"If you can’t sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there worrying. It’s the worry that gets you, not the lack of sleep."
– Dale Carnegie
Carnegie’s quote taps into the heart of the matter – worry about sleep. The worry so many people know all too well. Lying in bed hoping and struggling to fall asleep. Sometimes it is more than worry. Sometimes it is panic. Panic due to feeling out of control. Panic about the dire consequences if you keep missing out on sleep.
This worry can pervade your waking hours. Even during the day, you can find yourself apprehensive about the possibility of another difficult night of sleep.
Unfortunately, telling yourself to stop worrying rarely works. Just reading Carnegie’s good advice will not magically turn a person into someone who no longer “worries” about sleep. If it were only that simple.
It’s not a problem easily ignored. It forces you to pay attention. You could continue doing what you are doing. If so, you can probably expect about the same results. Or you can try something different. But what should you try?
This book was written for anyone who wants to improve their sleep. Don’t concern yourself with whether you meet the diagnostic criteria for “insomnia.” For our purposes, the term “insomnia” refers to sleep problems that are upsetting or interfere with a person’s life. If that describes your problem with sleep, then you are likely to benefit from the SomniSkills Workbook.
We do not believe in a one-size-fits-all approach. Everyone is different. A variety of factors can contribute to sleep problems. The causes of your sleep problems may not be the same as the causes of another person’s. The SomniSkills Workbook offers a tool called the “Formulator.” The Formulator enables you to identify the factors contributing to your sleep problems. Then you will be guided to create a personalized treatment plan designed to address those factors.
You do not have to give up sleep medication to benefit from CBT-I. Many people depend on sleep medication. Many do not want to give up sleep medication until there is a better alternative. You DO NOT have to give up sleep medication to benefit from learning the SomniSkills taught in this Workbook. We devote an entire chapter to the use of sleep medication.
The guiding principle of CBT-I is that you can control how well you sleep. Getting a good night’s sleep is not a mysterious, uncontrollable event. You can do something about it! It basically comes down to changing habits. The goal is to rid yourself of habits that interfere with a good night’s sleep, while developing habits that improve sleep. We call the beneficial habits, SomniSkills. The steps to learning the SomniSkills are not difficult. Anyone can do them. It requires more than just reading an inspirational quote like Dale Carnegie’s. But the benefits are available to those who persist.
P.O. Box 8736
Portland, ME 04104-8736