaxation, trance state, and suggestion. When you relax you are quieting your mind and body and entering a hypnotic state, sometimes sleepy or drowsy. In this state you are receptive to modifying messages about behavior. Here is where insomnia symptoms may be overcome with the right mix of messages.


Hypnosis should not be confused with meditation. Meditation is relaxation, but without a modifying purpose a targeted intent to change a thought or pattern.

Self-Hypnosis or Hypnotherapy?

Should you learn self-hypnosis or should you work with a hypnotherapist? First talk to your doctor about your insomnia symptoms. Then discuss the alternative therapies and ask specifically about hypnosis.

One of the most effective insomnia therapies is cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). This unique and non-pharmacological treatment embraces a complement of therapies, including some hypnosis. You may be able to make significant alternations to insomnia symptoms working with CBT. But you may also find a very good therapist that practices hypnosis and can guide you to self-administer.

A growing number of books and CDs also provide hypnosis techniques and guidance that may be useful.

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