November 5, 2014

Get a Good Night’s Sleep without Medication

Get a Good Night’s Sleep without Medication

Sleeping well is a crucial factor contributing to our physical and mental well-being. During periods of deep sleep, cell repair is promoted, the immune system is stimulated and memory function is positively impacted. Lack of good sleep is a serious health issue for many individuals who suffer from insomnia and other sleep disorders.

Sleep medications are often addictive. The good news is that science is now providing evidence for successful alternative treatments. Sleep researchers from the Universities of Zurich and Fribourg have demonstrated that hypnosis has a positive impact on the quality of sleep. Their recently published study opens up the opportunity for improving the quality of sleep without the use of medications.

To objectively measure sleep, electrical brain activity was recorded using an electroencephalogram (EEG). Scientists were able to prove that highly suggestible women experienced 80 percent more slow-wave sleep after listening to a hypnosis tape, compared with sleep after listening to a neutral text. In contrast to highly suggestible women, low suggestible female participants did not benefit as much from hypnosis. With additional control experiments, the psychologists confirmed that the beneficial impact of hypnosis on slow-wave sleep could attribute to the hypnotic suggestion to “sleep deeper,” and could not be reduced to mere expectancy effects. In other words, those who were suggestible enough for hypnosis slept better than others. Everyone who responds to hypnosis could potentially benefit from improved sleep and better health through hypnosis therapy.

This is an important result. According to psychologist and study researcher Maren Cordi:

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.”

Another study, published by the Harvard School of Medicine and the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, recently revealed how we fall into deep sleep. Fully half of all of the brain’s sleep-promoting activity originates in the brainstem, the part of the brain that regulates basic functions necessary for survival, such as breathing, blood pressure, heart rate and body temperature. The close association of a sleep center with other regions that are critical for life highlights the importance of sleep in the brain.

Regular, quality sleep is essential to overall physical and mental health. The highly addictive risks of sleep medications are a growing social problem. Many people unwittingly become addicted to prescription drugs, which are often over prescribed and frequently used longer than recommended. Seek further information about addiction from a healthcare provider. Physicians can help individuals use alternative therapies to overcome sleep disorders without the use of potentially addictive medications.

 

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-06/uoz-her060214.php

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-09/uab-nsn091814.php

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