Different type of Sleep Restriction

Insomnia Forum Insomnia Help Different type of Sleep Restriction

Want some expert advice to improve your sleep? Get the free insomnia sleep training course!

This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Phil Salmon 5 months, 1 week ago.

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
  • Author
  • #30936

    ✘ Not a client

    A friend of mine was telling me he had Sleep Maintenance insomnia and followed a reversed sleep restriction protocol.     His problem was he was only sleeping 3-4 hours and then he would be wide awake.  What he did was go to sleep and then when he woke up, he would try for to fall back to sleep for 20 minutes.   If he did not fall back to sleep, instead of SC, he would get up after 20 minutes and then stay up for the night.  He would repeat the process the following night.  He told me it took 3 weeks for his sleep to elongate and he was sleeping normally again.

    Has anyone here heard of this type of SR?


    ✘ Not a client

    I tried doing what your friend did.  It’s only my first night so I don’t know yet if it will work.  I’ll let you know after a couple of weeks.  I only got  2 hours and 34 minutes of sleep last night.

    What method are you trying out right now and how much sleep do you usually get per night?



    ✘ Not a client

    Hi SleeplessinHB.  I am on week 4 of doing the standard SR.  My current sleep window is from 11:30 to 5:30 which may be too long.   I always fall asleep right away and sleep from from 2.5-3.5 hours.  Then I have a very hard time falling back to sleep.  Last night I slept till 3am and then did not fall back to sleep at all.    That is why my friends approach was interesting.   Does it work better for my type of sleep maintenance insomnia since I have a very hard time getting to the end of my sleep window?

    Do you know anyone that has tried my friends approach or did you get in from my post???   Either way, good luck and would love to hear your progress.   I am going to give the standard SR some more time, but if I continue to struggle and you make some progress, I will probably try my friends approach too.





    Martin Reed
    ★ Admin

    Your friend’s approach has the same aim as “regular” sleep restriction — it helps build sleep drive. Sleep drive disruption is one of the factors behind chronic insomnia (the others being body clock disruption and arousal).

    I don’t recommend your friend’s approach to clients I work with since it removes any opportunity for sleep after the initial awakening. I see no reason why it can’t help some people, though — since, like regular sleep restriction it helps to build sleep drive.

    I would emphasize the potential for high levels of daytime sleepiness with this approach and encourage anyone who tries it to be vigilant for signs of excessive sleepiness during the day, especially when this could be a danger (for example, when driving or operating machinery).


    Phil Salmon
    ✓ Client

    Any updates on this. I have similar issues with returning to sleep after short sleep awakenings. I guess the idea of this is to make one sleepier which hopefully pushes out sleep duration.

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)

Get involved in this discussion! Log in or register now to have your say!

Want help from an insomnia expert?

My name is Martin Reed and I am the founder of Insomnia Coach®. Enroll in my free sleep training course and get better sleep.

  • * Get one email every day for two weeks.
  • * Follow my advice and your sleep will improve.
  • * Learn the mistakes you’re making that are ruining your sleep.
  • * 97% of subscribers say they would recommend the course to a friend.
  • * Your email address will not be shared or sold. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Learn more about my free sleep training for insomnia or get started right now:

Certified Health Education Specialist logo Certification in Clinical Sleep Health logo ACE-certified Health Coach logo American Academy Sleep Medicine membership badge