Sleep hypnotherapy: hip or hype?

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Posted: Tuesday, June 3, 2014 4:21 pm

SARASOTA, Fla. -- We all know rest contributes to our physical and mental well-being, but many on the Suncoast are plagued by sleepless nights. What would you do to catch some ZZZ’s? How about hypnotherapy?

But could hypnotherapy benefit a good night’s sleep? Is it hip, or hype?

During slow wave sleep, cells are repaired, growth hormones are secreted, and immune systems are stimulated.

Many find the solution to sleepless nights in a good mattress.

“It should provide pressure relief, body temperature regulation.” Sarasota resident Reginald Ware says his short sleep times are age-related, but he sleeps fairly well with his CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine. “I normally get two or three good hours of sleep before I start to wake up.”

Good, deep, slow wave sleep is elusive to many in our community.

“Sleep is definitely a problem here on the Suncoast. I'm seeing more and more people that are complaining of sleep issues,” says Dr. George Rozelle of Mindspa in Sarasota.

But is hypnotherapy hip or hipe when it comes to catching some ZZZ's?

“Hip, it is definitely hip, because it works. Hypnotherapy can work for any number of things,” says Dr. Rozelle.

We are over stimulated, says Dr. Rozelle, who uses EEG biofeedback technology to gently guide the brain into a trance-like state. “It’s very helpful for sleep because people get stuck in over-active brain; hypnosis is a way to quiet the brain.”

Now a study published in the journal Sleep finds hypnotherapy beneficial for slow wave sleep. “It starts with a state of deep relaxation, and focused attention so you're able to quiet all of the chatter in the brain and that enabled the brain to get into more of a receptive state.”

Ware says he doesn’t think he needs hypnotherapy for sleep, but he's not opposed to the idea for other reasons. “I don't think I really need it for sleep, I need it probably to get over the trauma of putting the mask on.”


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