Getting to sleep at night can be a real struggle for some people. When insomnia becomes an issue, the very thought of failing to sleep can be what keeps you awake. But how can you break this vicious circle?
It begins with a few bad nights, and you try relaxation methods or sleeping medication to help you drift off. But after a while, you become accustomed to the new technique and it doesn’t work any more. Perhaps your chosen technique isn’t focussed on the underlying issue: Sleep is a natural phenomenon that shouldn’t require special tricks.
This is why simplifying the issue can help. Instead of complicating your bedtime routine, simplify it. That means learning to accept your sleep pattern instead of worrying about it. Practice mindfulness by studying the unwelcome thoughts that enter your head, instead of panicking about them.
Learn to accept your sleeplessness, and it will become less of an issue. Slowly, things should improve, and, in the meantime, coping will become easier.
Our new infographic explores the school of thought, pioneered by sleep psychologist Dr. Guy Meadows behind this acceptance strategy. Check it out, and try out some of the ideas when you hit the hay tonight.
Worrying about your problem will only make it worse. Learn to be at peace with yourself as you lie awake in bed, and pleasant dreams should follow.
Meadows, G. (2014). The Sleep Book: How to Sleep Well Every Night
Hayes, S. ACT.contextualscience.org
Dalrymple, K. L., Fiorentino, L., Politi, M. C., & Posner, D. (2010). Incorporating principles from acceptance and commitment therapy into cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia: A case example. contextualscience.org
Black, S. et al. (2015). Mindfulness Meditation and Improvement in Sleep Quality and Daytime Impairment Among Older Adults With Sleep Disturbances. jamanetwork.com
NHS. (2016). Mindfulness. nhs.uk
Help Guide. Benefits of Mindfulness. helpguide.org
Greater Good (2017). What Is Mindfulness? greatergood.berkeley.edu
Dr. Guy (2015). Insomnia Cure – part 2. thesleepschool.org