What is sleep hypnosis and does it really work?

The word hypnosis may conjure up images of a mysterious stranger swinging a pocket watch, but it is a form of psychotherapy that allows for a changed state of awareness, according to the Mayo Clinic (opens in new tab). Some practitioners use it to treat mental health conditions, sleep issues and pain, or to tackle unhealthy habits such as smoking and overeating.

The aim of sleep hypnosis is to address the negative thoughts and emotions that disrupt good sleep. However, although some studies have shown positive effects, there is not yet enough research to support its use as a treatment of choice, Maja Schaedel, a clinical psychologist and sleep specialist at Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, and co-founder of The Good Sleep Clinic (opens in new tab), told Live Science. Below, we take a closer look at the available research for sleep hypnosis to see how it stacks up.

How does sleep hypnosis work?

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Andrew Naughtie

News reporter and author at @websalespromo