Sleep may be viewed as a state that the human mind and body will develop when a person understands (and practices) core sleep skills and learns to manage the factors that undermine sleep. For example, no one would expect to go to sleep when a dog is barking loudly. Many people do expect to go to sleep with other sleep-disrupting conditions happening, because they do not identify these factors.


Quality of sleep can be improved through a wide variety of strategies. Our sleep program includes cognitive and behavioral strategies to establish sound, restful sleep.


The first step in our sleep program involves teaching a set of basic skills that are essential to sleep. Surprisingly, this is often enough to allow for restful sleep without additional work.


Depending on the “specifics” of the sleep difficulty, one or more additional strategies may be added. For example: The transition to sleep is a time when certain topics that one might avoid thinking about during the day become sources of wakefulness. Developing strategies to target this source of wakefulness is a key part the program for some people.


Part of learning to fall asleep easily requires figuring out what your personal triggers for sleeplessness may be. Keeping this type of factor under scrutiny is important in order to figure out how one trigger relates to other factors. For example, a simple activity like watching TV news at bedtime may produce wakefulness when certain content occurs and not other content. For some people, but not all people with insomnia, something like the TV news may “wake up” the brain too much for a quick transition to the drowsy state – but only if a person has not exercised sufficiently that day. On days when the person runs a few miles, the TV news may be an acceptable increase in mental activity. However, it must remain on the “possible trigger” list in order to solve the insomnia problem.