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The Truth About Insomnia That No One Tells You

Written by: Lana Walsh, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

Do you lie awake at night several nights a week, tossing and turning, praying, and hoping to fall asleep? Does your lack of sleep make you irritable, unproductive, unmotivated, or stressed? Have you been struggling to get consistent sleep for months, years, or decades? These are all signs and symptoms of clinical, chronic insomnia.

You’ve probably spent time researching “how to sleep better,” “how to go to sleep faster,” or “why can’t I sleep.” That’s exactly what I did… for 30 years.


Unfortunately, most of the advice out there is not the answer to your problem because they only treat the symptoms of your inability to sleep. Today I’m going to tell you the truth about the root cause of your insomnia.


What is Insomnia


Insomnia is simply taking an hour or more to go to sleep (sleep-onset insomnia) or back to sleep after waking during the night (sleep-maintenance insomnia). It becomes chronic if it occurs three or more times per week and has been going on for more than a few months.


A clinical diagnosis occurs if you perceive a detrimental consequence during the day. For example, if you feel stressed, anxious, irritable, or unmotivated because you had a bad night’s sleep, that falls into the clinical diagnosis.


According to WebMD, symptoms of insomnia include sleepiness during the day, fatigue, grumpiness, or problems with concentration or memory. Other symptoms include not feeling well-rested after a night’s sleep, increased errors or accidents, and of course, difficulty going to sleep or staying asleep.


Do you have insomnia? Take my “What’s Your Sleep Archetype?” quiz to find out.


The Biggest Myth About Insomnia


All the sleep advice is related to the physical aspect of insomnia, like this article from Healthline. They want you to change your environment – cool, dark room, remove distractions, get the right bed and pillows, and spray lavender oil on your bedding.


Or they suggest you change your lifestyle – get more exercise and sunlight, turn off your devices at least an hour before bed, eat right, don’t eat too close to bedtime, and drink less alcohol and caffeine.


Or they tell you to take a supplement because you must be lacking some mineral or hormone – melatonin, magnesium, valerian root, or tryptophan.


Don’t get me wrong, many of these are good things to do, and I often suggest them myself. The problem is that they don’t address the true cause of your insomnia, which is that it’s a learned behavior.


The truth is, to treat insomnia, you need to deal with the psychological reasons why you can’t sleep.


How Insomnia Begins


Insomnia usually begins with a major stressful event – a death, divorce or separation, or a financial or health crisis. During these events, it’s completely normal to have difficulty sleeping, but for many people, this turns into frustration and anxiety about their sleep.


This frustration turns into anticipation. You ask yourself, “Is tonight the night I’m finally going to sleep?” Or you think, “I’m so exhausted, I have to be able to sleep tonight.”


Because you’re so exhausted, you start to engage in behaviors just to survive. You drink more caffeine or energy drinks to get through the afternoon. You fall asleep in front of the TV at 6 or 7 at night. You sleep in on the weekends to “catch up.”


All these things make you feel better and help you get through the days. The bad news is that these things disrupt your ability to sleep and contribute to your development of chronic insomnia.


Over time, this inability to sleep teaches the subconscious brain, just like Pavlov’s dog, that the bed and nighttime are not for sleeping. It’s a time to think, worry, make the to-do list, replay conversations, and all the other things your brain does when you’re tossing and turning at night.


How Do You Treat Insomnia?


The good news is that most people can cure their insomnia, given the right process and information. And it starts by understanding this psychological aspect. Curing your insomnia begins by changing the belief patterns, behaviors, and habits that have been sabotaging your ability to sleep.


This is done with a process called cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia and is considered the gold standard in treating it.


This process includes sleep education, relaxation and stress reduction techniques, and specific behavior and sleep strategies to help reset your subconscious patterns so you can remember how to sleep through the night.


This treatment is so effective that in clinical trials at Harvard University, 100% of people improved their sleep, with 75% of them curing their insomnia and 90% continuing to improve or maintain their sleep at one-year check-ins.


Is this treatment right for you?


I invite you to book a sleep assessment with me to discover how your lack of sleep is holding you back from what you truly want to achieve and learn one strategy specific to your sleep that can help you boost your energy and get better rest.


Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


 

Lana Walsh, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Lana Walsh is a Sleep Coach who helps people overcome insomnia so that they wake up feeling rested and refreshed. After a decade of dealing with undiagnosed restless leg syndrome (RLS), Lana developed chronic insomnia. For 30 years, she struggled to find the answer to her sleep, trying “literally everything” without relief. When Lana was introduced to the stress-busting process of emotional freedom techniques (EFT, AKA tapping), she started sleeping better. Determined to continue this path, she began researching sleep where she finally found the answer to fixing her insomnia. She is passionate about sharing the secrets to overcoming insomnia and helping people get the same results that have transformed her life. Lana is a co-author of the Amazon Bestseller, "Creating Impact, The Ultimate Guide for Purpose-Driven Entrepreneurs," Founder of "Upgrade Your Sleep: A Powerful Method to Overcoming Sleeplessness," registered CBT-i coach, and Conscious EFT Level 1-2 practitioner.

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