Hypnosis for treatment of insomnia in school-age children: a retrospective chart review
Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital, State University of New York Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY, USA
BMC Pediatrics 2006, 6:23 doi:10.1186/1471-2431-6-23Published: 16 August 2006
The purposes of this study are to document psychosocial stressors and medical conditions associated with development of insomnia in school-age children and to report use of hypnosis for this condition.
A retrospective chart review was performed for 84 children and adolescents with insomnia, excluding those with central or obstructive sleep apnea. All patients were offered and accepted instruction in self-hypnosis for treatment of insomnia, and for other symptoms if it was felt that these were amenable to therapy with hypnosis. Seventy-five patients returned for follow-up after the first hypnosis session. Their mean age was 12 years (range, 7–17). When insomnia did not resolve after the first instruction session, patients were offered the opportunity to use hypnosis to gain insight into the cause.
Younger children were more likely to report that the insomnia was related to fears. Two or fewer hypnosis sessions were provided to 68% of the patients. Of the 70 patients reporting a delay in sleep onset of more than 30 minutes, 90% reported a reduction in sleep onset time following hypnosis. Of the 21 patients reporting nighttime awakenings more than once a week, 52% reported resolution of the awakenings and 38% reported improvement. Somatic complaints amenable to hypnosis were reported by 41%, including chest pain, dyspnea, functional abdominal pain, habit cough, headaches, and vocal cord dysfunction. Among these patients, 87% reported improvement or resolution of the somatic complaints following hypnosis.
Use of hypnosis appears to facilitate efficient therapy for insomnia in school-age children.