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Ann is a college professor from New York City who had been struggling with sleep for over 30 years and got great results using the cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) techniques I use in my online coaching course.
In this episode, Ann describes how her sleep issues began, all the ways she tried to improve her sleep without success, and how she finally managed to get her sleep back on track. I think many people with chronic insomnia will recognize Ann’s struggles with sleep — and the good news is, of course, that since CBT-I techniques worked for Ann, it’s very likely they’ll work for you, too.
Click here for a full transcript of this episode.
Martin Reed: Okay, so I’m here with Ann Vigo who went through my online coaching course, I think it was around seven months ago now. Ann is a college professor in New York City, I believe. So thanks for for joining me today, Ann.
Ann Vigo: Of course, thanks for having me on.
Martin Reed: So, this is great to have you. Can you tell me a little bit more about like the start of your sleep issues? When did it start and how did it start for you?
Ann Vigo: For me, it started with gaining independence. I never went through sleep issues in college, I was kind of happy in my scholastic world and my ivory tower. And then when it came time to finding a real job, dealing with independence, those were like big issues for me, finding a career I really liked because my studies really didn’t translate to really a practical job. I don’t think I was very practical. So I had to deal with a lot of reality facing and growing up really, growing up becoming an adult. And these were like struggles for me.
Ann Vigo: And another part of my struggle was a social phobia, where I had kind of isolated myself for a lot of my growing up years, like really formative years, and I didn’t have the social connections I should have. So then when it came time to really be out there and to function in life, to function in a career, you need to have a network to have friends, and all this which was natural to most people for me wasn’t really like something I was so comfortable with. I had to learn it. So I would have sometimes, I would have this anticipatory anxiety the night before, like before I would meet someone, a friend even. And then I would start obsessing about sleep. So, that was also part of it. So it was quite significant for me, a big obstacle.
Martin Reed: And so, did you did you tend to find that it would start off as you just have one or two bad nights or was it kind of like, bam, it just hit you, you just suddenly have this string of bad nights all in a row?
Ann Vigo: I think it would kind of hit me now and then when I would realize like I’m not happy, I don’t have a career path, I feel a little loss, I don’t feel comfortable being independent. I would try to forget about it and just kind of go about doing my job. But then now and then I would step back and look at the bigger picture like as a young adult in my 20s and I’d say like, where am I going, I feel very lost. And then I would kind of panic and then that would sort of trigger my anxieties. And then I would fall into negative sleep patterns. My thinking, of course, would affect my sleep, you know, when you feel really hopeless, then I think I would fall into a depression.
Martin Reed: What kind of what kind of ways did you struggle with sleep? Did you tend to struggle just falling asleep or would it just be fragmented sleep or you’d wake during the night?
Ann Vigo: Definitely falling asleep. I just couldn’t unwind, I couldn’t relax. So that was always my biggest issue. And I think even today, that’s the hardest, just relaxing. I was looking over some of your information about relaxing, and it’s actually something that’s fun right now, like oh, I have to work on relaxing, I enjoy that, that’s like not a hard thing to work on. So that’s one of my tasks now is I have to learn how to relax.
Martin Reed: That’s great. And, you know, so many people, I think especially people with insomnia, they see relaxation as a way of making them sleep, which is kind of this mistaken belief. So we implement these relaxation techniques, but as soon as we try and make sleep the goal, we’re just constantly self-monitoring for sleep the whole time we’re going through relaxation. But it’s so important to bear in mind that the goal of relaxation is just relaxation itself. As soon as you try and make sleep the goal, you just completely, it’s almost like you’re wasting your time trying to relax at that point.
Ann Vigo: Right. And I know that you emphasize that a lot because once you give your mind a job to do, your mind is just going to keep looking over your shoulder and checking in. So you can’t make sleep your job, I have to fall asleep. Otherwise, all these terrible things are going to happen. I think it’s being like a very overthinking kind of person, as a college professor, you know, I’m an over thinker and you probably were too, so we overthink ourselves into not sleeping because we’re used to giving ourselves a job and like getting it done. But sleep doesn’t fall into that category. It’s just completely different.
Ann Vigo: So, once you start doing that, it’s counterproductive, counterintuitive. So you have to give up the control and that’s the hard part.
Martin Reed: Yeah, absolutely. I could not agree with you more. So your sleep problems began, like you were living with insomnia quite a long time, weren’t you, before you got on the road to recovery?
Ann Vigo: Yeah. It was just like part of my life, you know, like I’d have a bad night or just go to work on no sleep and just kind of a scary feeling like, Oh my god, can I get through the day like this. And then you just, but then the next night, I would always sleep and that’s kind of like a recovery sleep. And then the next day, sometimes you could feel worse and just, you know, you’d get into these these bad patterns. I mean, I wouldn’t say that I didn’t sleep for long stretches, it would just always be there in the background and something would trigger it.
Ann Vigo: So now I feel like I have more control over it. I feel like, you know, you’re never free of that, it’s part of being human to have a bad night now and then. Something is always going to upset you and the first thing to go is your sleep. But now I can manage it because I would like overreact to my insomnia. I couldn’t get a handle on it and then that of course would make it worse. All of these psychological issues come into play.
Martin Reed: Right, absolutely. So I think originally when you enrolled, when you started working with me, you put down the, as your estimate for when your sleep problems began was like 1987 I think it was that you put down. So, that was obviously quite a long time that you’ve been struggling with sleep. So was this just like this, sleep issues like you just described where you’d have like a patch or bad sleep and it would kind of get back on track and then you’d go through a bad patch again or?
Ann Vigo: I think that’s what it was, yeah, because I think I could always persevere. I never let myself like have a nervous breakdown over it. So it didn’t go on and on like protracted, like where I wouldn’t sleep for days. Or sometimes I’d just get in a bad loop and have a couple of bad nights here and there.
Ann Vigo: But it just was always something persistent. And I think, you know, I had to work on improving my life in a lot of ways, like finding a career, which I got into teaching. But even more importantly, just feeling comfortable being independent adulting. I had to go for cognitive therapy to have better thoughts and to learn how to have more confidence in myself and just kind of separate from my mom actually, had a very close relationship that was not really that conducive to being an independent person.
Ann Vigo: So, I had like my own psychological issues. So I think whenever you have something like that, I think your sleep is going to get affected. I mean, at least for me it did. If I’m worried about something, if I’m not happy with my life, I’ll tend not to sleep that well. It’ll manifest itself that way.
