Insomnia is a sleep disorder in which you have trouble falling and/or staying asleep. The condition can be short-term (acute) or can last a long time (chronic). It may also come and go.
Acute insomnia lasts from 1 night to a few weeks. Insomnia is chronic when it happens at least 3 nights a week for 3 months or more.
Three types of insomnia are acute, transient, and chronic insomnia. Insomnia is defined as repeated difficulty with sleep initiation, maintenance, consolidation, or quality that occurs despite adequate time and opportunity for sleep and results in some form of daytime impairment.
This Relaxation to Deal with Insomnia exercise, in two parts, is about dealing with sleeplessness caused by a very specific problem – worry, which keeps both the body and mind awake at night.
It consists of two things – physical anxiety and mental worry. This insomnia relief script in part one will focus on visualization.
Anxiety is the fear response without something in your physical surroundings to be afraid of. That response can be at a low level and be tiredness and yawning throughout the day and muscle tension that won’t go away at night…or can be at a high level with heartbeat very fast and difficulty breathing.
Worry is the mental activity that causes you to remember dangers that you were in and to picture future disasters, and those pictures and stories are formed with the memories of situations you were in that were physically uncomfortable and emotionally unhappy, and you can’t sleep because of nightmares about them or endless replays of them. The physical stress response keeps all that going so that you can’t sleep because you can’t get into a comfortable position when you are lying in bed, and the mental response that plays stories with unhappy endings keeps you awake because your mind can’t be rid of it long enough to sleep. Both of these things together are what I am calling “worry”.
This worry state is not normal.
You might have learned that this worry response was normal because it was the one that your mind and body went into every night…until tonight, when you begin to learn a new response for sleep using this Relaxation to Deal with Insomnia exercise. You may have lived a very long time continually in the worry frame of mind, through the day and continuing into the night, but there is a normal response that lets you sleep. It is called relaxation. It is about memories of peaceful places yesterday, happy stories about tomorrow, and pleasant bodily sensations tonight, because your muscles are relaxed and your mind is able to imagine peaceful places and happy words. The Relaxation to Deal with Insomnia exercise will teach you about the relaxation response. Use this Relaxation to Deal with Insomnia.
Relaxation is normal for sleep.
Just as your mind may find it easy to have you use your memory and imagination for worrying, you can easily learn to use your memory and imagination to cause you to relax. You can sleep without worrying. This exercise shows you how to rehearse the relaxation response for sleep, to bring you the words to help you relax to deal with insomnia. Deal with worry to deal with insomnia. Get rid of worry to deal with insomnia.
To deal with insomnia, you need to take a mental vacation from your worries, and nighttime is when you can take a long vacation from them…with visualization…and every night you return to taking a mental vacation from your worries using your imagination. You can deal with insomnia. You can deal with insomnia and get to sleep, by using your imagination because there is where your struggle is won or lost, and you can overcome the same worry every night by use of visualization so that you get the relief from your worry enough so that you can sleep. This exercise is especially helpful to deal with insomnia when you cannot change the external events around you that make you worry. You can take the nightly mental vacation, which is necessary for you, in this case, to deal with insomnia and to sleep.