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Hypnosis/re: alpha state

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Question
Hi, I have a question regarding the alpha state. Last night I couldnt sleep so I started to release my tension by imagining windows opening wherever I felt the tension and I imagined the tension leaving my body and going out the windows did the same for my thoughts after a very short while I was surprised tosee my tension had been released then I entered a state that felt really good almost like sleep but I was still aware that I wasn't asleep. I saw images and things and people that I did not recognize but I was very relaxed stayed there for I don't know how long since I lost track of time could've been a few seconds to minutes before I fell asleep my question is is this period between wake and sleep what they call alpha state and if so how can I stay in it longer without falling asleep it feels so good you can't help but lose consciousness.

Answer
So long as you are in control of your thoughts and thinking, you won't fall asleep.  When you start to lose track of them, you fall asleep.  It's neither wrong nor uncommon to want to enjoy the relaxation you describe, and I can't promise that concentrating more such that you don't fall asleep will improve the quality of the experience; hence, I recommend that you simply allow whatever happens to happen and continue enjoying yourself.

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James Song

Expertise

I am able to answer questions relating to psychological and clinical hypnosis, self-hypnosis, trance states, and related areas (NLP, EMDR, African Voudoun, and the demonstration of hypnosis-related phenomena).

Experience

Principal investigator of a Fulbright-funded study examining the immunomodulative effects of hypnosis on an HIV-positive population (PI of Song HIV Lab, Makerere University Hospital). A founding member of the Institute for Mind/Body Research and Education, I am responsible for training over 3000 people every year in advanced hypnosis techniques. A research psychologist, I examine mental control (with a special interest in hypnosis) through experimental and neuroscientific methods. Currently, I hold membership in a variety of lay-hypnosis organizations, as well as the American Psychological Association and its Division 30.

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