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Can Hypnosis Eliminate Sleepwalking, Night Terrors, Bedwetting & Other Parasomnias?

10 Mar

Researchers from the Sleep Disorders Center at the Mayo Clinic College in Rochester, MN replicated and extended an earlier study (by Hurwitz et al, 1991) looking at the effectiveness of one or two sessions of hypnosis in substantially improving “parasomnias” (sleep disorders such as sleepwalking, sleep-eating, nightmares, night terrors, bedwetting, sleep sex, teeth grinding, sleep talking,  restless legs syndrome, and so on) up to five years later.

The study sample consisted of thirty-six patients (19 male, 17 female), ages ranging from 6 to 71, with an average age of 32.7 years.  Four were children aged 6 to 16.  All had chronic,  self-sustaining parasomnias.  All underwent 1 or 2 hypnotherapy sessions and were then followed with a questionnaire for 5 years.

Of the 36 patients, 45.4% were symptom-free or at least much improved at the 1-month follow-up, 42.2% at the 18-month follow-up, and 40.5% at the 5-year follow-up.  The study concludes that one or two sessions of hypnotherapy might be an efficient, first-line therapy for patients with certain types of parasomnias. [Ed. Note:  This supports the idea that an altered state intervention is a best practice for an altered state disorder.  We cannot help wonder what 3,4 or 5 sessions of hypnotherapy might do!]

Citation:  Peter J. HauriMichael H. Silber, Bradley F. Boeve The treatment of parasomnias with hypnosis: a 5-year follow-up studyJournal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. 2007 Jun 15; 3 (4): pages 369-73. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award