Martin Reed: Absolutely. And I think that is quite normal, you know, especially if we’re going through like a sudden period of stress or worry or anxiety, is completely normal for sleep to be disrupted at that point. But then the problem is if that one bad night kind of turns into two or three, and that’s when we tend to be worried about sleep. And then as soon as you worry about sleep, we might try to control sleep and compensate for a bad night of sleep. And that’s really what sets off like this chain of events that ends up perpetuating the sleep problems and then making it harder to shake them off.
Ann Vigo: Right. And you make more of it than what it is, and then you even start to feel like, oh, I can’t sleep anymore, forgetting the fact that we all have a natural ability to sleep and it’s just there. Just like when we were infants, we didn’t think about it, obviously. So we think like, oh, I’m becoming some kind of monster, I can’t sleep anymore. Like I’m different from every other human on the planet. But in fact, it’s so not true but we’re just like overthinking it and overthinking it, and then it becomes like this big monster literally on our backs. And it’s just really, it’s like breathing, sleeping is like breathing, right?
Martin Reed: Absolutely. That’s always the example I love to use because it’s so easy to just become convinced that we’ve lost the ability to sleep. And this is something I really try and work hard to emphasize is we never lose the ability to sleep because it is just like breathing. We can hold our breath, but eventually the body will say, that’s it, I need oxygen now. And no matter how hard you try, it’s going to make you breath. And that’s what sleep is like. When we have high levels of anxiety, we can suspend sleep, eventually the body will just be like, no more, we’ve got to sleep now. And so you will always eventually sleep.
Ann Vigo: Exactly.
Martin Reed: So, what kind of things, everyone with insomnia has tried myriad things to try and improve their sleep. What kind of things had you tried in the past to get your sleep?
Ann Vigo: I would say I tried tranquilizers. I even tried like a sleeping pill, and a sleeping pill, whatever I had something, it didn’t feel like real sleep, you know, it was like a little bit scary. And those things never work in the long term because they’re not changing the way you think about sleep. I still think now and then a tranquilizer can help me and I’m not saying I never use them, but I don’t really rely on them as much, it’s more like a change in my thinking, you know, I can pave the way for good sleep. And it’s not the end of the world if I don’t get a perfect night’s sleep.
Ann Vigo: I don’t want to set myself up for like a disaster by over-focusing. It’s just natural and I will naturally sleep and I just can’t worry about it. Because the more I worry about it, the worse I’m going to make it. So I just have to let go of that worry because I wanted to always feed my my insomnia fears. I just got used to doing that. Researching about it. Especially if you’re at work and you can’t focus and you have some downtime, you’re going to start researching sleep if you’re exhausted because you want to sleep the next night. And then you start reading a lot of stuff and then, you know, better not to stress so much on it.
Martin Reed: All right. Absolutely. Had you tried like any of these over the counter things that they have out now for sleep and insomnia? Did you try any of those?
Ann Vigo: I’d say yes. Like I tried the Valerian Root and like other herbal supplements, I tried melatonin. You know, but it’s, really nothing is going to be a cure so to speak.
Martin Reed: Right, absolutely. A lot of people they’ll try all these over the counter supplements, etc. The problem we have with them is there’s really not that much evidence to support their effectiveness. Sometimes people will take them and they’ll find them helpful. I suspect it’s probably more of a placebo effect. But if that’s working for them, it’s fine. But the problem that you have is, as soon as then you have a bad night again, you start to panic that whatever that pill is that you were taking is no longer working and you’re immediately more anxious because now you have to look for a new solution.
Martin Reed: And so, it can really just send you down this rabbit hole of just always looking for solutions, always researching. And before you know it, like insomnia just takes over your whole thought process. Not just at night, it just becomes all consuming.
Ann Vigo: Right. Like you think about it during the day, am I going to sleep tonight, am I going to sleep tonight? I remember having days like that, and it’s just really all wrong thinking.
Martin Reed: Absolutely, yeah. All right, so let’s move on. You started working with me back in October 201 last year. So that was, from the time of recording this, that was about seven months ago. So what prompted you to reach out and think okay, let’s tackle this now head on?
Ann Vigo: Well, that’s an interesting question because it was, shortly after my birthday, my birthday is coming up on Monday, so it’s May 20th.
Martin Reed: Happy Birthday.
Ann Vigo: Thank you. So last year on my birthday, I didn’t have a good birthday because I was not in a good place and I was dealing with some stressful things and of course, it came out of my sleep. So on the day my birthday, I was in a really bad mood. I just said to my husband, I don’t want to celebrate my birthday, I don’t want to open any presents. And I was just so negative, and I couldn’t get over not sleeping. And it’s interesting, my husband will have bad nights now and then but he’s so different, he will just shake it off. Like, he would never probably react that way. Like, he would always be like in a good mood, especially if it were his birthday. But for me, like not having slept, I was like, no, I don’t even want to celebrate my birthday.
Ann Vigo: And then I realized, like, wow, you know, this is like a big deal for me. I should be able to handle this better. I just started realizing that, you know, maybe I could learn more about insomnia, maybe I can finally get a handle on this and help myself some way because it just seemed like I would have these extreme reactions to not sleeping. And I felt like, you know, I should know how to handle this better. Especially having lived with it for so many years. It’s not like I’m a young adult and it’s like all new and oh my god, I never had this before. This is like something I’ve lived with, but it should be getting better.
Ann Vigo: So I thought why not enroll in your course, I had signed up for your free email. So they were very helpful. So I said, you know what, it’s really an investment in my physical, my mental, emotional health. And I’m really glad I did that because I’ve learned so much from you.
Martin Reed: Great. So for those that aren’t aware, so, what I do and I work with clients is I’ve really focused on these evidenced-based cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, CBT-I techniques, because I’m absolutely convinced they’re the best way to improve sleep, not just for the short term but for the long term as well, because they teach you the new way of thinking about sleep and they give you skills that stay with you for the rest of your life. So if you kind of have a setback in the future, even if it’s 10 and 20 years from now, you’ve got all those skills because you’ve learned them. So you can just go back and revisit them.
Martin Reed: Had you tried any, had you heard of CBT-I before you enrolled in my course and started working with me?
Ann Vigo: I think I’d heard about the importance of sticking to a set sleep schedule. I always knew that was important, that you shouldn’t sleep in on the weekends. But I didn’t know all the different facets of it. You taught me about the association of the bed with sleep and how important that is for you subconsciously. Because if you’re just spending hours in bed not sleeping, then you’re setting up a negative association, which makes so much sense, but I had never really thought about that.
