Counter insomnia with cognitive restructuring

For those suffering with insomnia, one of the single best things you can do is to simply get up at the same time every day.  Establishing some regularity with your sleep-wake cycle is a powerful way to help your sleep system work better.  Next to that, one of the very best things you can do is to deliberately counter negative sleep thoughts — the raw fuel of insomnia — in a structured and positive way.

Deliberately countering negative sleep thoughts is a form of of cognitive restructuring.   There a number of variations with this method, one of the core techniques contained in CBT — cognitive behavioral therapy — specifically designed to treat insomnia.

The way we use cognitive restructuring with the Sleep Training System involves a step-by-step process to first become aware of negative sleep thoughts.  This is an essential first step.

For some of us that may be easier said than done, because many of us these negative thoughts are semi-automatic, and may largely reside below the level of ordinary conscious awareness.  Fortunately, there a number of training tools and techniques that make this process more user-friendly.   We use a carefully guided process to help you incrementally peel away the overlying layers of thought, to get through all the noise of everyday living, to become increasingly aware of these counterproductive sleep thoughts.

Next, after identifying the recurring negative sleep thoughts, we check them against known, proven facts about sleep.  You almost certainly will discover upon careful examination that these negative thoughts are distorted, inaccurate, and overly pessimistic.  In other words, they are doing you no good.  They are, in fact, helping to feed and perpetuate insomnia.

So we use a proven method to intentionally restructure these thoughts to be better, more accurate, and more realistic.

The idea is that we all at some level choose what to think, and this is one way to take back control.  It’s important to understand that you do not necessarily have to deny these negative thoughts.  Denying would likely be unrealistic.  But you don’t have to dwell on them either.  You can choose not to.  Instead of dwelling on them, we suggest you methodically replace these negative thoughts with better, more accurate, and positive sleep thoughts that you control.

In other words, you can literally think your way to better sleep.  Using cognitive restructuring methods, you begin to think about the idea of sleep in a better, more realistic way, and in a way that you intentionally control.

For many of us, these negative sleep thoughts to a large extent fuel insomnia.  Take away insomnia’s negative fuel, and sleep becomes much easier.  Sleep becomes enabled, rather than disabled.

It’s easy to underestimate how much impact this actually has.   Of all the CBT methods, cognitive restructuring is one of the most potent.  It’s not that the other CBT methods are unimportant by any means, they in fact all combine together in a synergistic way to improve sleep without drugs.

For the best results, we suggest using a comprehensive sleep improvement program that incorporates all the CBT methods.  Whether you work with a counselor, a sleep doctor, or find a CBT program in a book or online,  we suggest you will get the fastest and best results by using all the CBT methods simultaneously.

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16 Comments on “Counter insomnia with cognitive restructuring”


  1. […] will likely be greatly helped by turning down the negative thinking about sleep.  This generally involves identifying and replacing distorted negative sleep thoughts […]


  2. […] is another CBT method known as cognitive restructuring.  By using this method, you can literally think your way to better […]


  3. […] cause of insomnia.  But there are effective solutions.  One of the best is a method known as cognitive restructuring.  This involves examining some of the beliefs and attitudes you hold about the idea of sleep, and […]


  4. […] of the best methods to change your understanding about sleep is known as cognitive restructuring.  This involves examining  the thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes you have that are distorted, […]


  5. […] method we’re describing here to control negative thoughts is known as cognitive restructuring, one of the core methods in CBT-I — cognitive behavioral therapy specifically designed for […]


  6. […] The best method we’ve found to manage it is through a psychological technique known as cognitive restructuring.  Basically, you learn to safely let go of the the negative underlying thought patterns that cause […]


  7. […] of this in the first place.  In other words, treat anxiety at its root.  This is exactly what cognitive restructuring will enable you to […]


  8. […] fact-based thinking process is known as cognitive restructuring.  It is entirely drug-free and can be a permanent solution to counter fear of sleep.  For those […]


  9. […] clinical evidence proves CBTI works.  Using these methods, you learn specific skills to help counter the negative thoughts that largely perpetuate insomnia, and you also learn good positive lifestyle habits that support […]


  10. […] who try them.  They are largely contained in CBT-based sleep training programs that use proven cognitive restructuring methods.  In addition, a good sleep training program will provide you with a wide variety of […]


  11. […] method is known as cognitive restructuring.  It enables you to manage the negative thoughts that may be largely fueling and perpetuating your […]


  12. […] those underlying negative thought patterns, and counter them rationally.  This is the basis of cognitive restructuring, one of the core tools in CBT designed for […]


  13. […] and supporting method we call “constructive imagination” in the STS enables you to re-think your old ideas about sleep and let go of the counter-productive negativity that is causing you stress.  The re-casting of […]


  14. […] more of a realistic view is an excellent way to help reduce the self-imposed pressure we often inadvertently put on […]


  15. […] practicing cognitive restructuring to improve sleep know how effectively it can counter and control negative sleep thoughts.  These […]


  16. […] listing some solutions or constructive ways to approach those concerns.  In other words, you can restructure your expectation about the upcoming work week.  That might help you feel more positive and more […]


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