Hello readers! First of all, I want to wish you all a Happy New Year. I hope that your holidays were full of joy and love.
As always happens this time of year, we’re in the winter doldrums. The next six weeks will feel like the “day after Christmas” as we’ve moved on from the busyness and socializing from the holidays to a state of questionable weather and days that still get dark in the afternoon (although we get lighter by two minutes every day!).
The New Year is a time when we cast away the negative and try to focus on the positives in life. It’s a chance to make resolutions, change habits and generally live a happier, healthier, more successful life. Of course, however you measure success is up to you.
As someone with complex health issues, something that I consciously work on is feeling and staying as “good” as possible. While I’m sure that how I view as a good day differs from how “healthier” people do, I think it’s natural for us to want to make lifestyle changes. It’s why the opening of gym memberships and showing of diet commercials soar in January.
One area that I think most people can improve upon is sleep. Most of us probably don’t get enough hours of sleep, and of the time we do spend slumbering, we’re probably lacking in quality as well. There are so many tools you can use to try to sleep, from medication to meditation, using home remedies like drinking warm milk or turning on a fan for white noise.
I wanted to share something that I began doing last summer. It might sound silly, but it works for those nights when my mind won’t shut off.
I’ve often wondered if I could be hypnotized, so I googled it one day. I eventually landed on Youtube, and found some videos tagged “sleep hypnosis.” I looked at a few different channels, but the creator of one particular channel seemed to “speak” to me. Jody Whiteley’s channel had a whole list of options, covering various topics such as Anxiety, Wish Fulfillment, and Lucid Dreaming, in both long and short-length videos.
NOTE: The videos mostly feature swishy, rainbow-colored graphics, but the process is more about listening, so I usually just put my phone under my pillow.
The description suggested to do it at night or during a time of day (for example, an afternoon nap) when you could devote quiet, uninterrupted time. That night, I hesitantly put on my headphones, opened up her Youtube channel on my phone, and clicked the “Anxiety” video I had found earlier, and hit play.
The video was about 2 hours long.
Jody guided me through whole-body relaxation and the process of addressing my anxiety. I have to admit that at first, her voice kind of freaked me out, but early on in the recording, she said to “look” (listen?) past the tone or her voice. I fell asleep before the video ended, but she assured me that the message would still sink into my subconsciousness, that I would continue to benefit from the suggestions she gave me to dealing with my anxiety.
The journey led me into such a deep, restful sleep, that 7 or 8 hours later when I woke up, I was in the same body position as I was when I began the recording. Interestingly, at some point when the video finished, I was aware enough to reach under my pillow and turn off the phone, but not wake up and ruin the work I had done to fall asleep.
NOTE: I don’t know how other smart phones work, but with the iPhone, the screen will stay “on” for the duration of the video, whether it’s 10 minutes or 8 hours (yes, some are that long!). It’s a good idea to plug in your phone to keep it charged during the night, in case you do not wake up and it’s “playing” and uses up the battery. I also keep the screen on the lowest brightness setting to conserve power.
I have experienced a number of positive results through listening to these videos, including:
- Treating acute insomnia
- Treating acute anxiety and obsessive thoughts at night
- Helping me cope with acute depression
- Help me physically relax during painful Pancreatitis flareups
- Help me gain control over erratic breathing that accompanies Lung infections
- Help me visualize goals
I challenge any of you who have problems trying to sleep, or those interested in using self-hyponosis to attain various goals. I was really nervous at first, but have found real value in listening to these “tapes”. I’d love to know if you try it out, so please use the comment form below to share your thoughts and experiences!