Defeating the ‘monster of insomnia’

Q:  I have my doubts about cognitive behavioral therapy or any non-drug method to improve sleep.  They seem to me to be nothing more than tricks.  Unfortunately, the human brain can usually tell when it is being fooled so the monster of insomnia quietly awaits to return at the worst possible time.  Do you have any reason I should not believe this?

A:  The real “trick” is the mistaken belief that insomnia is in fact a real monster.

In the absence of an underlying medical or psychiatric condition, insomnia isn’t a monster. Insomnia is typically nothing more than a self-imposed problem we create!  Primary insomnia, which most of us have, is to a large extent a do-it-yourself issue.

CBT-based sleep improvement methods that counter insomnia are not “made-up tricks”!

These methods are in fact basic common sense, viable, proven, evidence-based solutions that help most people who try them.

To defeat the monster, you need to understand the monster is a fiction you to some extent are creating and empowering by false beliefs.  These negative sleep thoughts are often the raw fuel that prolongs and perpetuates insomnia in the first place.

Interestingly, you don’t have to deny all these terrible thoughts about insomnia for CBT methods to work.  All those negative thought are the understandable result of tossing and turning in bed for hours at a time, frustrated and angry at your inability to sleep.  Those negative thoughts probably are in fact a true and accurate reflection of what you think about your sleep experience.

What CBT suggests is re-thinking your ideas about sleep, to correct them to something more accurate, realistic, and positive.  Something that more truly represents the reality of sleep and human performance.  If your old ideas and beliefs haven’t been working out too well, why not try improving them to something better?

CBT methods work, and help most people who try them.  There is every reason to believe they will help you too.

 

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

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