Written by Nicola Griffiths
I’m frequently being asked if it matters if “I drop off to sleep during hypnosis”, or “how the brain can change by listening to a download when I’m asleep”? So I was delighted to see a recent bit of research on sleep, by Researcher Sid Kouider, which proved that I had for the last 10 years been answering the questions correctly!
Using both MRI and EEG techniques, Kouider looked to see how humans process information, both consciously and unconsciously, and his studies demonstrated that during sleep the brain does not switch off, instead it is actively engaged in reviewing and storing memories.
We already know how REM sleep works, that the brain is busy moving information from the emotional, primitive mind to the sensible, intellectual mind. How this happens is now being discovered and reported by Koudier in his work. During the pre-REM stage of sleep, not only can the brain extract meaning from acoustically presented information, but it can also prepare a response and come to a decision – all whilst we’re asleep!
I recall some years ago a psychiatrist telling me that “If we relax before going to bed then we get a better night’s sleep”. Well my response was “No surprise there then”! Yet it constantly surprises me how people put themselves through the mental wringer of The News (whether on TV or radio), a thriller, or some such negative experience and then complain of insomnia.
So next time someone says “Sweet dreams”, take it literally and think positive thoughts as you drift off. It’s far better to be processing good stuff than bad, therefore pick up a good non-frightening book, listen to some relaxing music, or better still, watch a good episode of old-fashioned comedy – my favourite at the moment is Yes Minister (By Jove they knew how to write a good comedy back then).
Nicola Griffiths DHP, HPD MNCH, SFBT Sup (Hyp).
Clinic Proprietor / Senior Lecturer / Clinical Hypnotherapist
Cirencester Hypnotherapy & Health Centre
84 Dyer Street, Cirencester, Glos GL7 2PF