- Supplies Guide
I felt like a kid getting her Christmas wish granted.
I’ve been participating in a six-week cognitive behavior therapy for insomnia program developed by Oexman, director of Kingsdown’s Sleep to Live Institute. Part of his program requires troubled sleepers to teach their bodies to sleep again. That’s where the purposely shortened sleep cycle comes in. As Oexman explains, if you’re tired enough, your body will sleep.
It still strikes me as odd that one way to help someone who can’t sleep is to keep her from sleeping, but I understand Oexman’s theory. He warned me that I’d be tired during those two weeks of restricted sleep and I was—to the point of taking naps on weekends, a no-no in Oexman’s book.
But, overall, my sleep during the two weeks was better. I got up fewer times during the night and never had one of those horrible stretches when I was wide awake for hours, something that has been common for me in recent years.
With the 30 minutes back, I’m feeling better during the day. I’m still a little sleepy, but not exhausted. Oexman and I will talk again soon, and I’m hoping that he’ll give me the OK to add another 30 minutes back to my sleep schedule. That would give me eight solid hours of sleep each night, and we’ll see how I do with that. It may turn out that I need another 30 minutes—or maybe I need a half hour less. Figuring out just how much sleep each person needs requires some tweaking. The key, Oexman says, is that once I figure out how much sleep I need, I should do what I can to ensure that I get that amount every night, even on weekends. Like exercise and eating well, good sleep habits should be practiced daily.