Does Guided Imagery Only Work if You’re Awake while Listening?

We get this question so often that it doesn’t hurt to answer it again. Rodrigo asks if he has to be awake and listening consciously for his guided imagery to have an impact.

I reply in some detail, but if you’re in a hurry, the short answer is NO. Check it out the longer version!


Does listening to guided imagery and/or affirmations while sleeping work? Or do you have to listen to it while you’re awake for it to work?

Yours Truly,


Dear Rodrigo,

Great question – thanks for sending it. 

No, you do not have to be awake for guided imagery to work. In fact, you may be better off falling asleep. There's some evidence to suggest that with the slower Delta brain waves of sleep, there is an even greater immersive absorption, with deeper receptivity to the messages going into your ears. 

We also learned this from feedback we get, including from people with diabetes, whose blood sugar goes down pretty steadily over the days and weeks they listen, even if they consistently fall asleep before the introduction is over – some people relax and fall asleep all the time, so they never hear a conscious word of the actual imagery track.

One curious woman forced herself to stay awake, just to hear what was improving her metrics, by walking around her kitchen table while the Diabetes imagery was playing. She reported that all the images on the narrative were immediately recognizable to her and very familiar, including some esoteric cellular imagery that she otherwise would know nothing about. In other words, she knew it, even though she didn’t know she knew it.

Fascinating stuff, don’t you think?

Hope this helps. By all means, press "PLAY" and snooze away! 

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