Martin Reed: Yeah, absolutely.
Ann Vigo: So the sleep conditioning that you taught me was very helpful.
Martin Reed: Okay. So, talking about this, that’s often like one of the techniques, this is part of stimulus control. And what we do is we want to relearn to see the bed as a place for sleep. And so, the way we do that is, if we’re in bed and we’re not sleeping, we get out of bed. So, that can be very challenging for a lot of people to try because it seems so counterintuitive. I’m lying here, I want to sleep but this technique is telling me I have to get out of bed now. How am I going to sleep? Did you kind of struggle with that as a concept?
Ann Vigo: I did. And at first, I just assumed I should just get up and read because I’m a reader. So I’d go into the lounge chair and read. I didn’t really, I didn’t really want to do that all the time, especially like, you know, you don’t want to put a light on and then like to actually engage in reading, it seems like, wow, I don’t really want to be doing this in the middle of the night. So I did that for a while and then I started leaving my yoga mat out. And I said you know what, I could just do some stretches. And that feels a little bit better. I’m not in bed, I’m on my mat and I’m still doing something a little bit more relaxing, as opposed to like engaging in a book.
Ann Vigo: So now I tend to go on the mat and do stretches. I like that. Yes, it’s hard to leave the bed, especially when it’s freezing cold, but just get up and put a robe on, just do it. Because it does make sense and it becomes kind of torturous I would say to just lie there. When you feel that, you just have to get out, get out of the bed.
Martin Reed: Yeah, I completely agree with you. When I encounter a lot of resistance from people about this idea, I ask them, well, do you find it relaxing and pleasant to be lying in bed frustrated and anxious tossing and turning? Perhaps it would feel a little bit better if you just got out of bed. Because it really doesn’t matter so much what you do when you get out of bed, the important thing is to just get out of bed. Like you just said, some people do like to just get out and read a book. But it’s all about finding what works for you. So for you, it was doing some light stretching during the night. It’s really just about just getting out of bed and just removing yourself from this really stressful situation.
Ann Vigo: Right. And the other thing I want to mention, which I was thinking about before this little interview was, you freed me from the tyranny of the clock in the middle of the night. I was reading over what you wrote about in an ideal world, there would be no clocks in the bedroom. And that’s so true. But of course, we need our clocks to wake us up. So you just turned it around so you don’t see it. I just don’t look at the clock, I mean, I see it but it’s turned around. So I never want to see what time it is. And I feel so free from that. It just frees you up.
Ann Vigo: Once you know the hour, it just has an effect on you. It’s just much better being in this kind of like limbo, you just really don’t know what time it is. Who cares, you know. It’s not important. It’s just going to have a negative effect. You’re going to start calculating numbers in your head. That was really, really, that’s so helpful for me.
Martin Reed: Yeah, it’s so funny that you say that because it’s just such a simple piece of advice, right? Just don’t check the time during the night, but it can have such a dramatic difference because a lot of people tell me, that if I tell them that, if I say, have you tried just not checking the time at night? They say, well, no, because just the idea of not checking the clock will give me anxiety. So then I’ll say, okay, well, when have you been really struggling with sleep and you’ve checked the time during the night and it says, I don’t know, like 3:30 AM or 4:30 AM, and you thought, great, now I’m really relaxed and I’m going straight to sleep. That probably never has happened, right?
Ann Vigo: No, never, never. No, you just don’t want to see those hours.
Martin Reed: Yeah, exactly.
Ann Vigo: Why do you need to know that? Unless something happens in the middle of the night, someone’s going to say, well, what time was that? Well, I don’t know, I can’t tell you. So hopefully nothing happens that I need to know, I need to report a time. So just think of it as like just like it’s all a blur. It’s some time but I don’t really need to know because then you just start calculating and you go to a bad place. I do appreciate just not knowing what time it is. Even even if I am sleeping well and I get up to use the bathroom, I don’t even check the time, I just don’t look anymore.
Martin Reed: Yeah, absolutely.
Ann Vigo: I don’t want to know what time it is.
Martin Reed: That’s such a good, that’s such a good technique. And it’s really, really good that you brought that up because I wasn’t planning on that, I wasn’t even planning on talking about that but it’s really, really helpful to hear that from someone that’s found it beneficial. And so I think, hopefully, even if it’s just one person listening to this and they just try just not to check the clock for a few nights, I think they’ll get a positive result from that and realize-
Ann Vigo: Let’s say break up with the clock.
Martin Reed: Yeah, absolutely.
Ann Vigo: You know, because we have this relationship with it all day. At night, just break up with it.
Martin Reed: Absolutely. So you mentioned first, the idea of getting out of bed when you’re just trying to read instead of doing the stretching. Were there any other of the techniques that you learned these CBT-I techniques that you found difficult to implement?
Ann Vigo: I think also you had said, you know, I was leaving a lot of time for sleep. And so, it was a little hard to say, okay, I have to get out of bed now. I would think like just, you know, if I don’t have to go to work, if I have a free day, I’ll just try to sleep as much as I can, and leave all this, get out of bed whenever. And that’s really not a good way of looking at it. So you have to have that set schedule. It’s not really good to go over it because your body acclimates and you feel better. Like if I get up every day around 7, 7:30, why should I sleep one day till 8 or 8:30. It’s going to kind of throw me off.
Ann Vigo: In the past, I used to think like, oh, any extra sleep is good sleep. There is such a thing as like oversleeping and then not feeling so great, and I think that’s getting out of your sleep pattern.
Martin Reed: Yeah, absolutely.
Ann Vigo: you know, when you sleep a little bit too much.
Martin Reed: Yeah. So, what you’re talking about is we have, when we work through of course with CBT-I, we really try and match the amount of time you allot for sleep with the amount of time you’re actually currently sleeping, not the amount of sleep you want to be getting, but just what you’re currently getting.
Martin Reed: So, if someone is say averaging five hours of sleep at night, we really don’t want to be spending like a lot more than around five and a half hours for sleep. Because we really want to feel that sleep window, like consistent chunk of sleep, rather than this light fragmented sleep. Because a lot of people will think I want to get eight or nine hours of sleep, so they’ll spend eight or nine hours in bed. But if you’re only sleeping around five hours, you’re just setting yourself up for four hours of wakefulness of tossing and turning. That can definitely be an obstacle for a lot of people.
Martin Reed: Did you find the like mental struggle that you have with that concept, did it take a few weeks to shake that off or did you kind of recognize the benefits straightaway?
