Many people in our stress filled environment have trouble falling asleep.
An area where self hypnosis can help is with your sleeping habits. While self hypnosis should not be used to reduce sleeping times, as not just your mind but also your physical body needs to rest, it can be used to reduce the amount of time spent lying in bed waiting to fall asleep. Practice the following form of minor self hypnosis to help you sleep. While the first few nights, this can take up to an hour to actually work, as your mind becomes accustomed to this “shut-off “ cue, you will fall asleep faster and in a more relaxed way:
Make sure everything is ready for you to fall asleep before you begin, as it can become a bad habit to stop in the middle of self hypnosis to go check that the door is locked, or the alarm is set. If you tend to do this, make a list of pre-bed things to do, and tick each item off.
Begin while lying on your back in your bed. Make sure you are comfortable, with your arms lying by your sides. If you are worrying about something you need to do tomorrow, take a moment and write it down. Tell yourself you will deal with it tomorrow (or whenever you will be dealing with it) and push it from your mind. Go back to your position.
Contract and relax each set of muscles in your body, starting with your toes and ending as high up as you can control. (For some people, this ends with shoulder contractions). Remember that you are trying to relax, so don’t worry if your body is not cooperating.
Focus on your breathing. With your eyes closed, tell yourself that you are becoming very relaxed and calm. If you need to have an image in your head, choose something calm and soothing, such as the sky. (This can also be done with your eyes open. Choose which is more natural for you).
Instead of counting sheep, simply count slowly down from a number. Try starting with 30, although some people may need more and others less.
Count slowly and with each number, tell yourself that you are becoming sleepier.
When you reach zero, tell yourself that you are so sleepy; you might not even be able to open your eyes. Relax and let yourself drift away.
This may take time to work. If it does not work the first time, try slowing down the countdown, or choosing a different image.
Many people try to use self-hypnosis as a method in order to function on less sleep, forgetting that our body’s needs are separate from what our mind thinks – you can hypnotize yourself into thinking you do not need to eat, but you will still need to eat, and the same goes for sleep. Self hypnosis cannot actually replace sleep, it only makes it easier to fall asleep and for some people can improve the quality of their sleep.