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4 Techniques to Help With Insomnia

Insomnia Can Realy Kick You In The Butt

Sleep is such an important part of your mental wellbeing, especially for those who are dealing with a mental illness. Lack of sleep can cause your symptoms to get worse day by day as you lose sleep.

Fortunately, there are methods and techniques that a person can use to help with falling asleep. Keep in mind that everyone is different, so if one method doesn’t work try another. What works for one person may not work for another.

Finding the right method to help you fall asleep and stay asleep can sometimes be difficult and there are methods that many don’t even consider or know about. Let’s talk about some of the methods available to help you fall asleep.

Before we begin, I would like to mention that it’s possible that none of these methods may work. In fact, maybe you do some more research into sleep aids and find that none of them are working for you.

If you find that nothing is working, I would like to encourage you to seek out the help of a physician. I know it sucks to have to take yet another pill or to have to take something to help you sleep but sleep is so important that it may be necessary.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

I know for myself, and I am sure for many other people when trying to fall asleep the mind is just racing with thoughts. Although Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is mainly used in helping to change thought and behavior patterns with a mental illness, it is a non-medical way to challenge insomnia.

I did a post How Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Can Help Depression if you would like to know more about how CBT can be used for depression among other mental illnesses just follow the link.

For use with insomnia, CBT can be used to help you with your thoughts before going to bed. In a way, help you to clear your thoughts, get rid of the monkey brain as I like to call it. This helps you to deal with the thoughts you’re having before going to bed.

CBT also allows you to address any unhealthy beliefs and/or fears that you have around sleep and will help in teaching a more rational and positive thinking.

This, in turn, should help to calm you down as you deal with and change those thought patterns and get rid of all that negative thinking that plagues your mind at night.

You can self-teach yourself Cognitive Behavioral Therapy through research on the web or through a great book that I used myself called Mind Over Mood.

Relaxation Training

When it comes time to sleep you may find that your mind is still racing and you seem to have too much energy to be able to lay down and fall asleep. Maybe you’re overthinking the day’s events, thinking about the past or future.

There are multiple methods of relaxation training that you can incorporate into your daily routines such as meditation, mindfulness, and breathing exercises. Each of these offers you the chance to bring your mind and body into a more calm and relaxed state which can help you fall asleep.

You may use just one or all. There is an app called Headspace which is a mindfulness app that also includes deep breathing. I use this app not only when I am having trouble falling asleep but it has the bonus side effect of calming my anxiety for a short period of time.

Another good mindfulness app is called Aware. Both apps are worth checking out. Each app offers 10 days free and then they will ask you to pay to upgrade and keep going. However, I find that just repeating the 10 days is enough and works just fine.

You want to build a connection between the bedroom and sleep. To do this, limit the types of activities you do in the bedroom. For example, don’t lay in bed to watch TV, or lying in bed to read a book.

Keep your bedroom as a sleeping zone only. When you are feeling tired go and lay down in your bed, close your eyes and try to fall asleep. If, after half an hour you find yourself still awake, get out of bed and go do something that might be a little boring with very low stimulation. When you start to feel sleepy again go back to bed and repeat this process.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Even though we may not feel it or realize it, sometimes our muscles can be so tight by the end of our day. With this technique, you do a type of body scan while at the same time tightening up your muscles and then relaxing them.

I say it’s like a body scan because you can start from your head, tightening your facial muscles and move systematically down your body to your feet, tightening and relaxing the muscles of each section of your body.

I have found that this brings relaxation to the whole body. You don’t have to limit this to a onetime thing. Once you reach your feet you can start over again. Try to incorporate deep breathing while you are doing this body scan and muscle relaxation.

Self Hypnosis

In other posts, I have talked about self-hypnosis and that is because that is what worked for me. Self-hypnosis gets into your subconscious mind to help you fall asleep.

The two self-hypnosis audios that I use are Deep Sleep from Hyptalk.com and Drift Off to Sleep from Hypnosis Downloads.

I prefer the Deep Sleep self-hypnosis just because I find her voice more soothing. It does take some time to work. I noticed that after listening to the audio twice a day by the end of the week I fell asleep before the audio ended and slept for about twenty minutes.

This progressively got longer and by the end of the month I was able to fall asleep without taking any sleeping medications and have a good nights sleep. I would still have to start off listening to the audio but was asleep by around the halfway point if not before.

These are just some of the methods and techniques available for insomnia. If you find that none of these work doing a google search is always a great way to find more techniques. Also, seeing your family doctor about a medication if needed is a viable option as sleep is very important to your mental health and wellbeing. It also affects our abilities to function properly during the day.

If you have any questions or methods that you have used or currently use please feel free to leave a comment and share with others what has and hasn’t worked for you.

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Richard Bailey

I have suffered from severe chronic depression for just over two decades. I have gone through many treatments and all medications that the Dr.'s I work with have available to them but have been treatment resistant. I hope to help people and inform people on mental health and wellness through this blog.

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