Last updated: 22 December 2015
“You’re getting sleepy.”
In movies from a certain era, that’s what hypnotists always said.
While swinging a pocket watch back and forth in front of the subject’s eyes.
Of course, it meant something different back then.
It was Hollywood’s take on the power of the hypnotist to seize control of the subject’s mind.
To turn them into an obedient and brainless zombie.
But as you know, hypnotists can’t actually do that.
And hypnosis doesn’t even work if you’re sound asleep.
It’s just another state of consciousness where you enter a light trance. From there, your mind is receptive to suggestions that can help you achieve your goals.
To relax and de-stress.
To manage pain.
To cure phobias and break bad habits.
To build confidence and self-esteem.
To solve problems, encourage creativity, and set achievable goals.
And at some stage, one of those goals could be simply to improve the quality of your sleep.
That makes a lot of sense if you think about it.
Because self-hypnosis is one of the fastest and easiest ways to get ultra-relaxed. And if you’re ultra-relaxed, you’re already well on your way to the land of nod.
So it’s perfectly understandable that hypnosis can be a powerful technique to help you get to sleep.
But even when you are asleep, you can use self-hypnosis to accomplish some pretty amazing things.
Such Stuff As Dreams Are Made Of
There’s no getting away from it.
We all need sleep.
It’s vital for recharging the batteries after a busy day.
It’s also a time when your brain gets to sort out everything that’s been happening.
No prizes for knowing that.
After all, your brain takes in vast amounts of data every day.
As much as 2 million bits of information every second.
Without that rest time to log it, record it, process it and store it, you wouldn’t be able to remember any of it.
You wouldn’t be able to learn anything.
You wouldn’t be able to function at anywhere near your peak.
That’s because sleep isn’t a time when your body just shuts down.
While you’re asleep, plenty of things are still happening.
Your body is being refreshed and rejuvenated, growing muscle, repairing tissue, and pumping out hormones.
Your mind is busy too, taking all those bits of data and putting them in order. Some for short-term memory and some for long-term memory.
And no matter how brave or determined you might be, you can’t go without sleep for a sustained period of time.
It’s true that the older you get the less sleep you need. But whatever age you are, a certain amount of sleep is essential.
Up to the age of 1 year, kids need as much as 14 hours sleep. (But unfortunately, not all at once!)
By the time they become teenagers, 9-10 hours’ sleep is required.
For adults, 7-9 hours is enough to keep things ticking over.
Proper sleep gives you the energy and stamina to tackle each new day, to continue developing, and to operate at an effective level of alertness.
And one way to make sure you’re getting the sleep you need is to practice self-hypnosis.
Self-hypnosis can help you drift off to dreamland in a flash.
There are a couple of effective ways to achieve this:
- Listen to hypnosis audio recordings
- Put yourself in a trance
If you listen to a recording, all the hard work is done for you. It’ll take you through initial relaxation and into a light trance. Then on to visualization to go even deeper.
Naturally you’d listen to it when you wanted to go to sleep. So probably at bedtime.
Likewise, if you put yourself in a trance, you’d follow the same basic procedure.
At the beginning of the session, you might state your intention something like this:
“I am going to sleep soundly all night long.”
Recordings might make things easier, taking the hard work out of the process. But you risk falling asleep with headphones stuck in your ears.
If that doesn’t bother you, then go for it.
Whichever method you choose, the key to success is repetition.
Keep doing it, night after night, and eventually getting to sleep will be quick and effortless.
And while you’re sleeping…
Oh The Places You’ll Go
One of the ways sleep helps you sort stuff out is through your dreams.
Everybody dreams, but not everyone can remember them.
Experts believe that dreams give you a safe and distraction-free place to sort out problems. Somewhere to mull over events in your life and work through issues.
Sigmund Freud went even further, saying that dreams provide a way to live out your fantasies. To indulge those urges you can’t get away with in waking life.
So while dreams can help you do all of these things, lucid dreams enable you to go way beyond that.
A lucid dream is a dream in which you’re aware that you’re dreaming.
It’s like being awake in the dream and watching it unfold. But you can do more than simply observe.
When you’re lucid dreaming, you can control what happens.
You can get the guy or the girl. You can ride on the back of a dragon. You can fly to Mars and stop off on a cloud or meteor.
After all, if dreams really do help you live out your fantasies, why not exploit them?
Why not conduct a symphony orchestra, or become a secret agent? Build a house made of chocolate and then eat the whole thing? Score the winning goal in the Stanley Cup playoffs?
Or do anything else your heart desires?
To experience lucid dreaming, follow these steps.
1. Start off with the usual self-hypnosis techniques, getting relaxed and focusing on your breathing.
2. Tell yourself that you’re going to have a lucid dream:
“When I dream I want to be aware that I’m dreaming.”
3. Set your alarm to wake you 2 hours before you’d normally get up.
4. When it rings, don’t open your eyes as you shut it off. Instead, let your body go back to sleep but try to keep your mind alert.
It takes practice to get “inside” your dreams like this, but it can be done.
And once you get the hang of it, the sky’s the limit.
Although actually, there are no limits. You can do anything you want to do.
It’s another way hypnosis can help you use your sleep time to your advantage.
Of course, you can’t really ride on the back of a dragon when you’re asleep.
Or can you?
Taking Self-Hypnosis To A Higher Plane
In March of 2015, two Swiss explorers started out on an incredible journey.
Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg attempted a round-the-world trip in a solar plane.
It’s the first plane powered completely by the sun, able to fly without using a single drop of fuel.
Making them pioneers in the growing search for clean, renewable energy.
That’s pretty cool. Green with a capital G.
But what one of them is doing during the flight is even cooler than that.
Borschberg will take frequent 20-minute naps and use yoga and meditation to relax during the mammoth voyage.
Meanwhile, co-pilot Piccard is relying on self-hypnosis to help him stay focused on longer legs of the journey.
According to Piccard, normal wakefulness is full of distractions. Sights, sounds, smells, feelings.
They don’t just grab your attention – they also use up lots of energy.
And on long distances, you need as much energy and focus as you can get.
Self-hypnosis offers a way to save energy by switching focus from the outside to the inside.
Going into a light trance to get relaxed. Giving the body and mind a chance to regroup and refresh themselves.
As Piccard put it himself: “I’m completely relaxed – the body is sleeping, but the mind is alert.”
In this state Piccard is still able to check instruments, to communicate with mission control, and to even fly the plane!
Needless to say, you shouldn’t try this at home.
You might not want anyone flying a plane you’re on to take a quick nap halfway to your destination, either.
In this case, though, safety measures have been put in place to avoid mishaps.
The pilots are in contact with mission control center on the ground at all times.
And should an emergency arise, the sleeves of the pilot’s suit vibrate to warn them. Just in case they’re catching forty winks when things go wrong.
So not only is the plane energy-efficient, but the pilots are as well.
For more information on how to hypnotize yourself, check out this 6-step infographic.