We can all agree it’s difficult to know what information to trust on the Internet. In the era of information, we do not always know what’s real and what’s not, whom to trust and who not to. This is true for everything we find online, and it’s also true for hypnosis and hypnotherapy.
Why should you believe me? Why should you trust what you’re reading?
I am a qualified hypnotherapist. Through my practice, I’ve helped thousands of people around the world, both on a one to one basis and with my audio sessions. I have helped professional athletes and celebrities overcome their anxiety and depression, and I produced the first in-flight hypnotherapy channel with the help of my partners at British Airways.
And that’s not all…
Probably more important than my previous achievements is my drive to be up-to-date with the latest scientific discoveries and cutting-edge techniques focusing on the brain. The information you find here is not something I rehashed from other hypnotherapy websites (which they probably got from someone else, and so on). The information I post on my website is based on the latest journal articles, from my latest professional experiences, and a whole host of reputable and authoritative sources.
In short, you’re in good hands.
As a hypnotherapist, I strive to offer my patients more information about the subject. I’ve never met anything that’s as effective at changing human behavior, thinking patterns, and psychology as solid, reliable information.
I firmly believe the field of hypnosis suffers from being shrouded by outdated beliefs. Some people still see hypnosis as something mystical, which I hope you agree is nonsense.
The scientific advancements in neuroscience and the technological advances of the recent years have allowed us to better understand the brain. Now, we have the possibility to see how the brain works with the help of EEG machines and fMRIs. These advancements have also helped us understand how hypnosis and hypnotherapy work, and what happens during sleep.
The problem with hypnotherapy and hypnosis is that many people fail to understand them. Their beliefs are outdated and confusing, and they think these procedures are nothing short of scamming methods. Indeed, I recently had someone accuse me on Twitter that what I do is like ‘lamp rubbing’. Although I’ve never previously heard of the term ‘lamp rubber’, I can only assume they were claiming hypnotherapists (including myself) are charlatans. Maybe they believed I claimed to be something like a witch doctor?!
Here’s the deal,
Nothing could be further from the truth. I value evidence. I did so when I was working as an operational officer in the National Crime Agency, and I do so now as someone whose purpose is helping people live fulfilling lives.
I would not use, nor would I recommend something without having solid evidence of its efficiency. That’s why I originally had my doubts when learning about hypnosis while sleeping. I couldn’t base my opinion on what other hypnotherapists were saying on the subject. Where were they getting their information from? Were they doing their own research, or were they simply copying information found online, claiming it as their own? Were they encouraging outdated theories or beliefs?
I wanted to know if hypnosis was really efficient during sleep, so I started doing my research.
Check out this guide, which uses elements of hypnosis and hypnotherapy to overcome anxiety naturally.
So what is the verdict? Well, things are more complicated than you might think.
One hypnotherapist claims research carried out on the topic says our hearing acts as a surveillance device and operates at all times, while our eyes rest when we are sleeping. According to him, our ears are always open and they pick up information constantly, whether we are awake or asleep during the hypnosis session. One client backs up this information in a review. She claims that listening to a confidence hypnosis session whole falling asleep worked wonders for her.
Another hypnotherapist suggests sleeping during hypnosis is not beneficial and says clients should be awake when listening to their hypnosis downloads. Another one of my colleagues backs this claim, saying people cannot learn while they sleep and accusing anyone saying the contrary that they are trying to increase their sells.
Here’s an interesting point I came across in my research. A hypnotherapist asks whether you are actually sleeping or ‘under hypnosis’. Does your brain believe you sleep during a hypnosis session and that you awake when the session ends and you come out of the trance? In a one-to-one session this is easily answered since you are taking instructions from the hypnotherapist, so you’re not asleep. But what about audio sessions, do you sleep during these sessions or are you under hypnosis?
As you can see, hypnotherapists are divided on the subject. One specialist might say hypnosis is effective while sleeping, the other might tell you it’s nothing but a scam to increase sells. But like I said, I’m only interested in evidence, and here’s what evidence has to say.
