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To Sleep or Not to Sleep, Insomnia Relief

by Mark Johnson(more info)

listed in sleep and insomnia, originally published in issue 231 - July 2016


We need food, water and sleep to survive. If you really need to do so, you may be able to go a day or so without sleep, but just like your body needs fuel and hydration on a regular basis, it also needs rest in the form of sleep. What about those who are challenged when it comes to getting a good night sleep? While some people decide to take sleeping pills, others seek a more natural solution, hypnosis for insomnia.

There are multiple options when it comes to insomnia relief; often by the time someone turns to hypnosis for insomnia they have already tried most if not all of the other options. Hypnotherapy has been found to help people get a good night sleep without the use of over the counter or prescription medication, though there can be many variables involved for different people.

One of the more common ‘solutions’ when it comes to insomnia happens to be prescription medication. Due to the side effects, complications and potential dependence on these medications, some people are reluctant to go down that route. Sleeping pills can interact with other medications and often result in drowsiness the next day. Not only that; those who take prescription sleeping pills are twice as likely to be involved in automobile accidents as others.

Good Night Sleep


Just to be clear, it is not my place to tell my clients to take or stop taking any prescription medications. That said, most people who call me about insomnia and are taking sleeping pills would love to not have to rely on them any longer. Since I am not a doctor, I make sure they understand that it is not my place to discuss their prescription medications with them. I refer them back to the prescribing doctor should they decide to change or stop their medications.

Some people find a self-hypnosis recording, calming music or meditation can help them to get to sleep at night. This is a solution that many people discover on their own without the need to schedule an appointment with a hypnotherapist. Those who are unable to relax and get to sleep using these methods can find relief by visiting a qualified hypnotherapist.

Have you ever been lying in bed trying to go to sleep and found that the harder you try to go to sleep the more wide awake you become? In the hypnosis world, this is what is known as the law of reverse effect. The more you try to do something the more difficult it becomes. So relax and stop trying to go to sleep; you are making it more challenging for yourself.

One night I found myself tossing and turning, though I made sure I did not start saying “I can’t go to sleep” to myself. Then I started thinking, that’s what we do when we can’t sleep, right. I began to search for something different to say, something that would actually help me to get back to sleep. If saying “I can’t go to sleep” means I become more wide awake, I wondered what would happen if I said, “I can’t stay awake.” I tried it and it worked, for me at least.

Insomnia is often caused by excessive thinking or what some might call mind chatter. Thoughts continue to race through your mind, no matter how hard you try to stop them. Some people think about the day gone by and wonder what if I did this instead of that. Others focus on tomorrow or another time in the future. It does not matter if you are thinking about the past or the future, the result is the same. You end up tossing and turning in bed when you would rather be enjoying a deep, relaxing and restful night sleep. An effective hypnotic solution in this case is helping the client to focus on the here and now rather than becoming stressed about the past or the future.

Sleep problems are becoming more widespread, and many people who suffer from this challenge are open to hypnosis since it does not involve medication. In many cases, insomnia can be one of the simplest conditions to treat with hypnosis. As a matter of fact people get so relaxed when they are hypnotized that going to sleep while in hypnosis can be a problem. When someone is in hypnosis and they are tired, it is not uncommon for them to fall asleep if the hypnotist is not paying attention.

Even when working with hypnosis, it is important to establish a healthy sleep routine. There are important factors to keep in mind that will make it easier to drift off to sleep when that the time comes. Using hypnosis in conjunction with a healthy pre-bedtime routine provides a powerful combination that can result in a good night sleep. Some people even discover that establishing an effective pre-bedtime routine is all they need to enjoy a restful night sleep.

  • Allow yourself at least an hour to unwind before bedtime;
  • Maintain a regular sleep cycle, in other words go to sleep at the same time each night;
  • Avoid eating for at least a few hours before bedtime;
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, nicotine and prescription medications that may interfere with sleep;
  • Do not take a nap too late in the day.

In order to effectively work with hypnosis for insomnia it is important to begin by discussing the individual situation, since everyone is different. One person may have trouble going to sleep while another may wake up and find it difficult to get back to sleep. Others suffer from both versions of insomnia. Once the type of insomnia has been established it’s time to dig deeper into the situation.

People want to know how many sessions it will take to help them get relief from insomnia with hypnosis. It is impossible to provide a specific number of sessions since every situation is different. I usually let people know that it typically take 2 to 4 sessions, though results vary. Some people discover their issue is resolved in one session while others may require more than 4. Although some people may tell a client 5 sessions are required even before the first session, there is no way to know that for sure.

Many people associate hypnosis with sleep. In fact the word hypnosis is based on the word “Hypnos”, who was the ancient Greek god of sleep. Using self-hypnosis to go to sleep can be effective for some people, though it all depends on their situation.

In the initial hypnosis for insomnia session, I teach my clients how to hypnotize themselves. This includes specific instructions for using hypnosis to go to sleep. Like anything else, it is important to work with what you learn in order for it to be effective; hypnosis is no different. Those who use self-hypnosis on a daily basis, including using hypnosis to go to sleep, find it is a very effective way to get a good night sleep and sleep throughout the night.

Additional sessions are required for those with deeper issues involving stress and anxiety or other challenges. Depending on the root cause, which may be related to career, family, relationships, finances or a multitude of different situations, a variety of possibilities may present themselves. In cases such as these, often more therapeutic solutions are required. As we proceed through the process of resolving sleep problems, often other challenges tend to take care of themselves as well.

These clients usually have specific issues in their lives that make it difficult for them to get to sleep. The hypnotherapy processes I use with my clients for other challenges can be effective when it comes to hypnosis for insomnia. These are typically interactive processes that might include parts therapy, gestalt therapy, forgiveness of self and others or inner child work, just to name a few.

I have had clients contact me about other challenges they are facing and I often send them my free introduction to hypnosis recording before their session. It is not uncommon for them to tell me they play this recording every night and it helps them get to sleep. This recording includes no suggestions for going to sleep, but it does provide them with an opportunity to relax their body and mind. This is all they need to get a good night sleep and sleep throughout the night.

Hypnosis may not be able to help everyone who suffers from insomnia to find relief. However in the majority of cases, hypnosis has been found to be an effective solution for those who find it difficult to get to sleep. Not only that, the only side effects with hypnosis are positive ones, such as a calm and relaxed state of body, mind and soul.


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About Mark Johnson

Mark Johnson Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist Certified Master Trainer Alchemical Hypnotherapist is a Second Generation Hypnotherapist from Dallas, Texas who has been around Hypnosis since he was very young. His father Dr Robert M Johnson was a skilled Hypnotherapist who used hypnosis in his medical practice and began using hypnosis for childbirth in the 1960s. Like his father before him, Mark has studied with the top hypnotherapists in the world today. He sees hypnotherapy clients for a variety of challenges in his office in Dallas and also has offices in Houston and New Orleans. Mark also travels to Phoenix, Houston, New Orleans and Atlanta where he teaches Basic and Advanced Hypnotherapy with his wife Lana. Mark teaches Basic and Advanced Hypnotherapy in Dallas, Phoenix, Houston, New Orleans and Atlanta. Mark is a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with ACHE and a Certified Master Trainer with IACT. Discover more about Mark and Good Vibes Hypnosis Training when you visit

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