Hypnosis—more commonly called hypnotherapy—has been valued as a psychological tool for over 150 years. It is still regarded as a viable treatment option for many conditions by the American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association.
Usually, hypnotherapy is used in conjunction with other forms of cognitive-behavioral therapy as well as pharmaceuticals. Licensed hypnotherapists are typically medical doctors, nurses, psychologists, and social workers who have undergone specific training in hypnotherapy.
Hypnotherapy may be helpful for other sleep disorders as well, particularly disorders that involve the boundary of waking and sleeping. According to a study published in the journal SLEEP, some reported cases include healing night terrors in children as well as the movement disorders like sleep walking and sleep violence.
That said, although there is a wealth of evidence for the usefulness of hypnotherapy for some sleep disorders, we actually don’t have much clinical evidence for its effectiveness. Part of the reason is that hypnotherapy makes use of the placebo effect and an implicit trust relationship between doctor and patient, so it’s difficult to create experimental “control” conditions in the laboratory.
Still, given the well-documented effect of hypnotherapy as a relaxation tool, as well as for uncovering sources of mental stress, hypnotherapy is considered an effective treatment option for insomnia by psychologists and sleep specialists.