What’s your Sleep Efficiency?

If you’re sleeping only half the time you’re in bed, your sleep efficiency is only 50% says sleep specialist Michael Stevenson, Ph.D.  That perpetuates insomnia. The goal is to achieve 90% — and it can be done.

Say you go to bed at 11:00 P.M. because you have to get up at 7:00 A.M.  But instead of falling asleep, you lie awake until 3:00 A.M.  So don’t get into bed until 3:00 A.M. say Dr. Stevenson.  You’ll feel much better, less anxious, if you don’t lie sleepless in bed for the 4 hours you think, you should be sleeping.

After a week of sleeping well for 4 hours a night, go to bed 15 minutes earlier for a week.  As you continue to sleep well, each week, give yourself another 15 minutes.  If it goes worse, cut time in bed by 15 minutes.

“You sneak upon it a bit at a time,” says Dr. Stevenson, “Almost immediately, people begin to feel better.  Ironnically, you’re using sleep restriction as a weapon against insomnia.”

H e warns, however, that this does not work for everyone.  Regimented types are most likely to benefit from this exercise


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