We humans take the most difficult things for granted. Feeling entitled to life, liberty, and happiness, we don’t feel the need to learn about love, hate, identity, family, or children. Do you think you know these things by instinct? How about breathing, eating, or standing up straight? How about sleep?

Maybe we knew all these things by instinct once—like squirrels know how to shell an acorn—but we don’t live in stick nests anymore. What was instinct once was washed away by civilization, and with it went your natural ability to sleep. This book takes inventory of sleep’s necessary skills.

In sleep you revisit all aspects of your life. That one small moment of falling asleep is entry into all aspects of your mind. You revitalize your body, heal illness, consolidate experience, and expand your consciousness. The process invokes your inner healer to clear the casualties from the battlefield of this day and every day before it. Nothing is too big or too small that it cannot lodge in your body or ripple through your mind during sleep.

So opens the book The Path to Sleep, Exercises for an Ancient Skill: Hypnotic Training in the Neurology, Psychology, and Physiology of Sleep (November 22, 2019, Mind Strength Books) by Lincoln Stoller, PhD, CHt.

Stoller says in the book description, “Sleep is a set of states of mind. Insomnia describes the condition in which you cannot reach or cannot stabilize yourself in them. Our epidemic of sleep dysfunction is an epidemic of emotional dysregulation: Western culture is driving people away from a natural state of rest and recovery. This book works to retrain your mind’s natural states, transitions, and functions.”

The Path To Sleep consists of written and spoken words. Twenty-four guided visualizations —MP3 audio files available online—carry the reader in thought, image, rhythm, and frequency into a range of other states of mind. These are not simply different ideas or perspectives; they are different realities, Stoller says, and you are a different person in these different states.

Sleep physician Robert S. Rosenberg, DO, FCCP, says in an endorsement, “The Path To Sleep is the first systematic application of hypnosis to sleep dysfunction despite ample evidence of hypnosis’s remarkable positive effect. The book’s hypnotic audio files address problems of rumination, emotional and physical stress, brain rhythms, sleep hygiene, and dreams. This is much needed nonpharmaceutical guidance for those with all forms of insomnia, and will be of special benefit to the elderly.”