Posted on

Does hypnosis work if you fall asleep?

does hypnosis work if you fall asleep


Check out Mark’s new app and get access to all of his guided meditation / hypnosis sessions here

Click the thumbnail above or scroll down to read the article.

I think you’ll agree with me when I say that it’s difficult to know what information to believe on the internet. What’s true and who do you trust? It’s the same with hypnosis and hypnotherapy.

Why should you believe what I’m about to tell you?

I am a qualified and practicing hypnotherapist. I’ve helped 1000’s of people around the globe, both with my audio sessions and on a 1-2-1 basis. I’ve helped celebrities and professional athletes and I produced the first inflight hypnotherapy channel in partnership with British Airways.

That’s not all…


Perhaps more importantly than any of the above is that I continue to ensure that I am up-to-date with the latest and most cutting edge techniques and knowledge into the brain. The information here is not something that I read from another Hypnotherapists websites (of which they got it from someone else’s… and so on!).

The information here is from the latest journal articles, my latest supervision and continual personal development and a whole host of other reputable and respected areas.

In short. You’re in good hands.

Click to see a list of all of Mark’s Hypnosis Downloads.

As a Hypnotherapist I am always striving to give people more information about the subject. I’ve never come across anything else that is so effective at changing human thinking, behaviour and even physiology. The problem with Hypnosis is that it still has many outdated beliefs that are very unhelpful.

Neuroscience and the study into the brain has made rapid advances over the past decades and continue to do so. With these advances into our understanding of the brain, there has also been advances in our understanding of hypnosis and

hypnosis while sleeping
My EEG machine

hypnotherapy as well as what happens during sleep.

The problem:

The problem is that many people’s understanding of hypnosis are outdated and confused. Indeed, I had someone recently on Twitter say that what i did was like ‘lamp rubbing’! Although I’ve never heard of the term before ‘lamp rubber’, I can only assume that they were comparing Hypnotherapy with charlatan methods! Maybe they saw me as something like a witch doctor!?

Here’s the deal:

However, nothing could be further from the truth. Evidence has always been important for me, from my days as an operational officer with the National Crime Agency and now as someone who is committed to helping people live fulfilling lives.

When it comes to looking at hypnosis while sleeping and whether it is effective, I want evidence. I’m not content to look at other hypnotherapists websites and see what they think about falling asleep during hypnosis. Where are they getting their facts from? Other hypnotherapy websites? Outdates theories or beliefs? Maybe even personal opinion. Indeed when I’ve looked to see what others are saying some say ‘yes’ sleeping during hypnosis is still effective. Whilst others say hypnosis while sleeping simply does not work.


Self hypnosis while sleeping (dividing opinion)

So what is the answer? One hypnotherapist writes on his website that since research has been carried out on the topic that our hearing acts like a surveillance camera and is operating all of the time and whilst your eyes can close your ears cannot. As they remain open they are taking in information constantly, whether you are asleep during hypnosis or not.

A user of self hypnosis downloads seems to back this up with their review. I listened to Natural Self Confidence… while falling asleep every night for close to a year. It worked wonders for me.

Another Hypnotherapist suggests that sleeping during hypnosis is not a good thing and that you need to be awake when listening to their hypnosis downloads. Another looks to back this up with their claim that you don’t learn when you are asleep and that this is a myth to sell you self-help and language learning tapes.

An interesting point:

Another hypnotherapist makes another interesting point and asks whether you are actually asleep or ‘under hypnosis’? Are you thinking that you are asleep during hypnosis but then you awaken at the end, when told to come out of your trance? This, he says would suggest that you are taking instructions from the hypnotist and rather than being asleep you are under hypnosis the whole time.

So, as you can see, there is much divided opinion out there. If you ask one person then you’d be thinking that hypnosis is effective wile sleeping, yet if you ask another person they will tell you that hypnosis is ineffective while sleeping. But, like I said, I’m only interested in evidence. Imagine, if when I worked for the NCA we relied on opinion to prosecute criminals rather than evidence?

