have struggled with insomnia at any point in your life, you know just
how big of a problem it can be. Not only does it cause you to
constantly feel tired and fatigued, but it also leads to more severe
sleep deprivation that can cause a whole host of other
if you're tired of struggling to fall asleep or
stay asleep night after night, you should consider trying sleep
restriction to see just how effective it can be for you. Okay, so what is it?
restriction is a technique that was developed by Dr. Spielman
from Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York. This technique soon
proved so effective that it has now been adopted by many experts as
being one of the best
insomnia treatment methods available.
during his initial trials, Dr. Spielman reported that the majority of
his insomnia patients were able to sleep for at least seven hours a
night after undergoing sleep restriction therapy for only
a month or so.
Still, the one thing you need to know if you are considering trying
this treatment is that it is not
the easiest thing to do, and will
require lots of patience
and dedication in order for it to have any
good thing about it is that you can actually
use this technique on
your own, without the need to hire a doctor or
sleep specialist. Therefore, if you are serious about finally ridding
yourself of your insomnia problem, then this is one treatment method
that you definitely need to try.
To Use Sleep Restriction Therapy
restriction is all about
re-setting your internal clock to allow
you to get more and better quality sleep each evening, and involves
using a series of steps that will hopefully eventually result in no
more insomnia. If you want to try sleep restriction on your own, then
all you need to do is simply follow the steps below.
you pay close
attention and make sure you do exactly
what is stated in each step, you
should be able to see a massive improvement within a month or so, and
will most likely be sleeping completely normally within another month.
- Step 1-
Finding Your Sleep Threshold
people with insomnia, even the most severe cases, are usually
still able to sleep at least a few minutes or hours each evening, and
the first step towards sleep restriction is finding the minimum amount
of hours you are able to sleep each night.
involves keeping a very
detailed log of your sleeping patterns over a period of a
week or so,
noting the exact amount of hours you slept each night. After this time,
you should look back through your sleep log to try to determine the
average of hours you were able to sleep each night. This average will
be your sleep threshold and will be very useful in the next steps.
- Step 2- Stay
Awake for 24 Hours
next step is to restrict
your sleep by staying awake for 24 hours,
which will basically help to reset your internal clock and counteract
your negative sleep cycle. Doing this will cause certain chemicals to
build up in your body that will induce sleep, which will
in turn be
beneficial in helping you to fall asleep soundly the next night.
- Step 3- Sleep
For Only Your Sleep Threshold
staying awake for 24 hours, you are ready to begin the actual
sleep restriction. The next night, you should make sure that you only
sleep for the number of hours that you determined to be
sleep threshold in step 1.
sure that you make this number of hours
the time you want to wake up, i.e. if your sleep
threshold is four hours and you want to wake up at 6:30am, then you
should go to bed at 2:30am. Set your alarm for the time you want to
up, and make sure you get up when the alarm goes off, even if you feel
you could sleep more.
should continue doing this for at least a
week or so, making sure to only sleep for that exact number of hours
- Step 4- Using
Bright Lights to Help You Wake Up
using sleep restriction therapy, one of the most important parts
is tricking your brain
into wakefulness by using very bright lights
after waking up. Each morning when you awake, you will need to
immediately turn on these extra bright lights for at least 30 minutes
in order to make your brain become fully awake.
- Step 5- Slowly
Increase Your Sleep Threshold
a week or so, you can then begin to slowly
increase the amount of
hours you sleep each night, but make sure not to do it too
should increase in 15 to
30 minute increments every day or every other
day. If you find you are having trouble going to sleep immediately
after the increase, then lower your sleep back to where you can fall
you should eventually be able to slowly
increase your sleep threshold to the point where you are able to sleep
for at least
six hours a night and hopefully even a full eight hours.
Make sure to not be too disappointed if it takes you longer than
expected, as the results will vary from person to person.
Notes- No Napping and No Sleeping Pills
One of the most important
factors in the success of this technique is to make sure you don't throw off your sleeping
patterns by taking a nap. Doing so will ruin all of the
hard work you have put in, and could cause you to have to start
Just as important is to never use sleeping pills,
as they are not effective and will simply mask the problem, making you
feel better about not being able to sleep.
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