When Insomnia is a Do-It-Yourself Project

Q:  “I worry constantly about not being able to sleep.  Do you think my insomnia will get better if I stop worrying about sleep?  Could it be that this issue is in part maintained because I am so worried about it?

Definitely.  For so many of us, insomnia is a do-it-yourself project.

This is presuming you do not have a medical issue that’s keeping you up, such as sleep apnea, allergies, pain, and so forth.  There are effective treatments for these medical issues to help you sleep.  So if that’s the case you should see your doctor for an assessment and diagnosis.

And if you ever feel overwhelmed by stress and anxiety, seek professional help.  Just google “mental health clinic” and the name of your community and you will find many resources.

But otherwise if you have near constant negative thoughts about sleep, yes it’s very likely insomnia is something you’re doing to yourself!  Bad sleep habits also play a role, but for so many of us insomnia’s raw fuel is the persistent negative thinking, stress, and worry we do to ourselves.

The way out of this is very simple.  The first step is very simple.

You simply decide.

You simply choose to want to make it better.  It’s very important to understand you in fact control this choice.  You can make this decision at any time.  It’s up to you.

When you decide you want to make it better more than you want to make it worse you will be on the road to better sleep .  Because that’s what worry does to insomnia… prolongs it, gives it negative mental energy, keeps you up.

All of us have worry, all of us have some level of stress, all of us have some anxiety.  Those are all normal, ever-present parts of life.  But we can choose where to put that worry.  Perhaps you can find something else besides sleep to worry about.  Maybe you can find another topic or subject that is healthier, and put your energy into that.  For instance job and career building.  Many resources out there, online and in the library.  Creating and nurturing a healthy social support network.  Having positive relationships with friends and family.  Putting your time and energy into areas like that help you, they don’t hurt you.  And you’ll be so busy with work, family, and friends, you won’t have time to worry about sleep.  Then, don’t be surprised if you sleep much better!

Once you decide you really want to help yourself and put an end to this once and for all, there are many resources available that are very effective to help you sleep better.  One of the very best is cognitive behavioral therapy specifically designed for sleep (CBT-I).  Using the methods in CBT-I, most insomniacs learn to sleep better, learn to reduce and redirect the negative thinking, learn healthy sleep habits.  Many become normal sleepers again.

But CBT-I will not work unless and until you really want to change.  That’s step one.

To ask a sleep question, or for more information on how the CBT-I-based Sleep Training System can help you restore quality sleep, please feel free to contact us.

Explore posts in the same categories: Health, Insomnia, sleep

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One Comment on “When Insomnia is a Do-It-Yourself Project”

  1. […] By identifying and understanding how these negative thoughts are typically unrealistic, distorted, and overly pessimistic, you are then in a much better position to stop them.  You can then intentionally choose to replace them with more positive, accurate, and supportive thoughts that you control.  CBT excels at this process. […]

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