WHAT CAN AN INSOMNIAC DO TO GET A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP?
Never go to bed too early.
This is the biggest mistake insomniacs make. After being exhausted all day, they think turning in early will let them catch up on missed sleep. Not true. Either they won’t be able to fall asleep (because their biological clock is not ready), or they’ll fall asleep for a few hours only to wake later on.
People with insomnia need to go to bed and wake up on a predetermined schedule. This allows the brain to “know” when to sleep and when to be awake. If you’re not sure what your sleep schedule should look like, start with the time you need to be up on weekdays and count backwards 7.5 hours (the average sleep cycle of 1.5 hours multiplied by 5, which is the number of sleep cycles the average person has). So if you wake up at 6:30 a.m. to get your kid out the door on time, your bedtime is 11 p.m. Remember, this is an average. If you manage well on 6.5 hours of sleep, test that timing by seeing if you can wake up then without an alarm.