But I’ve Tried Everything!
Okay, so let’s say you’ve tried all of the methods we’ve presented for combating insomnia, but you still find yourself wide-eyed at 2 AM. What we’d say to this is: keep trying. Research suggests that those who engage in any kind of sleep therapy may eventually find their way to a good night’s sleep. Changing up your sleep habits is more effective than medication for some people. This holds just as true for people in their 50s as it does for those who are older.
Changing up your sleep habits has a high chance of helping you sleep better, but the same change doesn’t work for everyone.
So don’t give up! Try cognitive behavioral treatment again. Try relaxation exercises again. Write in your sleep journal. Meditate as you fall asleep. Walk around if you are awake instead of staying in bed fretting. Breathe deeply. Keep your phone out of your room. The TV, too. Make a sleep cave. Keep your room cool. If your dog sleeps in your bed, maybe try having him sleep in a crate or in someone else’s bed for a few nights. Then try all of these methods, alone or together, all over again.
The point, in essence, is the trying. The mere act of trying to end the scourge of insomnia should eventually end it if you don’t throw up your hands and say, “That’s it! This will never work for me!”
Changing up your sleep habits has a high chance of helping you sleep better, but the same change doesn’t work for everyone. When you’re feeling frustrated, move on and try another strategy.
- Irwin, M. R., Cole, J. C., & Nicassio, P. M. (2006). Comparative meta-analysis of behavioral interventions for insomnia and their efficacy in middle-aged adults and in older adults 55+ years of age. Health Psychology: Official Journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association, 25(1), 3–14.