For better sleep, make your bedroom a time-free environment

For most people, once the decision is made to sleep, it is time to rest and unwind — not worry about the clock.

Yet that’s what many insomniacs do.  Poor sleepers often obsessively check the time throughout the night, worrying about how long it’s taking to fall asleep, or fall back asleep.  Whatever time it is, it’s always the wrong time.

Constantly checking how much time you’re up is counterproductive if you’re continually reminded of how long you’re awake.  The habit of checking the time too often undermines good sleep.  Your clock then becomes another negative cue, a source of tension and frustration associated with bad sleep – but only if you let it.

So clock management is an important part of creating an environment conducive to optimal sleep.

One way to manage this is to not make it easy to see the time while lying in bed.  You want the clock to be readily available, but we suggest you situate the clock in such a way that to read the time you must at least rise up off your pillow and turn your head.

In other words, find a place to situate your clock where it’s there but not too easy to see.

While working the 6-week Sleep Training System, a bedside clock is necessary to use the interactive sleep logs.  But after you complete the STS and are no longer using sleep logs, you might benefit from not even looking at the time at all when you wake up in the night.  As long as you control what time you go to bed, and you’ve got the alarm to wake up when you want, you don’t have to worry about how much time has elapsed sleeping or awake.

Eliminating concern about the time is one way to help get to the point where the idea of sleeping is no longer a source of worry or stress at all.  When you reach that point, rest assured you are well on your way to becoming a normal sleeper again.

Personally, I make it a point to avoid looking at the clock at all when I wake up in the night.  I find it to be counterproductive and don’t even want to know.  Using the STS over time, you too will build confidence that your mind-body system will get exactly the sleep needed each night.

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