How David overcame three years of insomnia by addressing his obsession with sleep using CBT-I, acceptance, and mindfulness techniques (#8)

podcast cover art with photo of Martin and title of podcast episode 8

Like many people, David struggled with the odd night of poor sleep every now and again — but three years ago a night of absolutely no sleep led to sleep-related worry and the fear that he had lost the ability to sleep.

This led to more nights of bad sleep (and many nights of no sleep whatsoever) and this compounded the problem.

Eventually, David discovered that it was his worry and obsession with sleep that was perpetuating his insomnia. His recognition of this, along with the implementation of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I), acceptance, and mindfulness techniques helped him get his sleep back on track.

Listen to this episode

A conversation about insomnia and anxiety with clinical psychologist Nick Wignall (#7)

Nick with microphone and headphones talking about anxiety and insomnia

Nick Wignall is a clinical psychologist who specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety disorders and insomnia. He’s also a writer interested in how we can use the tools and insights of behavioral science to better achieve our personal growth and development goals.

In this episode, we talk about insomnia as an anxiety disorder rather than as a sleep disorder, the pros and cons of acceptance and commitment therapy for insomnia, why sleep hygiene is rarely helpful, and why CBT-I is typically the best option for people with chronic insomnia.

Watch/listen to this episode

How Rose battled with insomnia as a teenager but now looks forward to going to bed at night (#6)

Rose wearing headphones and talking about teenage insomnia

Rose started struggling with sleep at the age of just 12 years old. One bad night of sleep triggered a vicious cycle of ever-increasing sleep-related worry and anxiety, and ever-worsening sleep.

At the age of 18, the added stress of exams led to panic attacks and as little as two to three hours of fragmented sleep each night.

In this episode, Rose shares how she addressed her sleep issues so that she now feels far more energetic during the day, sees sleep in a far more positive light, and actually looks forward to sleep at night.

Watch/listen to this episode

A conversation about CBT-I with sleep physician Daniel Erichsen (#5)

Daniel, a sleep doctor, smiling as he talks about CBT-I

Daniel Erichsen is a sleep physician of eight years and is currently practicing in Eugene, Oregon.

He is also the man behind BedTyme, a CBT-I based iPhone app, host of the Insomnia Insight YouTube channel and podcast, and author of two books; Sleep 101 and Why We Don’t Sleep.

In this episode, Daniel explains why he is such a believer in CBT-I and why eight hours of sleep is not an appropriate goal to aim for.

We also discuss the barriers that make it harder for people with insomnia to improve their sleep, how to cope with setbacks when implementing CBT-I techniques, and the problem with melatonin and other supplements for insomnia.

Watch/listen to this episode

How Scott overcame sleep-related worry and anxiety and got rid of insomnia (#4)

Scott smiling and talking about sleep-related worry and fear

Scott slept well his entire life until he listened to a podcast that led him to worry about how much sleep he was getting and the health consequences of insufficient sleep.

That night, Scott had a terrible night of sleep and this triggered a vicious cycle of ever-increasing worry about sleep and increasingly worse sleep that lasted for 10 months.

In this episode, we’ll discover how Scott managed to get his sleep back on track, how well he sleeps now, and what life is like now he no longer worries about sleep.

Watch/listen to this episode

A conversation with Michael Schwartz about CBT-I and intensive sleep retraining (#3)

podcast cover art with photo of Martin and title of podcast episode 3

Michael Schwartz is the founder of MicroSleep, LLC, and the program director for the Clinical Sleep Health Program at the Oregon Institute of Technology. Michael has over 30 years of experience in sleep.

He’s a registered and licensed sleep technologist, and he’s certified in clinical sleep health. Michael can be found at and on Twitter. His Sleep on Cue app is available for iOS devices and Android devices.

In this episode, I talk to Michael about cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) and intensive sleep retraining.

Listen to this episode

How Ann improved her sleep after 30 years of insomnia (#2)

Ann smiling as she talks about her 30 year struggle with insomnia

Ann is a college professor from New York City who had been struggling with sleep for over 30 years and got great results using cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) techniques.

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.

Watch/listen to this episode