I believe that if we want to make the most out of the scientific and technological advancements regarding the brain and hypnotherapy we need to stop living in the past and relying on opinion. The evidence is out there for the taking, and we only need to interpret it. The latest advancements and our increased understanding of the brain can be translated into the most effective hypnotherapy sessions to date. All hypnotherapists have the obligation to stay updated with the latest advancements and implement them in their own practices. My Triple Impact Hypnosis Downloads represent my commitment to using the cutting edge of science to provide the best available tools for my clients.
We’ve seen that hypnotherapists have divided opinions on whether or not hypnosis is effective while sleeping. But what does the evidence say?
Studies on the brain advance all the time. Even though this study was conducted over 20 years ago and we’ve made significant advances since then, it’s is still very relevant to this day. In fact, since most opinions on hypnotherapy are the same as they were 50 years ago, we could consider the conclusions presented in this study as being recent. This study was considered groundbreaking at the time because it used some of the medical devices we still use in hospitals today (CT scans and MRIs).
The study was carried out at the prestigious Johns Hopkins University. The subjects participating in the study had electrodes implanted directly onto their brains, more specifically on their cortex. With the help of the electrodes, the scientists were able to pinpoint the area of the brain responsible for our hearing. But the study went even further and explored what happened if the subjects were listening to various audio tones while they were awake, during their light sleep cycle, and during deep sleep.
What’s interesting about this study is that it proved our brains are aware of acoustics during sleep. Now, the study didn’t go as far as to test whether or not the subjects recalled anything they heard while they were asleep, but thanks to it we know for certain our brains register noises while we sleep.
But that brings us to our next study.
In 2012, the scientists at Northwestern University published a very interesting study. According to this study, if you’ve been practicing a specific piece of music, hearing it again while sleeping helps you play it more accurately when you wake up.
The participants of this study learned to play two songs by pressing keys in sequence, something similar to what you might have seen on popular video games like Guitar Hero. During a nap break, one of the tunes was played on repeat when the subjects’ brains were under the influence of the slow-wave sleep. The slow-wave sleep is considered to be a crucial period for memory consolidation.
When the participants woke up, they were better at both tunes, indicating that the nap helped them consolidate their newfound knowledge. However, the subjects’ accuracy was significantly improved for the tune they heard (without knowing) while they were asleep.
This study’s conclusions indicate our brains are not only capable of hearing what’s happening while we’re asleep, but they can also memorize what they hear.
And that’s better explained in our next study.
A recent study on subconscious learning while sleeping was carried out in 2015 by scientist Megan Scudellari. The article focused on how the brain works during sleep when it hears something. The scientists used an electroencephalography (EEG) machine to register the brain’s activity. The EEG machine uses small sensors attached to the subject’s scalp to pick up the electrical signals produced by the brain to help cells communicate. EEG machines are used for brain scans in hospitals all around the world. As you could see in the picture above, I also own an EEG machine. I use this device to show my hypnotherapy clients in real time how their brains work. Despite its cost, my device is far less sophisticated than those used in top hospitals around the world.
The study showed that the brain does not switch off during sleep. Instead of dozing off, the brain is busy reviewing and storing memories. But the brain is more active while we sleep than we previously believed. According to this study, the brain processes auditory information just as it would when we’re awake. Not only that, but the brain actually responds preferentially to meaningful information. Even more, the brain engages with verbal information even if we’re fast asleep.
This is a recent research that used modern technology to study the brain, so we can consider it up to date. The study concludes the brain not only hears the information, but it also processes it and prepares a response, making decisions while we sleep. Therefore, we can safely say the brain is active and ready to learn while sleeping.
As I previously said in the article, the opinions of hypnotists are divided. Some of them agree hypnosis is effective while sleeping, some do not.
However, the scientific studies, the palpable evidence suggest that sleeping during hypnosis is still effective.
I am sure I will come back to this blog post and update it as time passes and new information becomes available. For now, we can safely say that even though some hypnotists might not agree, being asleep during hypnosis is an effective way to address your problems.
Opinions can be outdated or anchored in false beliefs, but scientific studies are always indicators we can trust.