It’s rare for me not to sleep well, but when I do it involves that endless cycle of laying awake with stinging eyes, the inevitable tossing and turning and – when I do eventually manage to drift off – a light sleep full of uneasy dreams is as good as it gets.

In a strange panic one sleepless night before a big day at work, I chanced an iTunes search for “Sleep Podcasts” and discovered the 3 Minute Hypnosis series


I was very dubious of anything that claimed to hypnotise and I still have reservations about some of the more extreme stunts that we’ve all seen on TV. In terms of taking simple steps to re-training your brain though, I’m a total convert.

Hypnosis method

Here’s how you fall under the spell:

1. The podcaster (James) will tell you to close your eyes and relax your body

2. Focus on relaxing the muscles around your eyes, test them to satisfy yourself that the muscles are too relaxed to work

3. You’ll be commanded to open your eyes (when this happens, my experience is that you don’t really take in what you’re looking at at all). When you close them again, send a further surge of relaxation down your body. This is repeated.

4. James begins your journey depending on the nature of the hypnosis. This includes travelling down staircases, taking yourself to locations and sensing unique aspects of the imaginary location you’ve been taken to.

Here’s a rundown of the 3 Minute Hypnosis podcasts I’ve tried and loved.

Hypnotic Sleep

This is the podcast I stumbled across on that restless night, and I haven’t had a problem sleeping since. I carried on using this podcast to drift off to sleep for about ten days after first discovering it, such was the comfort of listening to it every time I wanted to relax into a deep snooze. The reason I stopped was because it’s so deeply relaxing that when my insomnia passed, mornings became a little on the groggy side. Coming out of sleep hypnosis is no easy feat, even with Capital FM blaring out of your alarm clock.

Hypnotic sleep encourages you to drift to a place that you find peaceful and sleep-inducing. You’re very much in the driving seat. Assisted by soothing music that James lets play on beyond the three minute hypnotism, you’re taken deep into sleep. It’s worth noting that I’ve never even heard him finish speaking on this podcast, let alone get to the end of that music. It’s that effective.

Wash Away Stress

James takes you to a secluded beach where you become deeply aware of your peaceful surroundings. He’ll ask you to visualise your problems and cram them into a bucket to make sandcastles. 

The idea is that you’ve put them all into one vulnerable place and will take steps to make them look smaller. Eventually you can see a birds eye view of the issues which are then washed away by the sea. He’ll then bring you back round so you can continue with your day – hopefully stress free.

Forget bad memories

This one is a hypnosis that you’ll probably need to use nightly for a certain period of time to obtain full effectiveness. The idea is that you start to break associations with a bad memory to overcome them.

Once you’re under, you’ll need to focus intensely on the details of your bad memory, pausing it, skipping through freeze frames and messing about with the sounds and images to skew it in your mind. You’ll need to identify what the emotion of the memory feels like and the point on your body where you can feel it affect you. You’ll play around with this too, helping mix up the chronology of the memory as you work on fading it from your mind.

So far I’ve only tried this once. I intend to carry on, and have already noticed that minimal details are already sketchy. 

Have you tried hypnosis yet?

Join our tribe

We promise to pop a whole host of good stuff into your inbox every Wednesday to brighten up your week. Can't say fairer than that now can we?

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.