Barriers to Sleep

What's keeping you awake?

Insomnia is often the antsy bedfellow of a whole range of mental and physical issues. The relationship can be complicated too, creating a vicious circle which only makes the original problem worse.

And which one is the original problem?

Is it that you can't sleep because you are stressed? Or are you stressed because you haven't had a good night's rest in ages? 

We all struggle with the odd sleep-challenged night once in a while. But when insomnia becomes ongoing, it’s time to do something about it. Occasional fixes like prescription or over-the-counter pharmaceutical medications may help  “get you through the night”, but there are natural ways to get there! Be straight with yourself, how many times have you struggled with sleep this month? And if your doctor gave you a prescription for sleep aids, did he even mention the 21-day rule?

Medication cures nothing. What’s worse, after you take benzodiazepines or Ambien for twenty-one days, you are officially addicted. That’s right.

If you’ve been taking sleep medication, and your doctor didn’t warn you that by day twenty-two you would be hooked, shame on your doctor.Source: Every Insomnia Patient Is Unique. Part 1 – Sleep Specialist NYC

The answer is a solution that gives you control of your body. One part of it entails doing a systematic weaning off any medications with professional support. My book Rewired for Sleep provides advice and guidance on weaning yourself off sleeping pills. I If you sense that your occasional use of sleeping pills has turned into something more, consult with your doctor. Often,  it’s a case of setting a plan to quit and then sticking with it.

Start Repairing your Sleep

After two decades treating people with all kinds of sleep problems, I have found that it helps to take things one step at at a time. And the first step toward finding a solution is to identify the barrier(s) that inhibit your sleep.

I’ve mapped out six main barriers to sleep. They are Anxiety, Digestive Issues,  Drug interactions, PTSD, Menopause and Stress. These  issues, whether alone or in tandem, make up the vast majority of all insomnia. In addition, women frequently experience insomnia in relation to hormonal imbalances, especially during pregnancy and menopause.

As you address your barrier(s), you’ll find your own individual way of taking them down.  We’re all different. Along the way, I invite you to make patience, self-acceptance and a sense of mission part of your strategy. They all will benefit you.

With that in mind, it’s a great place to start your personal journey with the 28-Day Insomnia Repair Program.  I’m not suggesting you “self-diagnose”, but it’s a good idea to make a list in your Sleep Journal of any of these common causes of insomnia that you feel apply to you.

Rewired Sanctuary members can download a printable Sleep Journal worksheet here. 


Keep this in mind:

“We might struggle with several barriers at once, creating “bleed through.” You’re worried about your job, are anxious and can’t sleep. Stress leads to stomach issues and difficulty resting. Indigestion flairs up, and the night is lost. This also works in reverse: break down one barrier and others often fall, domino-like. Lower your stress, and stomach tension often eases as well. In that case, sleep is rarely far away.”

Rewired for Sleep, Chapter 3: The Barriers to Sleep, & Sleep Hygiene

It may well be that you start by listing quite a lot of them, but by the time you reach the end of your Program, your list will have boiled down to just one or two.

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