Ann Vigo: I think I recognized the benefits straightaway, pretty soon. And also on the other end of that, so getting up a little earlier, the other part of that was going to bed a little later, which at first to me was a little odd because I would think, oh, well, I want to get as much rest as I can. If I’m a little bit tired at 10:30, I’m going to go to bed at 10:30 when you calculated I really should be going to bed at 11:30. And then, it was kind of like you gave me a gift because you gave me this extra hour at night that I could do stuff. And I thought, wow, I’m going to bed a little too early if I’m getting up at 7:30. I have a little more time to do some reading before I go to bed or just chatting with my husband, not about anything really too consequential, of course, you know, keeping it light. But just having a little extra time.
Ann Vigo: And so then I appreciated that and I realized I was probably going to bed a little too early and letting myself get up whenever. I would allot way too much time for for sleeping and then I wouldn’t be sleeping the whole time of course in the bed, so I’d have those wasted hours.
Martin Reed: Yeah, absolutely. You know, that’s quite familiar. I have a few people that told me that, you know, they’re like, first, the idea of going to bed so much later was like, I just couldn’t figure out that I’d get on with that, that they reflect back on it. And they’re like, wow, I had like this extra time. I could add this extra time to relax or extra time to get some chores done or be a little bit more productive earlier in the evening because I knew that I wasn’t going to bed at nine o’clock at night to toss and turn, but I’d be going to bed at 11 o’clock or midnight. And then over time, I’d fall asleep much quicker as well because I had enough time for that sleep drive to build during the day.
Ann Vigo: Right, right. Because going to bed earlier is working against yourself because you’re not really quite ready to go to sleep and you’re anxious about, you’re saying okay, it’s really early, I have a lot of extra time now and you’re focusing too much on it like it’s like a job. Like I’m going to get a head start on my job and that’s really the wrong way to go about it.
Martin Reed: Yeah, exactly. And especially when you combine that with not keeping a consistent out of bed time in the morning, because it’s so tempting, like if your say falling asleep window let’s say just ends at 6AM and you don’t fall asleep let’s say until 5:30AM because you’ve been up and down all night having a really bad night. And then the alarm goes off at 6, the the temptation to just, I know I can get a couple of extra hours in, you really want to just stay in bed. But if you do that, you know, that’s just going to reduce your sleep drive for the next night. And it’s also just going to, like your circadian rhythm, your body clock is just going to be all out of whack because it hasn’t got a strong morning anchor in the morning.
Martin Reed: So I really do like, I think it’s like one of the most important things you can do is just make sure you’re always out of bed by a certain time and just keep it consistent every day.
Ann Vigo: And you also mentioned morning light is important. Even if it’s sitting by a window I think.
Martin Reed: Yeah, it is. That’s just like another one of these signals that it gives to the body clock that it’s time to be awake, to start generating these alerting signals to keep us awake. It’s just, like this kind of society that we’re in now, everything is kind of just constant. As soon as we wake up, we’re under artificial light, we go to work, run to artificial light. We have air conditioning, climate control. There’s no variation really in light, there’s no variation in temperature, we’re just kind of living in this bubble.
Martin Reed: So all these environmental cues that our body clock was looking for are kind of suppressed. Even if all we do when we get up in the morning is just eat our breakfast by the window or something or just go for a really short walk around the block. Just like get that rhythm started again, you know, especially if you’re the kind of person that wakes up and you feel quite groggy in the morning, just getting active, just going outside, even if it’s just five minutes outside, sit on the porch or have a coffee out there or something like that, that light exposure can really be helpful.
Ann Vigo: Right. Then at the other end, at night, you want to get rid of these electronic devices that are so addicting for all of us. I could just go on my phone and just be on there and just be checking out a million things but I just have to stop myself and say this is like bad. This light is interfering with the melatonin production or it’s going to make me more alert. I do like to read so a book is much better. I just got to put that phone away.
Martin Reed: Yeah, absolutely. One of the things about like phones and electronic devices is everyone’s always talking about the light that they emit. And I think that is part of the problem, that I’m more of the, I think that a bigger problem perhaps is just they’re so arousing these things. You’ve got your notifications coming up, you might be checking your Facebook, then your Instagram, you might have a text message come in. You start looking at a web page, you open up a new link, a new tab. Before you know it, well, from my experience, before I know it, I’ve got like 30 tabs open, and I’m like, I’ll just finish these set of tabs and I’ll go to sleep. But then on the last tab, there’s a new link, and then you open a new tab. And so, it’s just, it’s really hard to just switch off.
Ann Vigo: And you can find out anything. You can be watching a TV show and you want to know something about that person, you just google them. And then you’re reading biographies of people, I mean, everything’s at our fingertips. So you have to just really, really make a strong effort to just put that phone away because we’re so curious naturally. And as you say, one link needs leads to another. We just have to break it. We can just be at that all night. As a college professor, I know my students are all addicted to technology. They’re all addicted and they use it as a break from writing essays and studying, and it just just kind of wreaks havoc with all of us because we lack the discipline because we’re mentally curious. And it is just so stimulating, it just fits right in the palm of your hand.
Ann Vigo: I know when I’m really tired, when I’m sleep deprived, if you give me my phone, I will go crazy with it. I’ll just keep googling stuff. I will just have to just take it out of my hands myself because I’m just like a crazy person with it because my mind isn’t functioning, I’m so tired and I’m just like reading whatever. My discipline is low at that point because I’m so tired. I know I have to keep away from the phone at night.
Martin Reed: Absolutely.
Ann Vigo: Definitely.
Martin Reed: Yeah, so, I normally say just as a general rule is, at least an hour before you tend to go to bed is just to like try and put the phone or like these stimulating devices down. And just anything else that you find relaxing helps you unwind, just do that in the last hour. They’re kind of like time drains as well these devices. Before you know it, like two hours has gone by when you’re only planning to be on them for 10 minutes.
Ann Vigo: I love the buffer zone. You use the word, oh, you said constructive thinking. It kind of stood out to me, constructive thinking. Really important at night, especially if you tend to be negative. And you want to be good with all your relationships. I’ve recently got married in 2016, you know, so I was used to just always being alone at night. But I have to check in with my husband, I have to feel good about what’s going on between us. If we have like issues, I don’t want to bring them up right before I go to sleep. I just want to feel good that, you know, everything’s good between us and we have to go over something important, we could save it for the morning or another time.
