Why Hypnosis and Dreams ?

The combination of dream work and hypnosis is truly a profound and transforming experience where the healing nature of dreams, and the potential of hypnosis as a therapeutic and personal growth tool, comes to the fore. This type of regression is recommended to anyone wishing to seek self-knowledge and actualisation. Even a sliver of a memory of a dream can be useful in this work. This is an exciting and ever so personal exploration of your subconscious mind where you get to unlock and know the secrets of your dreams.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Preparing to Sleep and Dream

A peaceful night's sleep will create an environment in which dreams will flourish. Make going to bed a pleasurable ritual, a time when you can put the day behind you and concentrate on the relaxing night ahead. If you are in the habit of going to bed late, retire earlier. The natural human sleep pattern is to sleep early and wake early, so don't stay up late "pottering" or watching television.

Relaxation Techniques

Think of your bedroom as a restful haven in your home where you can get away from the stresses of the day. Don't put computers or piles of work in the bedroom. Keep lighting soft , low and warm and tidy away discarded clothes and other clutter.

A long soak in a a warm bath has a soothing effect on the body and can be further enhanced by adding aromatherapy oils. Essential oils are concentrated so add no more than 5-10 drops to a full bathtub (no more than 2 drops for children) and consult your doctor if you are pregnant.

Experiment until you find the fragrances that work for you but three oils are traditionally considered best for sleep. Lavender helps with insomnia, tension and tiredness; sandalwood is purifying warming and soothing and jasmine is a balancing oil which helps to relieve stress.

If you enjoy reading bring your favorite book with you or try listening to appealing music while you learn to let go.  Bathing by candlelight will also make the occasion more relaxing and special. Most of all, take your time and allow yourself to fully enjoy this private personal space and time set aside just for yourself.

Massage a few drops of lavender or chamomile oil into the soles of your feet before going to bed, as both of these will act as a sedative. Putting a few drops of lavender oil on your pillow will also help to induce sleep.  Avoid caffeine drinks such as coffee and tea at least an hour before retiring as they will probably keep you awake. Instead have a bedtime drink such as hot milk with honey, chamomile tea or lemon balm (a good restorative for the nervous system).

Once you are in bed, unwind physically by concentrating on the different parts of your body in turn, from your toes to your head. Think about each part and make sure that it is relaxed before moving on to the next: "I relax my toes, my toes are completely relaxed. I relax my calves, my calves are completely relaxed, and heavy.  I imagine my thighs are relaxed, I breathe through my thighs while taking a deep breath and this breath makes them relax... I imagine a white light of relaxation moving in as I breathe in and carrying all my tensions and worries away... I imagine this white light to be like a river... carrying downstream all that is not needed right now... letting go of thoughts, knowing I will be able to still find them downstream if I so wish tomorrow morning... I let my thoughts go to sleep too... I let go... I allow my torso to relax... I imagine my arms to be heavy and relaxed, limp and lazy, as heavy as lead, as relaxed as a wet dish cloth... I relax my hands... I relax my jaw... and so on and so forth.

Alternatively first tense and then release each group of muscles, starting at your toes and moving upwards through your calves, thighs, hands, arms, bottom, stomach, neck and face, giving your mouth, eyes, cheeks and eyebrows separate attention.

Finally, if you do sometimes have trouble dropping off to sleep, try not to worry about the amount of sleep you are getting, as your body will eventually make sure that you get all the sleep you need. The  the Law of Reverse Effect says that the more you worry about not going to sleep the more you will keep awake. Paradoxically if you accept that your sleep may be delayed and that you still are getting a rest by lying down quietly you are more likely to eventually fall asleep.  There is no point watching a pot that never boils. Do something else (read, write down your thoughts on a diary, listen to music, or just daydream) and eventually sleep will come. 

One good way to think about it is realizing that not sleeping is not really as bad as you may make it out to be. Think about it: you probably had a night in the past when you went to a party or had such a good night with a lover or a friend that you didn't sleep much. The day after the memory of that time kept you buzzing and you didn't really care that you had a couple hours sleep instead of eight full hours. This shows you that , far from being a catastrophe, not sleeping is just a slight inconvenience. You can still function if you don't sleep, albeit it would be preferable to sleep plenty but by re-framing not sleeping as something you can cope with, you don't allow your anxiety to get the best of you, and relaxing becomes easier.

However if you have persistent symptoms do make an appointment to see me or another qualified hypnotherapist who will be able to help you directly by teaching you self hypnosis and other techniques and giving you post hypnotic suggestions for a restful night sleep.

Preparing to Dream

Before switching off the light, tell yourself that you will relax body and mind, go to sleep quickly and sleep uninterruptedly through to the morning. Or simply repeat to yourself "I will remember my dreams". Say this as an affirmation, a positive and gentle way of telling your subconscious that you feel in control and you are interested.

Just as essential oils can help you to relax, certain herbs are thought to be conducive to dreaming. The following herbs can be put in a small sachet and kept under your pillow.
Mugworth is said to aid dream recall and also to induce "prophetic" dreams. Rose has a relaxing smell and like Mugworth  is supposed to bring prophetic dreams - especially those of romantic nature. Rosemary is useful for warding off nightmares and bringing restful sleep; it is also said to be effective if you want a particular question answered in a dream.

Finally, hang a "dream-catcher"  above your bed. Originating from Native American culture, this is a net woven on a round frame decorated with beads and feathers. The net is thought to catch bad dreams, which evaporate with the first rays of the morning sun, while the good dreams drift down onto the sleeper below.

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