Using hypnosis to put your child to sleep
Most parents hope that bedtime is going to be this angelic moment with their little one. A sweet time of loving affection, deep calm and simple sleep dreaminess. Unfortunately this is the time when parents and children are both exhausted, strung out and under great strain. It can be an incredibly stressful time fraught with frustration, tears and tantrums and the kids can be pretty awful too. This whole time is made so much worse because all of tension makes the child much less likely to enjoy going to sleep easily.
As a hypnotherapist I decided to use hypnosis to help my daughter settle at bedtime and it worked brilliantly. My daughter called it sleepy voice and we both came to love it. I used it from around 18 months onwards and for the first few years I used it at least three times a week. Sometimes I would use a longer version if she was particularly wired and sometimes I would use an abbreviated version for just a minute or so to help her drop off quickly.
What follows is the script that I used with my daughter, which you can gently read to your child at bedtime to help them sleep more naturally. It also sets them up to be more likely to wake up in a good mood.
When you read this it is important that you are relaxed and as you read it do your best to feel like you are falling asleep. Your voice should sound gentle and soothing like a verbal lullaby. Relax your body and make sure you are comfortable. Where you see three dots, pause and where you see a word in bold allow that word to carry extra sleepy emphasis. Words in brackets are additional tips that I recommend) This technique can work very quickly but its power will grow over time. The great thing about this process is overtime it trains your child to fall asleep very easily. I very rarely need to use this technique as my daughter now sleeps brilliantly.
In a few moments time I am going to begin the Sleepy Voice, this voice will help you first become very still, and then it will help you begin to notice something quite magical in your body... I wonder if you can begin to notice these special feelings moving down through your body...Now get very still (apply pressure on their limbs and body to bring them into stillness if needs be. Get them to stop fidgeting and get them to become as still as possible. Making it a game if you need to.) Now let go of two big yawns... feel those yawns let your body know that it is time to be still, time to relax (start making your voice more sleepy now and yawn and sigh with them feeling yourself getting and sounding more sleepy.) And now the Sleepy Voice begins...
I want you to notice that this voice will make you feel sleep going to different parts of your body. This voice will make you feel sleepiness in different parts of your body....and it will remind your body what it loves about sleep... what it loves about having lots of energy and happiness in the morning... and so just notice the top of your head starting to feel sleepy (touch the top of their head gently) ... and just notice that warm sleepy feeling moving down your forehead (lightly cup the forehead or touch lightly) ... notice how you can barely notice the sleepiness but you can feel something getting more relaxed... more sleepy, bit by bit, and now notice the sleepiness is moving down the nose and down the face... you may also notice the warm sleepiness is moving down the back of your head into your neck....more and more sleepy as we continue... listening to this voice ...feeling more and more sleepy...
and your body remembering how much it loves sleep.. and so in the morning you wake up feeling really good, rested and full of energy but now you are feeling more and more tired... and so as you listen to this sleepy voice (make the voice more sleepy now- making sure they are keeping as still as possible- you can also continue to touch their bodies where you are directing their attention) so the sleepiness is now spreading down throughout your body....notice your arms are feeling heavy and tired... wanting to go to sleep... notice your shoulders and back are relaxing... more and more sleepy... more and more still... more and more relaxed
... that's it... yes... as you listen to this voice you can feel your tummy feeling sleepy, your back feeling sleepy, every part of your body going to sleep, loving going to sleep... deeper and deeper... more and more relaxed... and so now you can feel your bottom is going to sleep and your legs are feeling heavy and tired...wanting to go to sleep... wanting to relax and rest so you can have a lovely day tomorrow... deeper and deeper... (letting your voice get super sleepy now. You should feel as you are delivering this that you are falling off to sleep yourself) more and more relaxed... sleepy... sleepy... and sleep... going to sleep... more and more easily every night... loving sleeping more and more easily....every night...now...and now your toes are feeling very tired and relaxed... and so as you listen to this voice more and more so it makes you feel more and more sleepy more quickly... going to sleep, feeling sleepy.., going to sleep. More and more relaxed....
Depending on how long you feel they need you can take your time covering different body parts, taking as long as you like. In the beginning it can be worth doing it for at least 5 minutes really taking your time to include lots of body parts but once they get used to it, they will respond to it very quickly. The more you can believe it will work, the more likely it is to have an impact on them. Don't underestimate the power of this simple technique.
Tom Fortes Mayer
Happiness author, Hypnotherapist, Hypnotherapy Trainer and Founder of The FreeMind project Charity which is dedicated to helping parents raise happy, successful children.