Ann Vigo: It’s like that time is pretty sacred and you want to have like good feelings, that word constructive is really important. So you want to keep all your relationships constructive. They say obviously never go to bed angry at someone, right? The old saying, the husband goes to sleep on the couch. I feel like I have to be good with my relationship and just have positive thoughts in general I think. It’s really important. You can have those negative thoughts later. The next day they’re always going to be there.
Martin Reed: Yeah, that’s right. So this is one of the techniques that I like to use, this constructive thinking technique because for a lot of people with insomnia, they’ll go to bed and their mind just becomes alive. It could be sleep related worries, it might not be. It might just be worry about a project you’re doing at work or worry about relationships, or even just your to do list. And as soon as the mind’s active, it makes sleep more difficult.
Martin Reed: So the idea with constructive thinking is you allot some time during the daytime for this and you write down everything that’s on your mind, especially if it’s the same kind of thoughts that do occur at night, you write them all down. Then alongside each of them, if there’s a potential solution, you write down what the solution might be. If there’s not a solution, you just write like no apparent solution yet and then you can revisit that the next day. And then when you get into bed at night, as soon as your mind starts firing up again, you can kind of remind yourself, well, look, I’ve already gone through this all during in the day, when I was awake, alert, I’m better able to process these thoughts and worries.
Martin Reed: So, it’s kind of not constructive for me to be doing this. Now, I’ve already gone through this. And if a new thought or worry crops up, then you just tell yourself, well, look, I’ll address this in tomorrow’s scheduled time for constructive thinking. I think it’s such a helpful technique.
Ann Vigo: I love the phrase constructive thinking, you know, because we all tend to go into negative thinking and it’s very common. And especially when you’re not sleeping, you start to get depressed and then your thought patterns become really dark.
Martin Reed: Yeah, absolutely. And I think we just, we’re a lot more rational during the daytime. Everything seems, all our worries seem a lot more amplified at night just because like the parts of the brain that process this, that do this high level of cognitive thinking, that kind of shutting down ready for sleep. So it’s harder for us to be rational at nighttime with thoughts and worries. So if we do it during the day, not only does it shift it away from the night time but it also lets us better process these worries.
Ann Vigo: Also, as the day goes on, our decision making ability dwindles. So, there’s a lot of research about, you know, you don’t want to be making important decisions at night. Like let’s say you’re planning a big event like a wedding and then you go after work your partner to make all these wedding plans. At a certain point, you’re just going to be, whatever, you decide, because you’ve already made all these decisions about what you’re going to have for lunch and what you’re going to wear, blah, blah, blah, blah. And it’s like, by the end of the day, our minds just can’t do it anymore.
Martin Reed: Oh yeah, absolutely. I think that’s where the phrase, we’ll sleep on it comes from. Because through the ages, we have recognized that you can’t make a good decision like at nighttime. You want to sleep on it, and then look at it again the next day.
Ann Vigo: Yeah. So all the more reason to just go into the buffer zone and just have some positive thoughts and not really like ruminate on something, try to tackle a problem. Just going to keep your mind aroused. It’s not a good idea.
Martin Reed: Absolutely. So, you’ve already covered like quite a lot of stuff that you found really helpful that you learned. Was there anything else that sticks out in your mind as been particularly helpful, like a technique or just a change in the way you thought about sleep in general?
Ann Vigo: I think just the way I thought about sleep in general, that you can’t force sleep, because I’m someone like who’s a doer, who wants to get things done. And sleep is like, just like a different animal. And so you can’t make it this project. It’s not like a job, it’s a natural thing. And just all the counterintuitiveness about sleep, the more you try to sleep, the less you can sleep. And you also, you wrote, Martin, about people who are good sleepers and you said that they look forward to going to sleep because they don’t obsess about it, they don’t worry about sleep, therefore they sleep.
Ann Vigo: And so that stuck out to me, you know, that was something that’s so true I think because I would envy those people say, oh, they’re good sleepers. But I’m a good sleeper too if I just don’t think about sleep and just decide to, if I just give up my obsession with it and just become like my natural infant self that I once was, I could be a good sleeper too, I’m just not going to worry about it. I’m not going to make it my life project, I’m not going to put a label insomniac on myself because that’s like totally self defeating.
Martin Reed: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. I think this is another reason why these CBT-I techniques are so helpful because the C stands for cognitive, which is like the thought process. So just changes the way you think about sleep, which is exactly what you just described. But then you’ve got the B which stands for the behavioral technique, which is not going to bed too early, getting out of bed at a consistent time every day and getting out of bed when you can’t sleep, buffer zone. So it combines it.
Martin Reed: So, not only does it try and change the way you think about sleep but it also gives you this behavioral aspect as well. Because a lot of people struggle with just, look, I know that I shouldn’t worry about sleep, but it’s easier said than done. So when you combine, when you add on the behavioral techniques, that can also help improve sleep, like give you the confidence back.
Ann Vigo: Right. And you said like you can’t ever force asleep, right? So you can just set the stage for a good night’s sleep. And you always say that the more rules you break, like going up that ladder you talk about that you’re just going to make problems for yourself. So, I like the idea of setting the stage for sleep and doing everything I can to get a good night’s sleep, but not obsessing about it and not saying you had better sleep well tonight because that’s like a different part of your brain, sort of scolding you and watching you. And it’s not conducive to sleep.
Martin Reed: Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. So you finished working with me like about seven months ago. So how’s your sleep been since you finished the course? Has it continued to get better? Have there been any setbacks?
Ann Vigo: I think it’s continued to get better. I’ve had some setbacks, but you know, I feel like, again, has to do with things that are going on in my life, stresses. And then my sleep gets affected. When I have a bad night of sleep, I can manage much better now. You taught me about getting the five and a half hours of core sleep. I learned about taking a nap if I absolutely have to but keeping it earlier in the day, trying to keep it to a half hour.
Ann Vigo: So, I feel like I cope better with the loss of sleep and then it doesn’t sort of snowball into something too big because I know I have a handle on it, I have all these techniques, I have all these tools. So yeah, so now and then, it’s just part of being human I think that you can’t sleep, something’s on your mind, you know. Just part of being human. Somebody in your family’s sick or some something’s going on. I think there’s some people though maybe they can sleep through certain things and they’re really blessed. Most of us, these little things can keep us up. But then it’s just a matter of just kind of resetting everything and recovering and knowing that I’m not going to go like sort of off the rails with this and let it snowball. I’ll just sleep fine the next night and I’ll get back to my routine.
