How Kirstin rediscovered her natural ability to sleep after feeling completely dependent on sleeping pills (#59)

Kirstin smiling at the camera as she talks about sleeping without sleeping pills

Kirstin felt that she had lost her natural ability to sleep. She thought she was broken. She just couldn’t sleep without sleeping pills. Every time she tried, she could not sleep.

After finding the Insomnia Coach podcast and realizing she wasn’t alone, Kirstin changed her approach to sleep. She stopped trying so hard. She stopped doing more. In fact, she started to do less. She abandoned all her sleep efforts, rules, and rituals. She stopped battling with her thoughts and feelings.

She started to reclaim her life from insomnia. She went back to drinking coffee. She committed to daytime plans, regardless of how she slept. Kirstin’s experience with insomnia provided her with skills that she is using in many areas of her life today. And, she is sleeping without medication.

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How Summer let go of trying to control her sleep, her thoughts, and her feelings — and regained control over her life (#58)

Summer smiling at the camera talking about letting go of insomnia

Summer’s struggle with sleep was taking over her life. No matter what she did to try to fix her sleep, nothing seemed to work. The more she tried to control sleep, the more difficult it became.

When Summer stopped trying to make sleep happen and started to allow sleep-related thoughts and feelings to be present without judgement, things started to improve. She practiced being kinder to herself and refocused her attention on doing things that mattered — regardless of how she slept and regardless of the thoughts or feelings that were present.

As she did this, Summer started to get her life back from insomnia. Her story shows that sometimes, giving up control is the best way to get it back.

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How Nina overcame insomnia by embracing wakefulness and dropping the struggle (#57)

Nina smiling at the camera talking about how she overcame insomnia

When Nina fell pregnant she could no longer use the medication she relied upon to get her through occasional periods of insomnia. Her sleep got worse and insomnia seemed to take over her life. Nothing seemed to work and Nina felt stuck.

After discovering the Insomnia Coach podcast, Nina realized she wasn’t alone. She felt hope. When she enrolled as a client, she started to make change happen. She changed her approach to sleep. She stopped trying to make sleep happen. She changed her response to insomnia. She did things that mattered every day, independently of sleep.

The journey wasn’t easy — but today, Nina enjoys her bed again. She is being the mom she wants to be. She is doing the work she loves. She has her life back from insomnia.

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How Kreuza dealt with insomnia and somniphobia by practicing more acceptance and less resistance (#56)

Kreuza smiling at the camera as she talks about dealing with somniphobia

Kreuza found cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) helpful. However, when sleep problems returned as somniphobia — a fear of sleep itself — the same techniques no longer seemed to work.

Kreuza found that creating rules around sleep and trying to change her thoughts and feelings wasn’t proving to be helpful. So, she tried a new approach: she let herself think thoughts and feel feelings — even the really difficult ones. She practiced being kind and compassionate to herself. She also did things that mattered to her, even if she didn’t sleep well.

Today, sleep doesn’t impact Kreuza’s life, her plans, or her goals. Her story shows us that being patient and kind to ourselves can help us face big fears and that addressing sleep problems in a workable and sustainable way often takes time and ongoing practice.

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How Rachel got out of the insomnia struggle by being more flexible, more accepting, and more present (#55)

Podcast cover art with photo of Insomnia Coach Martin Reed

Rachel’s battle with insomnia began in grad school. Sleep aids and strict routines failed to improve her sleep.

Real change came when she moved away from trying to create the perfect conditions for sleep and stopped trying to get rid of certain thoughts and feelings.

Rachel’s new approach involved being more flexible. She abandoned sleep-related rules and rituals. She practiced building skill in self-kindness and being more present. She opened up and made space for difficult thoughts and feelings to exist.

This new approach not only improved her sleep, it also improved her overall quality of life.

