There are some functions of the unconscious mind that are preprogrammed, such as breathing. We don't need to learn how to do it, as soon as we are born we start to breathe. Nevertheless we can choose to speed up our breathing or slow it down. We can't stop it entirely though. If you try to hold your breath forever you will fail because the basic instincts in the unconscious will take over and literally force you to breathe. Some of the other basic functions cannot be directly controlled at all. For example, while you can choose to speed up your breathing, you cannot simply choose to speed up your heartbeat. However, we can influence our heartbeat through the power of imagination. If we imagine walking down a dark alley late at night and hearing footsteps behind us, our hearts will almost certainly speed up. In the same way if you vividly imagine a scene that you find calm and relaxing, such as lying on a warm beach hearing the distant rhythmic crash and hiss of the waves, or dozing on a comfortable sofa in front of a log fire and watching the flames flicker, or walking through a quiet and beautiful forest with the light dappled through the trees, your heartbeat will become calm and steady and your body chemistry will release endorphins and other hormones that make you feel calm and relaxed.
In other words, changing how you think and what you think can cause the state of your body to change. Some of the powerful techniques in this book involve the use of imagination techniques to reprogram the unconscious mind. With carefully selected imagery and networks of association we can stimulate changes in the neurological and hormonal patterns that facilitate sleep.
To benefit from the system all you have to do is follow the instructions. Read the book—at least twice, preferably three times—and do each of the exercises. Make sure you do them all—even the ones that seem at first as if you may not like them as much as others. Some people benefit most from the exercises they find a little difficult at first. That is not so surprising really—the better you are at something, the less you need to practice it—and conversely if you find something very difficult, it indicates that there is a lot there for you to learn to make it become more easy.
HOW TO USE THE HYPNOSIS CD
This book comes with a hypnosis CD that will help you go to sleep and with repeated use it will help you restore your natural, healthy sleep patterns.
The CD is specially recorded so that the hypnotic suggestions are taken up by the unconscious mind and the structure and timing of the CD are carefully calibrated to enhance your sleep cycle. But I have discovered that, on top of that, just using hypnosis leads to improved sleep. When I teach hypnosis seminars my students go in and out of trance several times a day for a week. I noticed that many of them report at the end of the week that they are sleeping better and deeper than they have for years.
I've been helping people to sleep better for many years and some of them have found that just using the trance on this CD has been all they need to improve their sleep patterns permanently.