There are only two things you should be doing in bed
At the elementary level of sleep school, you can learn to take a new approach to your bed.
Welcome to sleep school elementary level! Many of us may have lost a good night’s sleep perhaps due to bad habits or having an unwanted companion from insomnia. Sleep school has only one goal: Good and sufficient sleep. Means are individual.
From the assignments, select the one that you think will help your sleep the most and continue to learn a new way for two weeks. Learn one task at a time, because then the new way of doing things is not too big a change.
At the same time, do some sleep school relaxation exercises and keep a sleep diary.
Remember that sleeping is neither a competition nor an exercise. The purpose of sleep school is not to blame anyone, but to help with sleep. You are the most important evaluator of good sleep, not anyone else. Sweet dreams!
Download our: Small Sleep Diary.pdf
Sleep School For Adults, Part 2 – Elementary Level
From the list, select the task that suits you the best and do it daily for two weeks. Be persistent, as learning a new way can sometimes seem difficult, but it will get easier over time. Two weeks is a proven time for an adult to catch a new habit.
There are two new assignments in the elementary level at sleep school. Choose from the tasks the new task you think will help you the most.If neither task seems right for you, you may wish to implement a new task at the beginner level as well.
Hopefully you have already developed some good new sleeping habits from your previous beginner tasks.
1. A new relationship to the bed
The bed should be associated with sleeping and sex, nothing else. However, if you are having trouble sleeping, your bed may be more of an anxiety than an oasis of rest. Fortunately, it is possible to change your relation with the bed.
In a poor bed-sleep association, bedtime, bedroom and bed, in addition to sleep and sleeping, combine with activities that maintain alertness, such as work. Especially worrying and being restless in bed while trying to fall asleep increase the alertness and diminish the bed-sleep association.
So avoid doing things other than resting in bed. Do not go to bed in the evening until you are sleepy. Then you are ready to fall asleep. If you go to bed tired and try to sleep without getting any sleep, the connection between the bed and sleep is weakened.
“Identifying the difference between drowsiness and fatigue is important,” the insomnia researcher points out. According to him, sleepiness is primarily recognized in the eyelids.
If you do not fall asleep in about 15 minutes, get up from your bed and go to another room, for example, to read a soothing book by the reading light. Try make sure you get bored and avoid raising your alertness. Go back to bed only when you are sleepy. If waking up in the night and worrying in your bed is a recurring problem for you, the second task is especially for you
2. Stop word and Worry time
If your worries start to spin in your head at night, as is often the case, implement a stop word and a worry time. As soon as you wake up at night, you start silently repeating a neutral word like “that”. Make a word in your mouth by saying it silently.
The idea behind the method is that it stops thoughts before the alertness level begins to rise. Therefore, it is important to start repeating the stop word immediately so that it will block the fluttering thoughts before you become too alert. Stopping thoughts can help you fall asleep soon, which is the goal of the method.
If you have frequent night-time wake-ups for your own concerns, you may want to include a time of worry in your day so that you have scheduled time to worry about your concerns.
– It is important to schedule worry time so it can be done during the day and not at night. If you bring your thoughts to light during the day and when you want to, they can often be dealt with in a more constructive way and become better thought out, the researcher encourages.
For a worry time, it is best to reserve 15-30 minutes during the day or early evening and a quiet place. Then write down all your concerns and answers to the following questions:
- Why is your concern important?
- What does it mean if the concern is realized?
- Can I do something about it?
- What does it take to resolve this issue?
- Who could help you?
- Can I solve the problem in smaller bits?
- What is priority order?
- How can you stand if nothing can be done about it?
– If you get caught worrying at night, you can say to yourself, “Stop, this will lead to nothing. I’ll come back to this tomorrow. ” However, rational thinking does not work well during nighttime, says the researcher.
Tasks for everyone: relaxation and sleep diary
In addition to learning the new way you choose, continue with relaxation exercises and keeping sleep diary. Now you get to try a new relaxation exercise, it’s a breathing exercise. If you wish, you can also continue with beginner level muscle relaxation.
Set aside five to ten minutes for the breathing exercise. Practice the first two weeks 1-2 times a day while awake. Later, you can practice less often or only if necessary.
As the skill is learned, conscious relaxation can be used during the day to prevent the occurrence of over alertness and to calm down in the evening or at night.
The breathing exercise is not meant to actually deepen your normal breathing. “It certainly doesn’t hurt to learn deep breathing techniques,” the researcher says. With breathing practice, you may learn to pay attention to your own breathing and whether it is shallow or deep, fast or slow, and consciously soothe yourself with deep breathing. According to the researcher, breathing exercise is an effective and simple way to prevent and reduce stress.
– It relieves tension and promotes a relaxed calmness. With anxiety and fear, people usually breathe faster in the upper chest. Breathing exercise can directly affect unconscious functions in the body. Of all the functions controlled by the autonomic, i.e., involuntary nervous system, it is easiest to influence voluntarily on breathing, says the researcher.
Continue to keep a sleep diary. Record daily in the morning what time you went to bed in the evening, how long it took you to fall asleep, how many times you woke up in your dreams, how long you were awake and what time you woke up in the morning. Also evaluate how many hours you spent in bed and how long you slept together, whether you thought the night was good or bad, what your day was like, and what things during the day promoted sleep and alertness, which in turn weakened.
Keeping a sleep diary helps you discover the things that are important to your sleep. You may find that the nights are different and sometimes there are better nights than others. You may also notice how your daily activities affect your sleep.
Download our: Small Sleep Diary.pdf
Evaluate your new sleep routines after two weeks
After two weeks and using your sleep journal, evaluate how the new routine has gone and how useful it has been for you. If you feel that the routine has been helpful but is not yet easy, continue the same routine for a third week and then reassess the help you receive from the routine.
Elementary assignments are more challenging than beginner assignments and may therefore require more attention. So be gentle with yourself.
What to do after learning some more sleep routines?
When your new routine is working well, but you want to continue improving your dreams, choose another elementary level assignment from the list, or go to the Intermediate level of the sleep school. At the same time, continue the good practices you have already learned and practice one new task at the same time for another two weeks. Continue breathing exercises and keeping a sleep diary. Keep in mind that sleeping is not a competition.