Free Sleep Quiz


Slow and Steady: The Key to Transforming Your Sleep Routine and Overcoming Insomnia


If you’ve tried using evidence-based cognitive and behavioral strategies to address the underlying causes of insomnia, or if you’ve considered giving them a shot but found the process rather daunting, you’re not alone.

Hi, my name is Sherry and I help people reduce stress and improve their sleep.

In the end, the most effective way to improve sleep if you suffer from chronic insomnia is to practice sleep-inducing behaviors. This is because we cannot control sleep. We cannot force ourselves to fall asleep on demand, and we cannot force ourselves to sleep a certain number of hours. In fact, controlling sleep is something that makes it more challenging because sleep efforts create arousal, which keeps us awake and is (ironically) one of the main contributors to insomnia.


If I Can't Control Sleep What CAN I Do?

By using evidence-based cognitive and behavioral strategies, instead of ineffective sleep efforts, we’re directing our energy in a much more productive direction. We’re doing things like:

  • Allocating adequate time for sleep
  • Getting up when you don’t feel sleepy.
  • Identifying and challenging sleep-related beliefs and thoughts that may be inaccurate or cause worry.
  • Using techniques that lower arousal and increase relaxation.
  • Building sleep drive
  • Strengthening the body clock
  • Reducing arousal

In other words, these strategies set the tone for sleep by eliminating the thoughts and behaviors that disturb sleep.


It's Important To Make These Sleep Changes Gradually

If you’ve been suffering from insomnia for a while, or if you’re just a very motivated person, you may be tempted to try all of these techniques right away. While it’s understandable why you’d want to do that, it can also make things more difficult because (while these techniques are relatively easy to do) they can also be difficult to adhere to in the short-term. Change can be challenging, especially when you aren’t sleeping well! So it’s important to take a step-by-step approach.

For instance, if it takes you forever to fall asleep or you spend most of the night awake, you may start with only one technique, which is to set aside less time for sleeping. You may go to bed late, or you may get up early. It can help if you don’t set aside half an hour or an hour more than your normal amount of sleep each night. Keeping your sleep window a bit tighter helps to improve sleep quality while still giving yourself the chance to get a good night’s sleep.

That said, I wouldn’t recommend limiting your sleep to less than 5 to 5 and a half hours a night. Instead, you can use this to create your sleep window with an earlier bedtime and a more consistent time out of bed.

Sleep Changes Become Easier With Time

If you stick with this one technique for as long as you can, you’ll start to see some positive changes. In this case, it could be a much stronger feeling of sleepiness as you approach bedtime. It could mean falling asleep more quickly. It could mean you’re spending less time awake during the night. It could mean any and all of these things.

Once you start to see some of these positive changes, and you can see that you’re making progress, you may then choose to add other techniques to enhance your sleep for the long term. For instance, you may choose to add techniques to help you get out of bed in the morning when you don’t feel like it or in the night when you are stressed.

By using these evidence based techniques over time, you may find the process gets a little easier. This is because you can gradually get used to each technique, gain some initial successes, and build sleep confidence before adding more techniques.

How To Implement CBTi Without Causing Stress & Burnout

Just as we may experience professional burnout when our workload is too high, we can also experience increased stress and find it difficult to move forward if we try to implement too many sleep improvement techniques all at once.

This is why I recommend clients take it slow, there is no need to add to your stress load by trying to make too many changes at once. Instead, focus on the process instead of keeping an eye on results all the time. Take your time and you may find it a little easier to put into practice and commit to strategies that will help you sleep better for years to come.


Interested in Learning More?

If you would like to learn more or book an individual session, please visit the Work With Me page or enroll in the 30 Day Beyond Sleep Course

In the meantime, I would like to leave you with this important message. You are not broken! You are whole, perfect, and healthy exactly as you are, and you CAN sleep!




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