The most effective way to improve sleep ever studied!
There’s a relatively new treatment for insomnia that has been booming as a treatment for insomnia. It's the most effective technique to improve sleep that has ever been studied! It doesn’t require any meditating or breathing exercises, And best of all....it’s not a drug!
It’s called Sleep Restriction Therapy. And it’s been proven to increase the quality of the sleep, shorten the time it takes to fall asleep, and best of all, for people who take sleeping pills – 50% of were able to come off their sleeping pills after 8 weeks of doing it.
So what is it?
Well it tunes out that spending more time in bed doesn't actually do you any favours when you have sleep issues. There is evidence that it will make your sleep more shallow, and decrease the amount of that good deep sleep that your body needs to feel rested and refreshed. Spending a lot of time in bed seems to "trick" your brain into thinking that you're getting a good night sleep when your not, and so instead of giving you deep sleep, it only gives you this shallow and fragmented sleep.
So how do you fix it?
Step 1: Calculate how much time you’re actually sleeping (on average)
Not how much time you spend in bed BED, but how much of that are you actually asleep.
Some people will need a sleep diary to accurately assess this. Where every day for one week, as soon as they wake up, they have to write down how much time they spend in bed and how much of that were they actually asleep. Others might know without having to do a sleep diary.
So say your in bed for a total of 10 hours, but it takes you 2 hours to fall asleep, and then you’re up for an hour in the middle of the night and then you’re already awake 1 hour before you get out of bed. That makes a total SLEEP time of 6 hours.
Step 2: is to Choose a time you want to wake up. And this has to be the same time everyday...even on weekends.
Step 3 is to set your bedtime. And you’re only allowed to be in bed for the amount of time that you're asleep as you calculated in step 1. So if you calculated that you’re spending 6 hours asleep, and you want to wake up at 7am, your bedtime is now 1am. And you’re not allowed to go to bed earlier than that. If you calculated that you only spend 5 hours asleep and you want to get up at 7, then your only allowed to go to bed at 2am.
You have to do this for at least a week.
After the first week, if the quality of your sleep has improve (you should not be spending more than 30 minutes awake during your night in bed), then..
Step 4: is to increase your time in bed by going to bed half an hour earlier. And each week you can extend the time you spend in bed by 30 minutes.
Step 5: As soon as you find yourself being awake for more than half an hour while lying in bed, then don't extend your time in bed any more. And reduce your time in bed again by half an hour if this continues.
That's all there is to it.
Go ahead and try it out. I had one patient tell me they had the best night sleep they've had for 20 years.
You will probably feel sleepier than usual in the first few weeks but this is normal! ...Fight the urge to go to sleep early and keep to the schedule, you will stop feeling tired after you find the “sweet spot” of how many hours to spend in bed each night.
Please subscribe to keep these videos going. And if you try it, let me know if it worked in the comments section.
Kyle SD, Aquino MR, Miller CB, et al. Sleep Med Rev. 2015; 23:83-8.