Many people with insomnia fail to recognize the impact of napping and dozing on nighttime sleep. It is tempting for people with insomnia, after a bad night’s sleep, to try to take advantage of opportunities to sleep when they can, even if it’s a mid-morning nap. The problem with napping is that when we nap for more than 25 or 30 minutes, we enter into slow wave sleep. This type of sleep will interfere with nighttime sleep because our bodies only need so much of it per day. So is [Read more…]
Recognizing the amount of sleep our body needs is an important part of managing insomnia. Many, but not all, insomnia sufferers have trouble falling asleep at bedtime.
There can be several reasons for this type of problem. One possibility is that the sufferer is overestimating how much sleep his or her body needs. For example, let’s say your body needs [Read more…]
One common mistake made by insomnia sufferers involves their approach to waking up in the morning. If it takes you several hours to fall asleep, once you get to sleep you want to get all you can! Who wouldn’t? The real problem begins when our alarm goes off. Once we hear that alarm, we remember how little sleep we got. The we have to decide whether to get up or whether to treat ourselves to some more sleep. For people with chronic insomnia who have chosen a healthy regular bedtime and wake time schedule for themselves, it is better to get up when the alarm goes off. Will this be an appealing option at the time? No. But it will help set the stage for a better night of sleep the next night.
This has been the first in a series of insomnia tips from the Manhattan Center for CBT.
From time to time, most people find themselves muttering (or screaming) at 4:00 a.m., “why can’t I sleep?!” For some, difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep can even become the norm. This is called insomnia — upsetting, disruptive, and a way of life for some. Insomnia can include trouble falling asleep, trouble staying asleep, or not getting restful sleep at least three nights per week. (Trouble falling asleep is defined here as taking more than 30 minutes to fall asleep. Trouble staying asleep is defined as being awake for more than 30 minutes during the night.)[Read more…]
We all know that cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia is effective. But exactly who is it for? And what does it involve?
In my experience, patients who seek therapy for depression or anxiety often report problems with sleep. These problems usually fall into one (or more) of three categories: 1) difficulties falling asleep, 2) difficulties staying asleep, or 3) waking up earlier than intended. Any of these can have a real impact on one’s quality of life.
When is the right time to get help?
If insomnia is brought on by recent life stress like trouble at work or in a romantic relationship, it is called acute insomnia. Usually, this kind of short-term insomnia resolves itself and sleep patterns return to normal. However, if insomnia persists past a few weeks (chronic insomnia), it can exacerbate other problems. It can then evolve into a vicious cycle of a) sleeplessness and b) anxious thoughts about sleeplessness. When this is the case, insomnia treatment can be helpful.[Read more…]