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“Revolutionary” insomnia advice

 •  • by Paul Ingraham
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Weekly nuggets of pain science news and insight, usually 100-300 words, with the occasional longer post. The blog is the “director’s commentary” on the core content of a library of major articles and books about common painful problems and popular treatments. See the blog archives or updates for the whole site.

I just listened to a lecture by a sleep expert that was pitched to me as “revolutionary,” something that would “change your life.” It was fine, I guess, but it was mostly just good old fashioned sleep hygiene and stimulus reduction basics.

I’ve read more revolutionary waiting room brochures.

That said, I couldn’t do much better: the advice was basic, but perfectly sound. As long as you aren’t dealing with pathological causes, treatment for chronic insomnia isn’t exactly rocket science. As my insomnia guide says:

Sleep is a reflex. You cannot “try” to sleep — you can only get out of its way. To the extent that insomnia is a bad habit, it’s largely that we are just interfering with the biological circumstances that would otherwise naturally trigger it. When you focus on sleep itself, it tends to turn its back on you like a cat.

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