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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Thursday's Psychology Trivia: Can You Will Yourself to Get Deep Sleep?

Thought for the Day: It is well past the normal time for Thursday's Psychology Trivia, but better late than never on a busy week. It is a well-known fact that slow wave sleep (SWS) i.e., deep sleep, “plays a critical role in body restoration and promotes brain plasticity and our mental health; however, it markedly declines across the lifespan.” Here's today's trivia question:
True or False:Even when you are feeling sick or exhausted from a hard day’s work, no matter how much you wish for a good deep sleep, you may not be able to get it through your own will.
Read on for the answer... 

The answer is false

In a recent study, “Deepening Sleep by Hypnotic Suggestion,” Maren J. Cordi, Angelika A. Schlarb, Björn Rasch, from the Universities of Zurich and Fribourg, (SLEEP, 2014); demonstrated that hypnosis has a positive impact on the quality of sleep, Therefore, you can take control of your sleep using self hypnosis.

Seventy healthy young women took part in the study. At a sleep laboratory they took a 90-minute midday nap. Before falling asleep participants listened either to a 13-minute slow-wave sleep hypnosis tape or to a neutral spoken text. The subjects were divided into highly suggestible and low suggestible groups using a standard procedure (Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility). About one half of the general population is moderately suggestible.

Highly suggestible healthy women experienced 81% more slow-wave sleep and time spent awake was reduced by 67% after listening to a hypnosis tape compared to those who listened to a neutral text before going to sleep. Those who scored low on the suggestibility scale did not experience a difference in sleep patterns. The findings indicate that for some people who have difficulty falling asleep or reaching deep restful sleep, hypnosis offers a medicine free treatment solution.

Science Daily quotes psychologist Maren Cordi who believes "the results may be of major importance for patients with sleep problems and for older adults. In contrast to many sleep-inducing drugs, hypnosis has no adverse side effects." Anyone who responds to hypnosis could benefit from improved sleep without medication.

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