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How Jessica broke free from insomnia by letting go and accepting it without judgement (#54)

Jessica smiling at the camera talking about insomnia acceptance and non-judgement

Jessica’s struggle with insomnia began on a family trip, and it worsened each time she traveled until it stuck around, even at home. No matter what she tried, her nights were filled with anxiety and struggle.

Jessica found that her resistance to insomnia and the difficult thoughts and feelings that often come with it were making things even more difficult. So, she changed her approach. She practiced accepting insomnia and anxiety. She learned to be kinder to herself.

With ongoing practice, Jessica freed herself from an ongoing struggle and reclaimed her life from insomnia.

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How Eric got his life back from insomnia by focusing on what he can control (#53)

Eric smiling at the camera talking about getting his life back from insomnia

Eric’s battle with insomnia started after a middle-of-the-night panic attack turned sleep into a nightly struggle. In a desperate search for solutions, he made changes that didn’t improve his sleep and only ended up pulling him further away from the life he wanted to live. Eric started to isolate himself and considered difficult nights to be a personal failure.

The turning point came when Eric shifted his focus. Instead of obsessing over sleep and the difficult thoughts and feelings he was experiencing, he began to prioritize meaningful actions and experiences. He embraced anxiety as an essential component of a fulfilling life, rather than a nemesis to be defeated.

Today, Eric’s life is no longer ruled by insomnia. By refocusing on what he could control — his actions — he disarmed the power of sleepless nights and the difficult thoughts and feelings that often come with them. Eric didn’t just reclaim sleep; he reclaimed his life.

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How Gerry used mindfulness and self-kindness to move away from an endless struggle with insomnia (#52)

Gerry smiling at the camera talking about mindfulness for insomnia

Gerry’s decades-long struggle with insomnia felt like a never-ending battle. The more he tried to force sleep, the worse his insomnia became.

His turning point came when he shifted his approach, embracing mindfulness and self-kindness instead of engaging in an ongoing battle. By focusing on the present moment and practicing self-compassion, Gerry found a new, more effective way to approach sleep.

The result was transformative: not only did his sleep improve, but his overall quality of life also took a turn for the better. This episode dives deep into Gerry’s journey and the specific techniques that led to his transformation. Gerry’s experience shows that no matter how long you might struggle with insomnia, it’s still possible to break free from the insomnia cycle.

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How Anne-Claire moved away from the insomnia struggle by practicing new habits and being more willing to experience insomnia (#51)

Anne-Claire facing the camera talking about how to be willing to experience insomnia

Anne-Claire experienced sleep issues when she overextended herself running her business. After reducing her workload her sleep didn’t get any better. Supplements and medication didn’t seem to help. This led her to explore a new approach.

Anne-Claire implemented new habits that would help create better conditions for sleep and help starve insomnia of the oxygen it needed to survive. And, instead of trying to fight or avoid difficult the thoughts and feelings that often come with insomnia, she began observing and even welcoming them.

As Anne-Claire put less effort into sleep and became more willing to experience insomnia, things improved. Wakefulness and the difficult thoughts and feelings that often come with it started to lose their power and influence and sleep — once again — became effortless.

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How Jessy separated herself from her thoughts, moved away from medication, and transformed her relationship with sleep (#50)

Jessy smiling at camera talking about separating herself from her thoughts about sleep

Jessy experienced sleep disruption due to the stress of COVID and the breakup of her community. Initially, she found it difficult to fall asleep. Then she started waking during the night and found it hard to get back to sleep.

As her sleep got progressively worse, Jessy started to feel scared and worried that she was losing control of her life.

She tried medication but it didn’t help. She felt desperate and alone.

After finding the Insomnia Coach podcast, she found hope in the stories of others. That encouraged her to start taking her life back from insomnia, even while it was still present. She did more of what mattered. She stopped trying to control sleep. She moved away from struggling with her thoughts and feelings (and as she did that she found that her mind could be an unreliable narrator).

Today, Jessy considers her sleep to be normal and she feels that her experience with insomnia gave her the opportunity to recognize her own resilience and that gave her the confidence to move forward in life.

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