Welcome! I’d love to hear your comments on how metaphors have helped or hurt you. Your most common metaphors can change your brain, through visualization and by controlling your attention. Take control of your metaphors, and have fun while doing it! – Brain Coach Brad
In my line of work, I’ve come across many people who suffer from insomnia or other sleep issues. In some cases these sleep issues may be caused by a medical condition that should be checked out by a doctor. However, research shows that in many cases, insomnia is a learned behavior which can be unlearned.
Let me say that again – insomnia can be unlearned! With a little understanding of how the brain works and a few simple strategies, you can beat insomnia for good.
I recently appeared on AMNW (see video above) to share 6 tricks to re-train your brain and get a good night’s sleep. The first few may sound familiar, but I bet you never even thought about the last three. Here they are:
Measure, measure, measure. It is hard to change anything that we don’t measure, especially sleep. There are now lots of options. Use a smart phone app (many work by being placed under your mattress), a device that measures your brain waves, or just a good old-fashioned sleep diary. Start today by keeping track of your hours in bed, any information available on how long you slept, and information about your evening and your thoughts.
Start good “sleep hygiene.” Make it a priority. Eliminate or reduce evening caffeine, alcohol, and stimulating activities. Studies show that up to 90% of insomnia sufferers engage in stimulating activities within an hour of bedtime, with TV being the most common. Create a habit of relaxation for the last hour, with steadily decreasing exposure to light, especially TV and computer screens. Use relaxation, meditation, warm baths, and keep your bedroom dark.
Get out of bed! What? Yes, most insomnia sufferers actually spend too much time in bed …… doing things other than sleeping. Train your brain to associate your bed to sleep only, and to break the associations to other activities such as thinking, reading, watching TV, arguing, etc. (You can make an exception for sexual activities.) It is especially important to get out of bed whenever you are have been “trying” to sleep for more than 20 minutes.
Control your mind. Your thoughts can be the most stimulating element in your environment. In addition to writing down your sleep related thoughts in your sleep diary, and challenging their truthfulness, there is a strategy you can use during the night. Instead of focusing on the content of your thoughts, just focus on the speed and volume of your internal voice. Practice speeding up and slowing down your internal monologue until you can easily control its pace and volume. Then turn it all down! Keep talking to yourself in your head, but make the inner voice slloooowwww and soft. This sends a message to the brain that it’s time to sleep.
Fool your brain. Sometimes nighttime visits to the bathroom spark a pattern of wakefulness that goes on for hours. You can prevent this by a simple “charade” of sleepiness. No matter how awake you actually feel, act as if you are so tired you aren’t sure you can even make it to the bathroom and back. Move slowly and sluggishly, and rest often on your way. This silly sounding behavior can trigger brain patterns that support putting your body back to sleep.
Optimize your brain! Brainwave Optimization helps balance your brainwave activity that can be contributing to insomnia. When your beta frequencies soar when your eyes close, it can be hard to sleep. When the brain is able to “hear” those that over-activation, it can balance it and sleep becomes the natural process it was meant to be.
Maintain hope. Be a “scientist” in your own life, and slowly make changes and keep track of the results. You can get the sleep you need!
If anyone you know is experiencing insomnia, try these out and let me know how they worked for you.
You are rewiring your brain every day, whether you know it or not. Your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors leave an impact on your brain, and affect your ability to reach and maintain peak happiness and performance – in your life, job and relationships. In February, as our thoughts turn to Valentine’s Day, and relationships, it [...]
The problem with most people’s New Year’s resolutions is that they don’t reflect how our brains work. What can we do to “re-wire” our brains to make this New Year different from all the rest? First, throw out the term “New Year’s Resolutions!” Our brains are wired by the experience of previous years to associate [...]
The next step in being successful in keeping a resolution, or a promise, is that we have to maximize our repetitions. Lots of people fail on their New Year’s resolutions primarily because they just don’t do it long enough to make it a habit. They also don’t stop doing their other habits which interfere with [...]
In my last post I talked about the importance of the brain’s wiring, and using language that taps into wiring that supports our desired behavior. We want to manage our language by making “New Year’s Promises!” We also want to make sure that the promise is about the behavior, and not the goal. “Work out [...]
Welcome to the Lifetime Optimization Blog! We are kicking off the blog with the announcement that I (Brad) will be on the KATU show AM Northwest on Monday January 9. The show starts at 9:00 AM. My topic will be: New Year’s Resolutions and the Brain! I will be sharing related content about New Year’s [...]
Lifetime Optimization pulls together some of the most effective resources and treatments in the mental health and peak performance fields- and puts them under one roof! The clinic centers around a brain-based, practical approach designed for sustainable progress, and includes a comprehensive set of services to meet your needs.
What People Are Saying:
"Working with the team at Lifetime Optimization, without a doubt, has been the most effective treatment for me to reach my goals quickly."