I’m going to share with you how to treat insomnia at home, my best tips. So, here we go.
Step one is master stress and develop a sleepers mindset. Now let me get a little bit more specific about what I mean master stress. So, a lot of us manage stress, and we do it in ways that are counterproductive. We lash out in anger, in frustration. We zone out with TV, social media, work, or we numb out with food, alcohol, and drugs. These are all ways that we manage our stress.
Now, to master stress, you have to really understand what’s creating the stress in the first place. You have to create stress awareness, where you’re storing that stress in your body. It is in your neck? It is in your chest? Is it in your stomach? Is it in your lower back? And then, you need to put in place practices to release that tension and stress in the body, as well as deal with the negative sleep thoughts, those thoughts and beliefs that create anxiety, that keep insomnia going, and really start to understand and shift those thoughts.
And that’s really what a sleepers mindset is, understanding what are the thoughts and beliefs that are creating the stress and anxiety, that’s creating the physical tension in your body, that’s leading to poor sleep?
And how you do that is step one, is you identify, number one, identify the ways in which you choose not to feel stress, lash out in anger, numb out, lash out, zone out, or numb out. And then you bring stress awareness around better ways of dealing with stress, as well as start to deal with the negative sleep thoughts. Those thoughts like, what happens if I don’t figure this out? How much longer is this going to go on for? All these thoughts create more anxiety. And once you identify those thoughts, then you start to shift them. You could start to reframe them and see the whole truth, to then be able to allow your body to relax. I know I just threw a lot at you, but hopefully that made sense.
The next thing is you want to increase your sleep efficiency by actually spending less time in bed. This is one of the biggest mistakes I see people make, and it’s counterintuitive. It doesn’t seem to make sense at all. But what people do, which seems to make sense is, if you’re not sleeping well, if you’re having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, you’re waking up in the middle of the night and you’re up for hours, you would think that you want to spend more time in your bed to catch up on the sleep. But unfortunately, what that does is it decreases sleep pressure. And there’s two systems in the body that control our sleep, sleep pressure and circadian rhythm. And what it does is it actually messes up both of those systems.
So you want to spend less time in bed to increase that sleep efficiency, to then reset that sleep pressure system. And that is one of the things that you’re going to want to start doing. So increasing your sleep efficiency by spending less time in bed. One way of doing that is called sleep scheduling or sleep restriction, which I have a video on on this channel.
You want to create a sleep sanctuary. Your bed and bedroom is where you spend a third of your life. Make sure that it’s a sanctuary. Make sure it’s clean, it’s dark, it’s quiet, it’s a safe space. Your environment, you want to feel safe in your environment. If you feel at threat and if it’s messy and chaotic and there’s light coming in and it’s loud and noisy, then it’s going to be more challenging for you to relax and allow your body to do what it’s designed to do, which is sleep.
You also want to improve your sleep hygiene. Now what I find most people do is they start here and sometimes this can keep them stuck in a belief that they need to do something in order to sleep, which is a false belief. But improving sleep hygiene, there is a role, and I’m going to share with you some of the things that you’re going to want to start to do at home right now if you are experiencing insomnia.
The first thing is stop napping. Stop napping. Why? Because it decreases sleep pressure. And what we want to do is increase sleep drive so that at night you get sleepy and you’re able to fall asleep. So this can be challenging for people, but really if you’re currently taking a nap to try to catch up on sleep because you’re so tired, because you have insomnia, you want to cut that out right now because it’s not doing you any good.
The second thing is you want to get up at the same time every day. This is really important. Going to bed at the same time is good too, but especially getting up at the same time helps keep that circadian clock synced and healthy. That means even on the weekends, I know this is challenging, but trust me, remember what we talked about, spending less time in bed increases sleep efficiency, which is really important for restoring natural sleep.
And then you want to anchor your bed in bedroom with sleep and sex, nothing else. So not worrying, not talking about difficult things, not eating, not watching TV. I don’t even really like my clients to do relaxation techniques in bed. It depends on the technique and where they are in their journey, but really sleep should happen in the bed and in the bedroom, and that’s it. Being intimate with your partner is another great thing to do that can actually help release stress and help you sleep and have another video on this channel all about sex and sleep as well. Be sure to check that out.
And then here’s on a really important one, stop watching the clock. This is another big mistake people do. They have a clock in their bedroom and they wake up and they look at the clock, it creates more anxiety, anchors more stress and anxiety and fear to their bed and bedroom, which then keeps this whole thing going.
Then one of the other really important things that you want to do is bring your physiology back into balance by resetting what we call your sleep system. And your sleep system is again, is those two biological processes that control sleep, sleep pressure, and circadian rhythm. And we already talked about a few ways of making sure that you can keep those two systems healthy. By spending less time in bed, number one, by not napping, number two, and then waking up at the same time, number three. And then number four, not anchoring your bed and bedroom with anything else outside of sleep.
So there’s more to this, but I’m going to leave you with that. I’m not going to try to overwhelm you in this video, even though it might feel like I am. I’m really trying my best not to.
And then last and really most important, get support. If you are having issues at home, you can reach out to us at Sleep Science Academy. We more than happy to have a conversation about how we can help you implement some of the steps that I shared with you in this training, as well as go much deeper into specifics and really provide you the plan and the support you need in order to solve this. So if you’re interested in that, you can click a link, schedule a call, watch our masterclass, and reach out, or just leave a comment or question here underneath this training and we can get back to you as well.
Okay, I’ll see you in the next training. Take care.