My video and blog on Sleep Restriction Therapy get lots of comments, and certain questions about SRT come up again and again. Here I’ll review the concepts behind this treatment for insomnia and offer pointers on how to succeed.
Jessica recently wrote with concerns about sleep restriction.
I’m on Day 6 of sleep restriction and I don’t think it’s working. The first 3 nights were miserable. I kept looking at the clock and thinking, just 4 more hours to sleep, just 3 more, just 2 . . . I had so much anxiety I hardly slept at all!
Am I just going to have to resign myself to insomnia for the rest of my life? Honestly I’m on the verge of giving up.
“I feel very anxious at night,” a reader recently wrote. “I tell myself that there is no reason to be anxious, but it feels almost physical. And it doesn’t matter what I do (meditation, relaxation), I still can’t sleep.”
Insomnia, many of us are told, is mainly a psychological problem. So the physical sensations that accompany it can be unnerving: the fluttering heartbeat, the muscle tension, the racing feeling radiating from torso to extremities, the overheating, the sweaty skin. Yet these sensations should tip us off that insomnia is not just in the head.
Does your sleep problem involve waking up in the middle of the night once or several times and then trouble falling back to sleep? Sleep maintenance insomnia is actually the most common form of insomnia, and it’s more common as people age. Here’s a quick review of the possible causes and what can be done.
When you lose out on sleep—due to insomnia or for any other reason—it can handicap your performance the next day, as some Olympic athletes will attest.
But while some people are seriously compromised by sleep loss, others are remarkably resilient. Just as we humans differ in our ability to get to sleep and stay asleep at night, so we function differently after sleep deprivation.
A new study confirms that in the early weeks of treatment, sleep restriction—a part of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for insomnia—really is a cross to bear.
Seems like a no-brainer to me. But in research, quantification is important, and what these UK researchers have done is actually a good thing. (I’ll explain why later on.) Here are five tips for insomnia sufferers planning to undergo treatment.
Some insomnia sufferers who visit my website head straight for the posts on sleep restriction. So I decided to create a video trailer where I could talk about my own experience of sleep restriction: how off-putting the idea was at first, and the results I later achieved.
During Sleep restriction therapy for insomnia, I discovered less can be more. I sleep better when, instead of going to bed with the first yawn, I postpone going to bed until I’m good and tired.
I rediscover this every time I fly out west. As long as I don’t stray from getting up at my usual time in the morning (which, on the west coast, means getting up well before dawn), postponing bedtime actually has a positive effect on my sleep.