Ann Vigo: So that’s what’s happened, you know, just keeping my routines, not breaking rules. And I think also at one point I noticed I was breaking a couple of rules. I was getting too confident, and then I said, oh yeah, remember what he said, the more rules you break, the less likely, the more likely you are to have a bad night. So I sort of cleaned up my act a little bit. I was getting a little sloppy.
Martin Reed: Yeah. I think, this is something that I always try and leave clients with when they stop working with me is, you’ve got to expect that there’s still going to be bad nights, you know, because even great sleepers will have bad nights. And instead of just worrying about them as soon as they happen, first of all, just look to see if there is an external cause. So if you’re going through stress at work, for example, well, there you go, that’s why you struggled that night. But again, even if you can’t recognize a cause, then don’t obsess about it because it was in the past. Just recognize that the bad nights will happen.
Martin Reed: As long as you stay consistent with the techniques that you’ve learned or reintroduce them, you know, like, because a lot of people as they’ve regained this confidence in their sleep, they just don’t think about sleep anymore. So they don’t feel they need to follow like a consistent sleep window. They feel more confident that they can take weekend lie-ins. And if that’s not affecting your sleep, it’s fine. But then if you notice that your sleep starts to fall off the rails again, then you can just reintroduce the techniques. It’s really about just seeing that you’re still going to have a bad night every now and then. And just try not to obsess about it when it happens.
Ann Vigo: Yes. Another thing that I just remembered is when you’re in that situation, trying to force yourself to sleep doesn’t work. So, you can try forcing yourself to stay awake. It’s very interesting. It’s very freeing, it really frees you, just saying, you know what, I’m just going to stay awake. And then you’re not trying to sleep, you know, trying to sleep. I’m just going to stay awake. It’s fine. And that really works very nicely. It kind of frees you in that moment. You don’t feel like a prisoner to sleep. And you just say, okay, whatever, I’m not even going to try to sleep. And that actually works better. It’s a much better mental position to be in, right?
Martin Reed: Yeah, that’s great. Yeah, so this is called paradoxical intention.
Ann Vigo: I love that, yeah.
Martin Reed: It’s a fancy name for it. And the idea is, it just removes this performance anxiety that a lot of us have about sleep. So instead of getting into bed and trying to sleep, you do the exact opposite, you try and stay awake. So, you’re not doing, you’re not like actively trying to stay awake in the sense that you’re slapping yourself around the face and pouring buckets of water over yourself but you’re doing something like I’m going to keep my eyes open.
Martin Reed: So I feel my eyes get heavy, I’m going to say no, I’m going to keep them open for like five more minutes, five more minutes. And then as soon as you remove the focus from trying to sleep to trying to stay awake, you’re no longer trying to sleep. And so, paradoxically, sleep becomes easier, sleep becomes easier because you’re not worrying about it.
Ann Vigo: Yeah, you find yourself relaxing because you don’t have any pressure.
Martin Reed: This is really interesting, yeah. I love the technique, you know. I don’t really talk that much to people that have actually tried it. So, you really, you really got my interest going as soon as you mentioned it. Did you find it helpful just like the first night you tried it or you did you practice it for a few nights?
Ann Vigo: I think it’s like a kind of a last resort thing, like if I’m just, you know, I’ve just been struggling too much, and you just, your mind just says, you know what, that’s it, I don’t want to even try to sleep anymore. So, sort of a last resort thing. But now I use it, I use it more at the beginning. If I feel like I’m not sleeping, I just say, well, I’m not really going to try to sleep. And just calms me down a bit. Because I’m always telling myself, you have to sleep. Isn’t that like what they call the super ego, the part of your brain that like kind of, I don’t know, it’s like your parents voices are there, all the criticisms you grew up with, that’s the scolding authoritarian figures of our lives.
Ann Vigo: So then sleep is manifested in that section as well. And that’s very bad. You’re telling yourself, you had better do this. And of course, you can’t, you’re setting yourself up not to do it because it’s like a job you have to do. So, it’s very interesting. Are you a bit of a psychologist Martin?
Martin Reed: Well, not in an official capacity. But sometimes like all the time that I spend talking to people about insomnia, I feel like I get some really interesting insights behind the thought processes that go on. And it’s really, what I tend to find really interesting is that insomnia from person to person is so much more similar than it’s different. So many people with insomnia they think that somehow their insomnia is unique, and therefore they can’t be helped, there’s no answers, there’s no solution for them.
Martin Reed: But when I talk to them, you know, some people are surprised. They tell me, they describe their insomnia to me, and they say, why aren’t you surprised, I thought you’d be really surprised by this. And I’ll tell them, well, I’ve just, earlier on today, I’ve spoken to three people who told me almost the exact same story as you. The intricate details were a little bit different but the themes were all the same. You’ve got this initial trigger led to a bad night of sleep. You weren’t worried about it but then one night turned into two nights and three nights.
Martin Reed: Then you start to worry, then you start to implement certain behaviors to try and compensate for sleep, you research, you think about sleep, and it just kind of snowballed from there. That really is just so common. I mean, it’s almost textbook, almost everyone that I talk to has a virtual textbook case of insomnia,
Ann Vigo: Right. And you also talk about then compensating for loss of sleep and not calling in sick and then not going out with friends at night. And then all of that is also not good, that doesn’t help, that makes the problem worse because you really need to socialize. I find when I’m out with friends socializing and having a good time, like usually that night, I’ll just pass out because I’ve had so much fun, I’ve been stimulated, and I’m just like so relaxed that I’ll fall asleep. So it is really good to go out. But when you feel tired, you’ll say like, oh no, I’m not up to it, I have to leave all this time for sleep.
Martin Reed: Yeah. It’s so tempting to just like cancel plans with friends or call in sick to work after you’ve had a bad night. But this tends to do more harm than good because the only things that lead to sleep is being away can be inactive. So, by being inactive, you’re taking away one of those things straight away. And then you’re always just going to give insomnia a bad outcome and you cancel your plan around sleep. If you force yourself to go into work or force yourself to see friends, it might be a little bit more difficult but you’re probably going to notice some good moments. You might even have a great time. The possibility of good stuff happening is there.
Martin Reed: But when you cancel everything, 100% guaranteed bad outcome. And you’re just going to spend more time thinking about sleep, worrying about sleep, you might be more tempted to like nap during the day or go to bed earlier. And it just keeps perpetuating the problem and makes it harder to get the sleep back on track.
Ann Vigo: Yeah. I think you have to distract yourself from it.
Martin Reed: Yeah, absolutely.
