This is the last step. No matter where you are in all of this, you should be proud to have made it this far. We only got two more things to say, before we part.
First, a recap for your memory. Something to carry with you, as you continue to the destination that is better sleep.
And second, advice to those of you who did your best but still wonder when change will come.
Practice regularity. Even on weekends.Time in bed should be about sleep. As long as it is, expand your sleep window once and only once per week. Only tweak your earliest possible bedtime as you do this, not your wakeup times.
Your earliest possible bedtime means that you can go to bed when it comes, if you’re sleepy. If you’re not sleepy, wait until you are.
Do not allot less than around five and a half hours for sleep.
Stop expanding your regularity window when the vast majority of your time in bed is spent asleep and you feel rested through the day.
Work on your sleeping area hygiene.
Revisit our list of habits. Check them off, as you’re ready to take them on.
Go back to the part on sleep hygiene through the day. Take a good look at your routine. Find ways to get daylight, exercise, eat regularly and create an evening ritual.
If you’ve been honest to yourself about your dedication and followed our advice, but you’re still not getting results, then know this:
You are not failing.
You’re still in training.
You are capable of good sleep.
Two weeks of practice without noticeable effect, is not proof against that. Good stuff takes time to mature.
Sleep will come to you, too. Sleep drive is your friend, so treat it right. It will return that kindness with good sleep. Listen to your body and give it a decent chance to reach out to you.
You are capable of good sleep.
Sometimes, disrupted sleep is because of habitual patterns that you’re not seeing. Or you do see them, but you can’t change them, for whatever reason. The humanity, right? But we’re not rational beings. We’re just capable to understand the rationality of it all. But to know reason and to apply it, those are different things.
If you feel you need further help with your sleep situation, you can seek out professional treatment. You might not need it. Could be that more training is all it takes. But it won’t hurt to ask someone who knows. Your local health care system, if it’s a hospital, an institution, a doctor or a therapist, can help.
Like Martin Reed at insomniacoach.com, we believe that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a great way to seek help, if you want to take that step. Even if you don’t have insomnia, just applying this tried and true therapeutical method, is an excellent and efficient way to find better sleep. You’ll undo disruptive habits, build a foundation for better ones and find your way to better sleep through the unravelling of your routine and the establishment of a new one. The results are frequently great and permanent. They apply, even if you’re in a tougher situation where habits and circumstances are just a part of the cause.
And now, we got nothing more to say than to wish you the best on your travels to great sleep.
Godspeed to you. Thank you for taking the time to follow through these steps with us. Take care of yourself and be well. We hope for you, the best possible sleep. You deserve it. You’ve earned it. You’re worth it. Most importantly, you’re capable of it.
All the best, Sleep Cycle with Martin Reed from Insomnia Coach®