Saturday, May 23, 2009

Take Charge of Your Sleep...and Say Goodbye to Sleepless Nights

You know the story---as your bedtime approaches the anxiety starts to build. You go about your bedtime routine as the negative thoughts creep in. "I know I'm just going to lie there" or "I know I'll wake up in a few hours and not be able to fall back asleep." The vicious circle begins...anxiety sleeplessness----sleeplessness anxiety. "I'm miserable, what if I can't ever sleep good again!!!"

The first thing to take action with is changing your thoughts about sleep. You don't necessarily need 7 or 8 hours of sleep. However, you do need some quality sleep but the amount varies with each individual. Some adults only sleep 4 hours a night and feel great while others need their 8 hours.

When you set out to conquer your sleep problems start by delaying your bed time. Pick the absolute minimum hours of sleep that you can function on. For example if you chose 6 hours and your wake up time is 6:30am then don't go to bed until 12:30am. If you're not tired at 12:30 wait until you do feel sleepy but you still have to get up at 6:30! It usually takes a few nights to settle in to this routine but you will find yourself going to sleep faster, waking up less and sleeping more soundly. When you feel like you're quality of sleep is getting better then you can start moving your bedtime up in 15 to 30 minute increments. I now sleep from 11:30pm to 6:30am and only wake up once but go right back to sleep.

If your questioning whether or not you want to try this then think about it logically. Don't you think that if you were given only from (for example) 3:00am to 7:00 am every night that you would sleep like a dead person. Yes you would. I know that's a drastic example but the point is that you have to break the cycle and train your brain to sleep like it used to. This technique has turned many insomniacs into robust sleepers. Are you ready to whip your brain into shape? If your tired enough of being tired then you'll have the discipline.