How to Hypnotize a Sleeping Person
This method is ideal for hypnotizing a sleeping partner or child.
On entering the room where your sleeping subject is, you will need to establish a rapport with them. You can do this by sitting quietly by their bedside and watching their breathing. By matching your own breathing to that of your subject for a few minutes they will become receptive to you on an unconscious level.
Gradually, change your own breathing by deliberately slowing it down - your subject should soon follow suit - don't worry if it doesn't happen instantly - they will eventually follow.
The next stage is to gently stroke one of your subject's fingers - keeping this in time with your breathing. Avoid any abrupt movements as this will disturb your subject - after a few minutes you can commence by saying (softly) the person's name, followed by:
This is your mother/father (or whatever your relationship to the subject is) here - you can hear me - but you won't wake up - you can hear me but you won't wake up.
Repeat this sentence several times. Your subject may move but even if they verbally respond at this stage it is unlikely that they are awake.
Follow this through with:
When the very deepest part of your mind is listening to me - you can let me know by moving this (index or whichever) finger - and you can still hear me - but you won't wake up.
Again, you may need to do this several times. Milton Erickson used this method with his son after he was involved in a road crash and I believe it took him several nights to achieve bringing him out of sleep and into hypnosis so do persevere.
When you get the response you're looking for, you can continue with suggestions such as:
You can talk, but you won't wake up. The very deepest part of your mind knows what your problem is and can help us to find the solution.
Or - you can give direct suggestions for whatever you're trying to achieve. But - remember - this must always be something that is in the subject's best interests - because even in this level of somnambulist hypnosis they will not take on board suggestions that are against their own moral judgement.
Note - when Erickson used this method his son was experiencing very bad nightmares after his accident.
Erickson verified what had happened and reframed it. He described the accident and told his son - yes - it did happen - but you survived. He could not deny the accident and knew that his son knew that it had happened and - even in hypnosis - would not believe him if he had said that it never happened.
When you've finished with therapy you can give the subject suggestions to return to a peaceful sleep, having beautiful dreams, and awaken at their usual waking up time, feeling refreshed and alert.
One, two, three, four, five.