For years, maybe even decades, you thought you knew how to fall asleep. You used to just close your eyes, and the next thing you knew, you were waking up with a good night’s sleep. Was it all luck? If so, Lady Luck has abandoned you, and now that you have to get to sleep on your own, you have found out that you don’t know anything about it. You consulted some experts, and they recommended sleep hygiene and cognitive behavior therapy, which you tried. They actually helped some, but still the basic problem lingers. You could take medication, but medication shouldn’t be taken for more than a few weeks, and after taking medication, sleep generally is even harder to find. Then what?
You can get past the initial stage of getting physically comfortable, so that you should be able to let Snoozeville take over, but seems someone burned it down. Everyone you know has the same problem. You can’t shut off your thoughts. And even if you could, through some esoteric meditation technique, that doesn’t necessarily mean you will go to sleep. Seems the medical profession doesn’t know squat about going to sleep.
What to do?
Well, in the first place, we do know quite a lot about the time period from when we close our eyes until we are sleep. Researchers call it “sleep onset,” and psychologists call it “hypnagogia.” It has been studied extensively. They have written books on the subject. It is just that sleep professionals have not used those research results to help understand the causes of insomnia. I realize that sounds incredible, but it is true.
So what do we do until the medical profession gets its act together and solves the problem? We solve it ourselves. And it has already been done for you. Here is the answer:
In Pursuit of Sleep: The Origins of Insomnia and What to Do About It.