Guided Sleep Meditation vs Hypnosis: Difference & Similarities

guided sleep meditation vs hypnosis

Guided sleep meditation and Hypnosis are different but similar. Learn more about guided sleep meditation vs hypnosis here.


Hypnosis is a state of consciousness in which a person increases his attention and concentration. It is often described as a sleep-like or trance-like state. Hence, it overlaps with another form of mind training: Guided Sleep Meditation. This article will show you the similarities and differences and how you can use both to achieve relaxation.

Hypnosis: Myths & Facts

Look into my eyes.” This is probably the first thing you expect to hear a hypnotherapist say when he is about to conduct a hypnosis session. Many think Hypnosis involves looking into a therapist’s eyes or a swinging pocket watch. It’s not your fault. We’ve seen this too many times in movies and TV shows. Despite the negative views, Hypnosis is a legit treatment. According to Irving Kirsch, a lecturer and director of the Programme in Placebo Studies at Harvard Medical School, it can help people with weight loss, anxiety and stress. Below, you look at the myths and the facts about Hypnosis.

Everyone Will Benefit from Hypnosis Quickly

Not everyone will benefit from Hypnosis. Some people have a naturally high hypnotic suggestibility level. These people respond to hypnotic suggestions positively and will more likely benefit from Hypnosis. However, even if their hypnotic suggestibility level is high, there will still be some suggestions they will not respond to.

Furthermore, Hypnosis is not a quick fix. However, study shows it is a beneficial treatment for anxiety, depression, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), obesity, pain, and others. But the treatment takes time. Therefore, healing is not likely to happen after just one session of Hypnosis.

Hypnosis can Treat Conditions on its Own

Hypnosis is beneficial as a treatment for many conditions. But it shouldn’t be used as a stand-alone treatment. Hypnosis is effective only when used with other treatments and therapies, such as medication, psychotherapy, and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).

You Cannot Resist Hypnotic Suggestions

This myth is one of the most ridiculous myths about Hypnosis out there. Unfortunately, it is the one that gives Hypnosis a bad rap. You will maintain self-control even in Hypnosis, and you can resist the therapist’s suggestions. You will not turn into a robot or a zombie who will do whatever the therapist suggests. Hypnosis can enhance your mind-body control.

Dr. David Spiegel, a hypnosis expert and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine, says Hypnosis helps people manage their anxiety and other emotional responses by acting on multiple brain regions linked to the regulation of pain perception. In Hypnosis, you get more control over your thoughts and perceptions.

Hypnosis Will Make You Remember Your Past Life or Childhood Vividly

Some movies show Hypnosis, making people recall memories from when they were a one-year-old baby or even in their past life. However, there is no scientific evidence that this is possible.

You Can be Hypnotisable or Not At All

Hypnotisable is the term used to describe being hypnotized. Everyone can be hypnotizable. However, everyone takes it differently. The level that describes how hypnotizable a person is is called hypnotic suggestibility. It depends on the suggestions and the therapist. According to Spiegel, children are more hypnotizable than adults. Len Milling, a clinical psychologist and professor of psychology at the University of Hartford, says Hypnosis does not benefit everyone equally. About 20% of people who go for Hypnosis are responsive to it, while the other 20% have no response.

Meditation vs Hypnosis

guided sleep meditation vs hypnosis

Meditation and Hypnosis both use focused attention to achieve something; it could be relaxation, mental clarity or inner peace. Due to their similarities, many people assume they are the same thing. However, these two techniques are far different from each other. Here’s how they differ from each other.

Meditation Doesn’t Have an End-Goal While Hypnosis Has

Hypnosis and hypnotherapy both have end goals. But it depends on the changes you want to make in your life. For example, some people go for Hypnosis to treat their eating disorders and lose weight. Meditation, on the other hand, is more of a process. Sure, it can help you lose weight and achieve mental clarity and inner peace, but meditation focuses on non-attachment to whatever happens when you practice it.

Meditation Focuses on the Present Moment while Hypnosis Focuses on the Suggestions

Another difference between meditation and Hypnosis is that meditation focuses on the present moment. Hypnosis, however, may involve suggestions that affect your future or how you see your past.

Meditation Taps into your Inner Potential while Hypnosis Suggests

Another difference between meditation and Hypnosis is that meditation taps into the inner healer we have inside us. It uses our self-awareness and self-compassion to heal ourselves and achieve inner peace. Hypnosis, on the other hand, offers you suggestions on how you can deal with your issues.

Meditation can be Self-Induced or Guided while Another Person Elicits Hypnosis

You can practice meditation on your own or have a teacher guide you. Many people like meditation because you can do it on your own if you want to. Hypnosis, on the other hand, needs the guidance of a therapist as he is the one that makes the suggestions. Therefore, you cannot practice it without having a trusted expert.

Guided Meditation with Elements of Hypnosis

As mentioned, meditation and Hypnosis have similarities that overlap. One of the similarities is the need to induce relaxation at the start of the session. Relaxation is necessary so that the mind can focus on the present moment or, in the case of Hypnosis, the patient’s goal instead of the physical sensations. Because of these similarities, combining these two techniques makes sense and allows you to have the benefits of both worlds. But how do you do it?

People usually combine meditation and Hypnosis for sleep. You can find many guided sleep meditation hypnosis DVDs and scripts around the internet. But you can also find these guided meditation hypnosis videos for weight loss, anxiety, and other issues. Below, you will find a few popular guided meditation hypnosis videos.

Guided Meditation Hypnosis for Meeting Your Higher Self

This guided meditation hypnosis starts the usual way meditation starts. First, it helps you to relax your body through a body scan. The next half gives you suggestions on how to meet your higher self and what it feels like to meet this higher self.

Guided Sleep Meditation Hypnosis

This guided sleep meditation hypnosis is much like the guided Yoga Nidra sessions. It starts with focusing on the present moment, exploring your body, and feeling your breath. Then it moves forward by giving your creative visualizations of falling asleep.

Hypnosis for Letting Go of the Fear of Success

This Hypnosis starts with getting you to notice your breath, like most meditation sessions. Then it gives you suggestions that you can let the guide’s voice become your inner voice. The guide or therapist then talks about your conscious and sub-conscious minds and how they work together to make you relax and then let go of the fear of success. The goal of this Hypnosis is to make you feel confident.

Hypnosis for Inner Peace – 15-Minute Guided Meditation to Relax Mind & Body, Calm Anxiety

This guided meditation hypnosis is short and starts with a body scan, similar to many meditation and hypnosis sessions. After relaxation, the guide gives suggestions on how to find inner peace.

The Bottomline

Meditation is about focusing on the present moment and accepting whatever happens. It is entirely different from Hypnosis, as the latter focuses on change – changing for the better. While these techniques are different, the process and the benefits are very similar. Whatever technique you wish to pursue, or if you combine these two, the fact remains that you will achieve the benefits only when you practice it consistently.

Do you want to practice guided meditation and self-hypnosis? Then, get the guidance of our meditation experts by joining our 30-Day Free Meditation Challenge followed by our Online Mindfulness TTC Course.

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Meera Watts
Meera Watts is the owner and founder of Siddhi Yoga International. She is known worldwide for her thought leadership in the wellness industry and was recognized as a Top 20 International Yoga Blogger. Her writing on holistic health has appeared in Elephant Journal, CureJoy, FunTimesGuide, OMtimes and other international magazines. She got the Top 100 Entrepreneur of Singapore award in 2022. Meera is a yoga teacher and therapist, though now she focuses primarily on leading Siddhi Yoga International, blogging and spending time with her family in Singapore.

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