How can sleep restriction improve sleep?

Click here to read a transcript of the video.

So you’ve heard of the term sleep restriction and to be honest it sounds a little bit terrifying because you’re not getting much sleep now so how is getting even less sleep going to help? We’re going to cover that in today’s video.

Sleep restriction isn’t about restricting the amount of sleep you get. What it is about is restricting the amount of time you spend in bed. So, for example, a lot of people with insomnia might manage five hours or six hours of sleep at night but they will generally get into bed around 10 o’clock at night and not get out until around 6 o’clock in the morning.

So there are, in effect, allotting eight hours for sleep even though they know that they’re not going to be getting that eight hours. They would like to get the eight hours but right now they’re not capable of getting those eight hours — so sleep restriction is about reducing this sleep window down so it more closely matches the amount of time you spend asleep now.

This does not lead to less time asleep, but it leads to less time awake in bed so you spend more time in bed asleep rather than awake. This reduces sleep-related anxiety and it helps make the bed a strong trigger for sleep because more and more of the time you spend in bed is spent asleep rather than awake.

If you liked this video please hit the Like button and subscribe to the Insomnia Coach YouTube channel. I try to share a new sleep snippet video every weekday. If you have any questions, comments, feedback, or suggestions for a future video please leave a comment below or email me.

Leave a Comment