We’ve told you to trust yourself when it comes to knowing if you’re rested or not. Your body has the answer. Listen to it. If you’re not hearing it, keep training. You’re not failing. Every day, you’re getting better at this.

You’ve practiced sleep restriction for about a week now. Let’s see if it’s time to expand your window and shift back your earliest possible bedtime.

At this point, you can ask yourself if you’re experiencing positive results. By this, we don’t mean that your issues with sleep are resolved and the world is now a place bright with pastel colors. No, we only mean that the sleep you do get, is efficient enough to say that you’re spending most of your time in bed sleeping.

If this is so, then it’s time to slightly expand your sleep window and move back your earliest possible bedtime.

We suggest you increase your sleep window by fifteen to thirty minutes, counting down from your bedtime.

So if your earliest possible bedtime was 10:30PM before, now set it to somewhere between 10:30 to 10:00.

If it feels like you’re on a roll, drop it to 10:00. If you want to tread more carefully, stay at 10:15.

This is now your new earliest possible bedtime. And your new routine for a week, starting today.

But remember. Don’t go to bed if you’re not sleepy. Earliest possible only means go to bed if you’re sleepy. Otherwise, wait. But don’t cross the five and a half hour line. You might as well feed a mogwai after midnight if you do.

As you gradually increase this place in time for your sleep, you will eventually align with your body’s rhythm and find the hours of sleep you need to feel rested. This course is soon over so we won’t be with you through all these weeks, but we’ll make sure you’re equipped with what you need to continue this journey on your own, before we part.

What if you’re not feeling it yet, though? You are true to your commitment and yet your situation is no better since day one. For you, expanding your sleep window doesn’t feel like an option because it’s not just doing anything for you.

If this is so, then just keep practicing your routine, right now. We’ll talk about what to do next in our last and final step, which is tomorrow. See you then.

Kindly, Sleep Cycle with Martin Reed from Insomnia Coach®


If you feel you’re ready, you can now expand your sleep window and move back your earliest possible bedtime with 15 to 30 minutes. In time, you can keep doing this until you’ve come to a place where you feel you get enough hours of sleep every night. Listen to your body as you progress. If you feel rested, you probably are.

The contents of this article is of general character and intended for informational purposes only. The information is not adapted after your individual sleep quality or health status. It does not constitute and is not intended to constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never replace any advice given to you by your physician or other qualified healthcare provider. Contact your healthcare provider if you have specific medical needs or require medical advice.

Next articles

Article 14: And now, to bed and sleep