Hypnosis and hypnotherapy into the modern day

If we are going to make the most out of advances into brain and get the very best out of hypnotherapy we have to stop doing 2 things. Firstly, relying on opinion, and secondly living in the past. If the latest advancements in our understanding of the brain is to be translated into the most effective hypnotherapy, then all Hypnotherapists have a duty to stay up-to-date with the latest advancement. My own Triple Impact Hypnosis Downloads is my commitment to staying at the cutting edge of science and providing the best tools available.

Self hypnosis while sleeping (the evidence)

1998 Study about subconscious learning while sleeping

Studies into the brain are advancing all of the time. This study was approximately 20 years ago and we have made even more advances since this time. It is still very relevant, however, as most opinions about hypnotherapy have not changed in 50 years. Not only this but the devices used are still the same devices that are used in modern hospitals today (MRI and CT scans). In this study at Johns Hopkins University, electrodes were implanted directly onto the human cortex.

She played various tone patterns while the patients were awake,during light sleep and during deep sleep. The electrodes detected which portions of the brain were activated and could see that the same parts of the brain that were engaged when audio was played when the subjects were awake were also engaged when the subjects were in light and deep sleep.subconscious learning while sleeping

This is an interesting study and shows that the brain is aware of acoustics during sleep, but it doesn’t prove or disprove whether the brain is able to respond by having an awareness of the specific information. In order to find this out we can look at a much more recent study.


2015 study regarding subconscious learning while sleeping

One of the most recent studies into the sleeping hypnosis question, was by scientist Megan Scudellari. This article, in New Scientist looked into how the brain functions during sleep when audio information is being heard. They used an electroencephalography (EEG) machine when doing this. This is a scientific device with small sensors that are attached to the scalp. These sensors then pick up the electrical signals produced when brain cells send messages to each other. This is a recognised devise and one that is used as standard in many hospitals. As you can see in the above image. I use one myself with my hypnotherapy clients to show them in real time how their brain is operating. Although mine (despite the cost!) is far less sophisticated than the ones that you will see in hospitals!

The research by Scudellari showed that during sleep the brain does not switch off. It reviews and stores memories. Not only this but the part of the brain that processes auditory information is active during sleep and responds preferentially to meaningful information. And even more, the brain continues to engage with verbal information even after you have fallen asleep.

This is one of the most up-to-date studies on the subject and uses scientifically recognised ways of recording brain activity. The study also goes on to say that the brain cannot only extract meaning from acoustically presented information but can also prepare a response and come to a decision. The brain processes new information therefore even when asleep, the brain is active and ready to learn.


Summing up whether sleeping during hypnosis is effective.

Opinion = divided.
Scientific studies = Sleeping during hypnosis is still effective.

I’m sure I will add to this blog post in the future as I find more relevant information on the subject. When we look at opinion on whether self hypnosis will work when you are asleep it is very much divided. However, when we look at scientific studies it suggests that being asleep during hypnosis is still effective. Opinions are often outdated, but scientific studies are much better indicators.

Check out Mark’s new app and get access to all of his guided meditation / hypnosis sessions here

One thought on “Does hypnosis work if you fall asleep?

  1. A great sense of relief has washed over me after reading this . . . and then I remembered something and checked my journal from 1999. I wrote this when my daughter was in a coma after a major stroke. “I sit by her bed, here in ICU at 2.15am. Her hand rests in mine as I pray to God to allow me to be her mum just a little while longer. I talk to her and tell her she is my baby ‘Your hand is so small, so fragile, as it rests in mine and it’s like I’m holding your baby hand again.” When she awoke three weeks later and began asking a thousand questions of what happened to her and I had to relive those lost weeks , she then said to me: “Is my hand really like a baby’s hand? I’m 17 Mum!! (even though she was 23). So, this tells me that she heard some of my words while in coma and I guess then that it’s the same when we sleep and I am still able to hear your words Mark. Wow! That’s brought back some painful yet beautiful memories . . . reminded me even more of God’s love . . . and in a way, answered my question about hypnosis during sleep . . although it’s different circumstances. Tears of sadness now, yet tears of joy. Thank you so very much.

Leave a Reply