Sleep Tips for Insomnia

11/04/2020, Kathryn Pinkham

Ever find yourself lying in bed thinking ‘why can’t I sleep?’ You are not alone, research shows that 1 in 4 people are suffering from poor sleep, but there are some things you can do straight away to help yourself. These techniques are based on the CBT for insomnia programme, recommended by the NHS and are consistently proven to help poor sleepers, often in under 4 weeks. Read on for top tips from Kathryn Pinkham, Founder of The Insomnia Clinic.

1. Don't spend too long in bed

The first thing we do when we can't sleep is we start going to bed earlier to try and increase our opportunity for sleeping. Reduce the amount of time you spend in bed, go to bed later and get up earlier, this will encourage your body’s natural sleep drive to kick in. By reducing the time you spend in bed you will crave more sleep, fall asleep faster and find the quality will improve.

2. Stop clock-watching

It very tempting to look at the clock every time we wake up to monitor how little sleep we are getting however, this increases the pressure to fall back to sleep, thus making it less likely. Set your alarm for the morning then avoid looking at the time again.

3. Don't lie in bed awake

If you can't get to sleep or have woken up in the middle of night, get out of bed. The longer we lie in bed trying to fall back to sleep the more frustrated we get. This, in turn, means we begin to subconsciously relate bed to feeling stressed and being awake rather than asleep. Leave the bedroom and do something relaxing like read a book downstairs, then when you are tired go back to bed.

Sleep tips for Insomnia

4. Manage your thoughts

A busy mind is one of the most common culprits in keeping us awake at night so start by writing things down. Make time to list what is on your mind, this can be therapeutic as it is a way of getting things out of your head. You don’t need to solve all of your problems but when they are written in black and white you will get a different perspective on things. Ask yourself, how many of the worries are hypothetical (haven’t yet happened) and how is worrying about them helping you? For example, worrying that tonight you might not sleep only makes it more likely that you won’t. Write down that thought and acknowledge it but then change your focus.

If you are tired of being tired, The Insomnia Clinic offers CBT for insomnia to help poor sleepers improve sleep quickly. 

About the Author

Kathryn Pinkham originally worked for the NHS psychological services, helping people with mild to moderate mental health issues. After completing training on sleep and insomnia, she realised this was her key area of interest, and in 2013 when on maternity leave, took the opportunity to set up a 1:1 clinic for poor sleepers. Very quickly discovering there was a high demand for this and that she was able to help people improve their sleep after as little as two to three sessions, Kathryn decided she wanted to give as many people access to her services as possible. Beginning with a Skype clinic and then making the decision to train other therapists, Kathryn launched The Insomnia Clinic which now has therapists across the UK and is the UK’s largest Insomnia Service. The Sleep Well, Live Better Online Course was also launched last year, allowing people to follow The Insomnia Clinic’s methods in their own time.

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