How Jessica transformed her relationship with sleep by challenging her sleep-related thoughts and changing her sleep-related behaviors (#22)

When Jessica moved back to her hometown with her husband and two children she began to struggle with sleep. When nothing she tried seemed to work, she started to believe that she’d lost the ability to sleep and was losing hope — until she learned more about how insomnia develops and realized that her insomnia wasn’t unique or unusual.

When Jessica recognized many of the common thoughts and behaviors that perpetuate sleep disruption in her own experience with insomnia, she started to feel a sense of hope. This allowed her to start exploring and challenging her beliefs about sleep while implementing behaviors that build sleep drive, strengthen the body clock, and reduce sleep-related worry and anxiety. Today, Jessica rarely thinks about sleep and it no longer controls her life.

How health-conscious Anafer shed her identity as an insomniac and now focuses on her career, relationships, and personal happiness rather than sleep (#21)

Anafer believed that she was born with insomnia. Sleep was a problem for her for as long as she could remember. After years of doing her own research, speaking with health professionals, and taking various supplements and prescription pills, Anafer’s insomnia was becoming unbearable.

After graduating from college, Anafer decided she needed to address her sleep issues before starting her career in dietetics. Two years ago, she came across my online coaching course and is now here to share her transformation and the ups and downs she experienced on her journey to better sleep and restored sleep confidence.

A conversation about sleeping pills with Dr. Wallace B. Mendelson (#20)

Dr. Mendelson is a psychiatrist, sleep doctor, and author who works primarily in the field of sleep research and sleep medicine. He is perhaps best known for his research related to the properties of sleeping pills and the effect of medication on sleep.

In this episode, Dr. Mendelson describes the evolution of sleeping pills, explains how they work, and shares information on their potential side-effects. We also talk about over-the-counter pills and supplements, and the evidence-based alternative to sleeping pills and recommended first-line treatment for chronic insomnia — cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I).

How Sally improved her sleep after 60 years of insomnia and 10 years of sleeping pills (#19)

Sally had been living with insomnia for 60 years and had been taking sleeping pills for 10 years. She believed that she would never be able to sleep properly — but this all changed when she started to change the way she thought about sleep and began to implement new sleep-related behaviors that made it easier for her body to generate and sustain sleep.

Sally used to average around three hours of sleep each night. She now averages around seven hours of sleep each night and barely thinks about sleep. In this episode, Sally shares what she did to improve her sleep after living with insomnia for 60 years. If Sally was able to improve her sleep, you can too!

How Rick’s retirement triggered a two-year struggle with insomnia and what he did to get his sleep back on track (#18)

Rick’s insomnia started in 2017 shortly after retirement. He started to wake during the night and would find it hard to fall back to sleep. Before long, he started to feel very anxious every time he woke and began to worry about what the day would be like after each difficult night of sleep.

Fortunately, Rick discovered evidence-based cognitive and behavioral techniques that changed the way he thought about sleep and helped him implement behaviors that would improve his sleep for the long-term. Today, Rick averages somewhere between seven and seven-and-a-half hours of sleep each night. In this episode, Rick shares all the techniques he implemented to transform his relationship with sleep. Just as Rick was able to improve his sleep, you can too!

How Anna went from not feeling sleepy at night and thinking her sleep system was broken to sleeping well and with confidence (#17)

For five years, Anna experienced short episodes of insomnia that would last for a week or two before disappearing. However, when her mother fell ill and required surgery, Anna found it very difficult to fall asleep and this time, even though her mother recovered, Anna’s sleep did not. Anna got to the point where she just didn’t feel sleepy when she went to bed and this made her think that her sleep system was broken.

Today, Anna doesn’t really think about sleep and she gets somewhere around seven-and-a-half to eight hours of sleep each night. In this episode, Anna shares everything she did to improve her sleep and also reveals how she coped with the typical setbacks most of us experience on the road to recovery.

How Gretchen went from believing she was the world’s worst sleeper to someone who sleeps well and has confidence in her own natural ability to sleep (#16)

Gretchen is a pediatrician and the mother of three children. Her sleep was regularly disrupted as she worked shifts during college and was on call during her pediatric residency. After having children and then entering early menopause, Gretchen started to spend hours awake during the night. This led to sleep-related worry and anxiety that combined with work stress to make sleep more frustrating and more difficult.

In this episode, Gretchen talks about how changing the way she thinks about sleep and implementing constructive sleep-related behaviors helped her improve her sleep significantly — and how setbacks along the way didn’t lead to insomnia working its way back into her life. Gretchen went from believing she was the world’s worst sleeper to looking forward to going to bed at night! Gretchen did it — and you can, too!

How sleep restriction helped Dave fall asleep faster, spend less time awake during the night, and get more sleep (#15)

Dave often experienced difficulties falling asleep and staying asleep and this became more of a problem once he became a father. After an overseas trip, Dave’s sleep really took a turn for the worse — not only did he find it hard to fall asleep, he would also wake around 3:00 AM and find it very difficult (if not impossible) to fall back to sleep.

Fortunately, Dave found out about sleep restriction — a core component of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I). In this episode, Dave shares his transformation and explains how sleep restriction improved his sleep and why consistency and persistence are so important if you want to enjoy better sleep for the long term.

How Bill’s health scare led to insomnia and how tackling sleep-related thoughts and behaviors helped him improve his sleep (#14)

In August 2018, Bill was admitted to hospital with a suspected heart attack and this triggered an intense period of insomnia that led to progressively worse sleep. Bill soon found himself following a long list of pre-sleep rituals that did not improve his sleep but did lead to more sleep-related worry. Fortunately, Bill was told about cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) and was able to get his sleep back on track. In this episode, Bill tells us how his insomnia developed, all the ways he tried unsuccessfully to improve his sleep, and he shares the specific techniques that he found to be most helpful for improving his sleep.

Busting sleep and insomnia myths with clinical psychologist and behavioral sleep medicine specialist Dr. Jade Wu (#13)

Dr. Jade Wu is a clinical psychologist and behavioral sleep medicine specialist at Duke University School of Medicine. In this episode, Jade and I discuss a number of concerns that are common among people with chronic insomnia — we talk about how much sleep we need, whether we can lose our ability to sleep, whether insomnia is caused by a chemical imbalance in the body, whether chronic insomnia causes any serious health problems, and whether we have any control over the negative impact insomnia can have on our lives. My aim with this episode is to help change the way you think about sleep and insomnia. I hope this will help reduce the intensity of any worry or anxiety that might be making it more difficult for you to improve your sleep and encourage you to pursue CBT-I so you can enjoy better sleep for the rest of your life.