Drug-based hypnotics can be addictive or non-addictive. Of the addictive variety, there are the benzodiazepines like Halcion® and Restoril®. Zolpidem works on the same receptors as benzodiazepines but have a shorter duration of action. Of the non-addictive hypnotics, there are chloral hydrate and diphenhydramine, which is available over the counter and is gentle enough to be used in children and in older adults.
Hypnosis can be used in the same way as drug-based hypnotics. One goes through an induction with a CD or a hypnotherapist and is brought into a deep and relaxed state, after which suggestions are given that you are “very sleepy” and “unable to stay awake”. Truly susceptible people in a deep hypnotic trance will feel so sleepy that they cannot help but go to sleep. There is no “waking up period” during this type of hypnosis and the individual is allowed to sleep. This is why hypnotics-based hypnosis is best done on a CD that one just plays at home.
Some hypnotists can make hypnotics customized CDs for their clients based on the experiences of the client. The tape is made for the individual to use at home and hopefully to help them get a restful night’s sleep night after night using the CD or tape. A person can order an mp3 of a sleep digital tape that is put on their iPod and helps them drift off to sleep with a customizable mp3. It is amazing how well the individual can sleep without drugs.
So what are the pros and cons of each hypnotics variety? With drug based hypnotics, the individual will most likely get a good night’s sleep, at least for a while. There is a tendency to habituate to a hypnotic which is drug-based as the brain chemistry gets used to being on the drug. Eventually, it quits working as well as it once did and the individual may not sleep, even after taking the hypnotic. They must switch to a different hypnotic or increase the dose of the hypnotics they are taking.
With hypnosis as a hypnotic, there is less likely to be any habituation and the brain will continue to fall asleep when this form of hypnotics is used. In fact, one tends to become accustomed to the CD and will feel sleepy as soon as it is started. Your brain becomes used to the CD helping you fall asleep and you begin to feel like it is working in a Pavlovian way as soon as the CD is begun. It is unusual to become negatively habituated to a hypnosis CD.
Caterina Christakos is a published author and reviewer. Find out more about hypnosis and hypnosis training here: http://hypnosisorlando.net/