It is important to create a pre-bedtime routine if you suffer from conditioned insomnia. The rationale of having such a routine is the way your brain functions. We are aware that the brain has a habit-forming area that turns our series of thoughts and actions into automatic patterns of behavior. We repeat these behaviors being unconscious of each step. You should appreciate this brain function because it simplifies life. You have programmed the brain with particular thoughts and habits that lead to chronic sleeplessness. Consequently, you have developed conditioned insomnia. It is time to reprogram your brain through conscious and deliberate efforts. You can do it by using the appropriate techniques.
Are You Having a Bad Night?
If you are suffering from conditioned insomnia, it is obvious you have unconsciously developed an unfriendly relationship with bedtime. You feel frustrated, anxious, and depressed whenever you approach your bedroom. You hear an intrinsic voice saying that you hope to sleep or you are unlikely to sleep tonight. You also wish you could eliminate the problem, feel tired, and worry why you have this problem. This is what is known as negative association. Does it improve your sleep? No, it doesn’t. This explains the name conditioned insomnia. Negative association has become a deep-rooted habit, as well as an involuntary response. Fortunately, it is possible to change habits. You can transform your pre-sleep period to be pleasant. You can do it before curing insomnia. You should not expect to have a better night’s sleep immediately you change your routine. Remember to get rid of the pressure, which is insomnia’s treatment mantra. This will avoid disappointments that may worsen your condition. The first and simple objective is to perform a number of relaxing and pleasant things prior to bedtime.
Change Negative Conditioning to Positive Conditioning
A change will not occur overnight, but you can program your brain for some weeks to have more calming and helpful thoughts. Transforming the conditioning involves replacing the voice that causes your condition with a kind, sensible, and soothing voice. You can do it by coming up with something to do when the time to sleep comes. When you create a sleep time routine, you start associating the 30 to 45-minute interval before bedtime with calm and relaxation. The routine does not matter provided it considers the following factors;
- It should be enjoyable and relaxing. However, it should not be stimulating or exciting. In this regard, do not watch the news at night to avoid seeing wars, fires, and violence unless they cause a relaxing effect. In addition, restrict you dancing to an earlier time during the day.
- The routine should also be consistent every night. However, avoid obsession.
An interesting routine is not a must. A dull one is even better. You can incorporate you everyday chores such as bathing, brushing teeth, and taking children to bed. However, it is essential to include relaxing activities like some calming music and aromatherapy oils. However, the important things include time (when) and consistency.
Include the Following in Your Routine
- Soothing music
- White noise
- Bath in warm water
- Get or give massages
- Read a positive or calming book
- Read mild, interesting fiction
- Use aromatherapies
- Listen to hypnosis or meditation CDs
- Take deep breaths
- Practice a progressive technique for relaxation
- Engage in creative visualization
A Sample Relaxation Technique
- Lie on the bed. You can place a pillow under the lower legs. This will aid in relaxing your lower abdomen and back.
- Breathe in slowly placing your hands on the lower parts of your abdomen (counting up to six).
- Hold on for a while (counting up to four).
- Exhale gently allowing the body to relax completely. Let your back, neck, arms, legs, and shoulders get rid of tension.
- Repeat this process 3 to 4 times.
Although setting up a routine to get rid of negative association may relieve conditioned insomnia, this routine won’t work alone because the condition is a paradox. Learn to carry out some pleasant activities because of their reward.