Ann Vigo: Don’t focus on it. The thing is like, you feel so bad and you’re suffering so you want to get better so that’s why you focus on it. But really, it’s really the worst thing to do. You have to just refocus, go think about other things. Have it be the last thing that you think about. That’s like reconditioning your mind.
Martin Reed: Yeah, it really is. I just wanted to touch upon, because I think some people aren’t going to be familiar, earlier on, you mentioned like the whole five and a half hours of core.
Ann Vigo: Oh right, yeah, you taught me about that.
Martin Reed: Yeah. So what this is is, I try and emphasize the fact that there’s no evidence that insomnia causes any health problem whatsoever. The media loves to come up with these dramatic headlines. Most of the time they’re not looking at people with insomnia, they’re looking at people who they artificially sleep deprive. And even if they are using people with insomnia, sometimes they find some associations but they never find causations. So I like to talk about the fact that where the research really is is based on like daytime mood, which is really like a quality of life thing, which still needs to be taken seriously because insomnia debilitating, it can can have a really negative impact on your quality of life.
Martin Reed: And where the research really points is it says that as long as we kind of get like this minimum core sleep of like five and a half hours or so, we should be able to function pretty well during the day. And so, this kind of runs counter to this whole myth that we all need eight hours of sleep. So, just knowing that really the amount of sleep you need is probably closer to like five or five and a half hours, and even then, that’s only to help you function during the day and help keep your mood reasonably positive. There’s no other health reasons that you need to be aiming for a certain sleep duration. It can just take so much of the burden or the pressure you’re putting yourself under to get a certain amount of sleep in each night.
Ann Vigo: It reminds me of my wedding night. I think I got about five and a half hours. And I read something about how how much sleep do most brides get. It’s like such an important day and you obsess about, oh, I want to feel good on my wedding. Of course for me, I would think, oh my god, am I going to have a terrible night asleep. But I got about five and a half hours and like I just was so high that day, you know, that it was just so joyful. I just got the sleep I needed because, I think before your wedding, you can’t really sleep that well. You’re not going to get eight hours but you’re going to be in a good mood.
Martin Reed: Yeah, absolutely. The interesting thing as well is, people with chronic insomnia that have lived with insomnia for a long time, they tend to be, their bodies compensate for this. They tend to be really good at getting through the day, you know, whether it’s just like extra dose of cortisol or adrenaline, they tend not to be actually sleepy during the day, it’s more like a fatigue, but their body kind of drives them through it and helps them get through the day each day.
Martin Reed: So, it’s really important to recognize that and that’s another reason why it’s really not a good idea to like cancel plans during the day because once you actually try and stick to your routine, sometimes you can be really surprised that how well the day goes or the fact that you can get through the day even after a really bad night.
Ann Vigo: Yeah, and I want to use my husband as an example because I told you his personality is very different from mine, which is probably why we’re together, he doesn’t worry as much. So he has his own issues with insomnia, he will fall asleep right away and he can fall asleep very fast. But then he might wake up, let’s say like two in the morning, one or two in the morning and then not go back to sleep at all. But he doesn’t like to get out of bed, he just wants to stay in bed and he’ll start working, doing all the wrong things. But then, he still will manage to get through the day.
Ann Vigo: He’s very excited about his job working in real estate. And he’ll come home and say he had a great day. And I’ll say, how did you do that? I don’t know how you did that. He’ll say, I just pushed through it. His excitement for his job kind of overtakes his fatigue. So I think he’s a great example of someone, and he doesn’t obsess about it. He won’t say like, oh, I have to go to bed early. He’ll just like say, oh, I didn’t sleep, is that what it was, I didn’t sleep well? He likes forgets. I think he’s kind of blessed in a way. I use him as a role model in that way. Just push through it, don’t focus on it.
Martin Reed: Yeah. You know, it’s a really key insight, the quality of our sleep doesn’t dictate the quality of our day. So just like we can have a great night of sleep and kind of have a really bad day, we can also have a really bad night of sleep but then have a really good day. But if we don’t give ourselves the opportunity to test that, the opportunity to give ourselves a good day, if we just cancel everything, then we’re definitely going to have a bad day.
Ann Vigo: I remember a very important story I read about a surgeon who was, he was going to separate Siamese twins, conjoined twins, and he was so hyped up about the operation was going to be like a 48 hour operation. So of course, he said, I have to get a good night’s sleep. Well, what happened? He was so hyped up he didn’t sleep but he did a great job. He did his job, he separated the twins, he went from 48 hours. He did what he had to do. So it happens to the best of us. Your mind kind of psychs you out. But you do end up getting through it.
Ann Vigo: Also as a teacher, I have to stand in front of people and talk, and sometimes, if I haven’t gotten all my rest, I feel like I’m going to get people’s names wrong, I’m going to say something dumb. But I always manage to be professional. And I don’t think people notice what we notice because we’re a lot a lot harder on ourselves.
Martin Reed: Yeah, absolutely. That can be a really good tested as well. If you’re really convinced that your insomnia is so visible to everyone else, you can actually just like ask people, ask your coworker, just say, did you tell that I only got three hours of sleep last night? Most of the time, they’ll look at you and think, no, how would I know that, I have no clue. Because we can just become convinced that everyone is like looking at us differently. Like they can tell like we look awful, we had a bad night or our work is getting really sloppy. A lot of that is just internal, it’s just in our own minds.
Ann Vigo: Yeah. And going back to my husband, he said to me, I thought this was incredible, he said to me, I actually think I focus better when I don’t sleep well. And I was looking at him like, are you nuts. But it works for him. If he can make it work on three hours, he has a laser like focus then, you know, more power to him.
Martin Reed: Yeah, absolutely. I completely agree. So let’s just kind of wrap this up a little bit. Here’s a question I wanted to ask you. So if there’s someone listening with chronic insomnia, they think they’ve tried everything, they’re beyond help, they can’t do anything to improve their sleep, what would you say to them?
Ann Vigo: Well, I would say that there’s always hope, always hope. I would definitely recommend working with you. I would say, don’t think you’ve lost the ability to sleep because that’s like saying you’re not a human being anymore or like that you can’t breathe or like you’re turning into the reptile man, you know that man that has tattoos all over himself and thinks he’s a reptile, he’s not a human anymore? Well, hello, he’s still a human. You have to sleep. It’s just built into you. So, you’re just overthinking it, you’re overthinking it so much that you’re making it this huge problem that it doesn’t have to be.
