Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBTI)
CBTI is a form of therapy typically offered by psychologists which specifically targets sleep improvement and reduced use of medications to sleep. Therapists use a combination of skills training and examining your thoughts around sleep while teaching you more supportive thought patterns. Participants learn daytime and nighttime relaxation techniques and lifestyle habits to improve sleep. Participants are encouraged to reduce the use of sleep medications slowly over time. Explore the link below for more information on CBTI and online programs.
Often people struggle to fall asleep because they are worrying about things to come or ruminating about what has already happened. Creating a regular practice of journaling about these concerns can help you process your feelings and feel a bit calmer.
Some people become very attached to their worries. It’s almost as if people worry that if they fall asleep, they will forget their problems. Write them down, keep them next to the bed. If you still need them in the morning, they will be waiting for you.
Keeping a journal next to the bed can also be a great help to creative people. Often you have the best ideas right as you are falling asleep. If there is a journal and pen close by, you can quickly jot them down and return to your rest.
We do not recommend electronic journals for this purpose as the light from screens can interfere with the body’s natural rhythms and make you feel more awake.
Mantras are phrases that a person can say repeatedly to help bring calm, comfort, confidence and other positive emotions. These phrases are often paired with a breathing rhythm. For example you could inhale while saying to yourself ‘I am’ and exhale saying ‘calm’, inhale ‘I am’ exhale ‘comfortable’, inhale ‘I am’ exhale ‘relaxed’. Then you continue to repeat the cycle of phrases as you fall asleep. Substitute the words that are most meaningful to you. You could also try repeating in your head ‘I surrender to a peaceful sleep’. Creating a habit of saying the same phrase daily as you fall asleep, will trigger the mind and body that it is time for rest.
A regular practice of meditation can be very helpful in learning to control an overactive mind. It can also help calm the body and release muscle tension. Follow the links below to explore different meditation/relaxation techniques that may improve the quantity and quality of your sleep.
Deep Relaxation for Sleep Coming Soon!
Yoga and Tai Chi
Some great exercises for evening that may help you to feel relaxed and calm include Tai Chi and Yoga. Specifically, we recommend Yin Yoga, Gentle Yoga and Restorative Yoga.
Try the links below for free online classes designed specifically to promote positive sleep:
Try this beginner tai chi video to learn the basics:
Yoga Nidra is an ancient form of deep relaxation that can address a lot of the underlying issue that cause poor sleep. It often includes a deep relaxation of every part of the body and some emphasis on calming the mind and slowing down racing or anxious thoughts. Follow the links below to learn more about Yoga Nidra and for a free recording to try this technique for yourself.