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Hypnosis for treatment of insomnia in school-age children.

04 Oct

Hypnosis is found to be an effective form of therapy for insomnia in school age children, according to a retrospective record review at the State University of New York (S.U.N.Y.) at Syracuse..

Researchers from the State University of New York at Syracuse explored the efficacy of hypnosis for insomnia in school age children. A retrospective chart review was performed for 84 children and adolescents with insomnia, excluding those with central or obstructive sleep apnea.

All patients were offered and accepted instruction in self-hypnosis for treatment of insomnia, and for other symptoms if it was felt that these were amenable to therapy through hypnosis. Seventy-five patients returned for follow-up after the first hypnosis session. Their mean age was 12 years (range, 7-17). When insomnia did not resolve after the first instruction session, patients were offered the opportunity to use hypnosis to gain insight into the cause.

The study found that younger children were more likely to report that the insomnia was related to fears. Two or fewer hypnosis sessions were provided to 68% of the patients. Of the 70 patients reporting a delay in sleep onset of more than 30 minutes, 90% reported a reduction in sleep onset time following hypnosis. Of the 21 patients reporting nighttime awakenings more than once a week, 52% reported resolution of the awakenings and 38% reported improvement.

Additionally, somatic complaints amenable to hypnosis were reported by 41%, including chest pain, dyspnea, functional abdominal pain, habit cough, headaches, and vocal cord dysfunction. Among these patients, 87% reported improvement or resolution of the somatic complaints following hypnosis.

The study concludes that the use of hypnosis appears to be an effective and efficient form of therapy for insomnia in school-age children.

Citation: Anbar RD, Slothower MP. Hypnosis for treatment of insomnia in school-age children: a retrospective chart review. BIOMED CENTRAL Pediatrics. 2006 Aug 16; 6: 23. 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