Ann Vigo: And I would say that, you know, it can be an interesting and kind of a fun journey to find your way back to sleep. You have to stop scaring yourself that you’re in a terrible place and you can’t get out of it. I know I used to do that. I’d be like, oh my god, I’m in this terrible place again, I’ve fallen into a hole, how do I get out. So you taught me techniques to avoid falling into that pit hole. So I would just say that there’s always hope and that this is a mind problem like anything else. And you can work with your mind, you just have to gain control over it. Because right now, your mind has too much control over you.
Ann Vigo: So I don’t know if that that’s all helpful but I feel like it should be, I feel like you should just always have hope. And you just never forget how to sleep. You’re just overthinking the issue. It’s not like you have a sleeping disease. There’s a famous novel that I love, which is called One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabrielle Garcia Marquez, and he talks about this little made up village in Central America, and they have a sleeping sickness. And they all can’t sleep at one point. It’s a surrealist novel. And it’s really interesting. And as the days go by, nobody’s sleeping and they start forgetting the names of things. So they have to like put signs on different objects so they remember what they’re called.
Ann Vigo: So he was very interesting, you know, Marques with his imagination, that he could imagine that there’s a sleeping sickness and that people could get it. But there really is no such thing. So you just convinced yourself you have a sleeping sickness, but it really isn’t so. I hope that’s helpful.
Martin Reed: I think it will be. It’s one thing for me to just share like best tips and best practices, etc, etc. But I think it’s just so powerful for people to hear from someone else who has gone through a similar struggle, they can recognize, I’m sure many people are going to recognize parts of their own life in what you’ve been talking about. And it just, it just puts a different perspective on it. When you hear someone that struggled telling their story, I think it’s just way more powerful than just listening to someone like me just drone on endlessly.
Ann Vigo: I also just want to, to close, I would say, you know, the more you educate yourself about sleep, the better off you are because then you’re not, it’s not like this mysterious thing that you have no control over. And once again, it’s like this monster on your back. But once you learn about it, how much sleep you actually need, how the body functions, you know, education, as an educator, that’s what I should be preaching, right? We need to educate ourselves, learn about sleep and how it works. And then we can literally fix our sleep. We can put ourselves on the path to getting a good night’s sleep.
Ann Vigo: If you don’t know about sleep, I think you fantasize and you you feel like oh, that’s the end of the world and I have some strange illness. But just get the facts on it like what’s going on. Maybe you slept more than you think you probably did and you’re not going to die from this. And just learning how the mind works because mind is very tricky when it comes to sleep. And I think if you’re a kind of a thinking overly cognitive person, you probably would have more trouble with sleep and someone who’s a little bit more easygoing and not such a thinker. We’ve kind of overthought ourselves into it so we have to like use thinking to get ourselves out of it.
Martin Reed: Yeah, absolutely. I think that is really important. The one problem there is is just, what do most of us do on we want to learn about something? We go to Google, right? And there’s just so much misinformation about sleep out there, you know, like the whole idea that we should be getting eight hours, the idea that I don’t know, just smaller things like we can’t drink coffee anymore if you want to sleep. If we don’t sleep, we’re going to get Alzheimer’s. There’s so much fear mongering and misinformation out there.
Martin Reed: So it is really important that, sleep education is absolutely important. And that’s why it’s like a key component of CBT-I is this sleep education. But you just have to be really careful about the sources that you get this information from, you know, like really look and make sure that the source is legitimate, and that if they’re referencing studies, they’re interpreting them in the right way. They’re not just drawing anything that finds like an association, they’re not taking it as a causation, for example.
Martin Reed: So I think like with sleep, probably your best bet for research is in published material. Books, there are some great books out there, I’ll probably put a link to a few in the show notes for the podcast. That’s probably the best way to go for sleep education rather than Google necessarily in this case when it comes to sleep.
Ann Vigo: And people are always trying to sell you things, you know, sell you a pillow, sell you a mattress. Everybody wants a good night’s sleep, you could spend lots and lots of money throwing money at this problem. So there’s a market, you know, they exploit it.
Martin Reed: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely.
Ann Vigo: So I should send everybody to you. I think that’s a great place to start.
Martin Reed: Well, I appreciate-
Ann Vigo: You’re reasonable, and the fact that you go over, you make us do our sleep journal and you give us personalized feedback, tell us you know what we’re doing wrong. I had no idea I was just spending too much time in the bed, you know, I was going to bed too early. No one else could have really told me that. So I could have done all that research on my own but I would have been able to put it all together and say this is what I’m doing, this is what I need to do, go to bed a little later, stick with this schedule. Just all the feedback I got from you that was personal, I don’t think I would have been able to figure it out for myself.
Martin Reed: I really appreciate that, thank you.
Ann Vigo: No, it’s true.
Martin Reed: I really appreciate you taking the time. Like I said, I think it’s really powerful for people to hear about how someone else’s journey. And I’m sure they’ll recognize a lot of similarities with what they’re going through with what you described. So I really want the key takeaway from these interviews, these discussions just to be like, there is hope. You can sleep. Other people have gone through very similar situation to your own and got through it. So there’s no reason why you can’t do the same thing.
Ann Vigo: Exactly. Yeah, there’s a there’s hope out there. We’re all human, we’re all in this together, we’re all suffering similar things. No one’s really unique in that way.
Martin Reed: Exactly. All right. So thank you so much, Ann.
Ann Vigo: Same here. Pleasure to finally meet you somewhat over the internet.
Martin Reed: Thanks for listening to The Insomnia Coach Podcast. If you’re ready to implement cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, CBT-I techniques to improve your sleep but think you might need some additional support and guidance, I would love to help. There are two ways we can work together. First, you can get my online coaching course. This is the most popular option. My course combines sleep education with unlimited support and guidance and is guaranteed to improve your sleep. I will teach you and help you implement new CBT-I techniques over a period of eight weeks. This gives you time to build sleep confidence and notice results without feeling overwhelmed. You can get the course and start right now at insomniacoach.com/online.
Martin Reed: I also offer a phone coaching package where we start with a one hour call. This can be voice only or video, your choice. And we come up with an initial two week plan that will have you implementing CBT-I techniques that will lead to long term improvements in your sleep. You get unlimited email based support and guidance for two weeks after the call along with a half hour follow up call at the end of the two weeks. You can book the phone coaching package at insomniacoach.com/phone.
Martin Reed: I hope you enjoyed this episode of the Insomnia Coach Podcast. I’m Martin Reed, and as always, I’d like to leave you with this important reminder. You can sleep.
I want you to be the next insomnia success story I share! If you’re ready to improve your sleep using evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) techniques, click here to get my online insomnia coaching course. We can get started right now.
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