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Advice to Insomniacs: Sleep Less

Nothing is worse than tossing and turning, night after night. When sleep eludes you repeatedly, it might be best to cut down on your time in bed and reduce your hours of sleep – essentially putting yourself on a sleep diet might be the answer for a good night's sleep. Chronic insomniacs can gain more effective and deeper sleep by limiting time spent in bed; and it helps to reinforce positive associations with bed rather than lack of sleep. Beds should be used only for sleep and sex, not reading or clock watching.

To create consecutive hours of actual sleep, an insomniac looking to rehab her sleep patterns should try to get five to six hours of continuous sleep and have a strict wake up time of 7 a.m. This means forcing your self to stay awake until one or two in the morning and getting up when the alarm clock wakes you. Once the allotted hours are full of quality sleep, you begin to slowly add in more bed time in quarter hour increments, building up to seven to eight hours of sleep.

Cutting back on time in bed can really improve both the quality and quantity of sleep. And if you've ever experienced serious insomnia, a sleep diet might not sound so crazy to you.


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