If curing insomnia yourself is the goal and if you think the page on “usual insomnia” was descriptive of you then there is good news. Within a few weeks you should be back to sleeping. If not then you have at least narrowed down the possibilities as well as the health benefits that will be made apparent.
It will be helpful while going through this process if you will take time at the end of each day and write down what time you went to bed and got up the day before along with what you ate and caffeine intake. This will be your sleep biography for the next several weeks.
Rule one: Bedtime
You need to figure out what time you need to be up on the majority of mornings. That becomes the 7 day a week schedule. Yes, the dream is to hit it hard during the week and stay up late and sleep in late on weekends. If you did not suffer from insomnia you could do that (still not a good idea). However, since insomnia is an issue and you want a cure DO this.
That becomes the benchmark. No matter what you get up at X:00 a.m. or p.m. (for those of you that do shift work). Just decide to do it for the next several weeks. Get up and begin your day at the same time every time. You want to stay out late? Fine, but pushing back wake-up time is not the answer.
Rule 2: Make sleep deprivation work for you
Funny thing about sleep. It mirrors money. Debt likes to be repaid. Therefore, Learn to use your debt. Figure out what the minimal amount of sleep you need in order to get by and perform your daily duties. Listen, if you have been an insomniac this will be a breeze. Later on you can find your optimal sleep cycle (According to research people perform at optimal levels with 8-9 hours of sleep on average. Few people get that and no what it is like to feel such zest because of their rest).
So, if you find that 6 hours meets the required number then 6 it is. No more. Not until the dozing to dreamland becomes easier.
Go to bed at that time. If you need to be up by 6:00 a.m. and you can skate on 6 hours of sleep then 12 a.m. is bedtime for you. No sooner. You now are going to need to concentrate on staying awake, not getting to sleep.
Rule 3: Sleep routines.
One hour before bed time you need to start the pre-sleep routine. Lock all the doors, brush your teeth, turn down the lights, and find something relaxing and a bit monotonous to do. No exciting conversations or reading. This is not the time to discuss the budget. This is your time to shut things down.
Rule 4: Hit the bed
Once in bed continue the relaxation. Some people find that deep breathing works. Others find that focusing on a peaceful place or scene helps calm the mind. Others do relaxation techniques: Tensing and letting go of muscle groups starting in their feet and working up.
If you find yourself in bed for more than 20 minutes and unable to sleep then get up. Return to your pre-sleep rituals. Don’t turn on the lights and start munching on late night snacks. Pick the book back up or whatever it is you were doing prior to bed. Perhaps a warm bath with quiet music will be a good thing. No bright lights. No need to worry. A night or two of restlessness is completely normal.
You will need support and staying power with this regime. Refuse the nap if you have a bad night. No hitting bed early. This is about repairing a damaged sleep pattern. Once it is repaired more sleep can be added.
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