Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Neuropsychologia. 2015 Mar;69:176-82. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2015.02.001. Epub 2015 Feb 4.

Improving sleep and cognition by hypnotic suggestion in the elderly.

Author information

1
Institute of Psychology, Division of Biopsychology, University of Zurich, Binzmühlestrasse 14, 8050 Zurich, Switzerland.
2
International Normal Aging and Plasticity Imaging Center (INAPIC), University of Zurich, Sumatrastrasse 30, 8006 Zurich, Switzerland; University Research Priority Program "Dynamics of Healthy Aging", Andreasstrasse 15, 8050 Zurich, Switzerland.
3
Institute of Psychology, Division of Biopsychology, University of Zurich, Binzmühlestrasse 14, 8050 Zurich, Switzerland; University Research Priority Program "Dynamics of Healthy Aging", Andreasstrasse 15, 8050 Zurich, Switzerland; Zurich Center for Interdisciplinary Sleep Research (ZiS), University of Zurich, Frauenklinikstrasse 26, 8091 Zurich, Switzerland; Department of Psychology, Division of Cognitive Psychology, University of Fribourg, Rue P.A. de Faucigny 2, 1701 Fribourg, Switzerland. Electronic address: bjoern.rasch@unifr.ch.

Abstract

Sleep quality markedly declines across the human lifespan. Particularly the amount of slow-wave sleep (SWS) decreases with age and this decrease is paralleled by a loss of cognitive functioning in the elderly. Here we show in healthy elderly females that the amount of SWS can be extended by a hypnotic suggestion "to sleep deeper" before sleep. In a placebo-controlled cross-over design, participants listened to hypnotic suggestions or a control tape before a midday nap while high density electroencephalography was recorded. After the hypnotic suggestion, we observed a 57% increase in SWS in females suggestible to hypnosis as compared to the control condition. Furthermore, left frontal slow-wave activity (SWA), characteristic for SWS, was significantly increased, followed by a significant improvement in prefrontal cognitive functioning after sleep. Our results suggest that hypnotic suggestions might be a successful alternative for widely-used sleep-enhancing medication to extend SWS and improve cognition in the elderly.

KEYWORDS:

Aging; Cognitive function; High density EEG; Hypnosis; Slow-wave Sleep

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center