Is there a book or program that I can follow to improve my sleep habits?
September 4, 2012 4:13 AM   Subscribe

Is there a book or program that I can follow to improve my sleep habits? If someone wanted to start lifting weights, Starting Strength would be a solid program. Is there something that has helped a lot of people improve their sleeping? I'm interested in getting more hours of sleep, and sleeping earlier. Thanks.
posted by surenoproblem to Health & Fitness (9 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
The best sleep program is consistency. Try your best to get to bed and wake at the same time every day, that way your body gets used to when it needs to go to sleep and when to wake.

I also played around a lot with sleep environment and found the results extremely helpful. I commented in another thread a few days ago with some stuff you might find helpful.
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 4:57 AM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

I have never tried using them consistently, but there are apps/programs that will lead you through self-relaxation techniques and lead you to sleep. I have only used the ones by Andrew Johnson, but I found the free "Relaxation" exercise so useful I paid a couple bucks for the "Deep Sleep" version.

My dad always taught me similar techniques when I was a kid, and we called it self-hypnoses, which isn't that far off. That maybe makes this a little creepy for some people. I honestly have absolutely no idea what Andrew Johnson whispers in my ear for hours while I sleep because his program makes me sleep so deeply. However, it really is just relaxation, meditation, and focus, and it might help.

Or it might not work on you at all - I think this kind of thing varies a lot person to person.
posted by juliplease at 6:29 AM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

The googleable term is "sleep hygiene" (history of the term) and you can poke through some older AskMes for suggestions or peek at some Amazon lists like this one. The same four or five books seem to be on every single one. Here is a short list of what sleep hygiene is basically created from. The big thing is to make sure there aren't medical reasons you aren't sleeping well if you seem to be having trouble getting results from this sort of thing.
posted by jessamyn at 7:04 AM on September 4, 2012

Even if you don't have insomnia, the following book gives excellent tips for improving sleep:

Say Goodnight to Insomnia by Dr. Gregg Jacobs. He has a program called Cognitive Behavioral therapy for sleep. You basically want to develop consistent sleep hygiene practices. Google sleep hygiene for more info.
posted by Sal and Richard at 7:13 AM on September 4, 2012

I swear by the Pzizz app. It has almost been a miracle drug for me.
posted by jbickers at 7:25 AM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

I very, very much enjoyed reading The Promise of Sleep. It may be outdated now, but it's an excellent summary of research on sleep and a sort of a biography of the author. However, it's also a very convincing argument about the importance of sleep and contains a lot of practical information about improving it. It was so convincing that it had me sleeping 10 hours a night for 2 weeks and I felt magical afterwards.
posted by kadia_a at 9:02 AM on September 4, 2012

Vote # 2 for kadia_a's rec.
posted by bukvich at 9:25 AM on September 4, 2012

I don't know if pharmacological solutions are an option, but I've been having great success with melatonin.
Only on those nights when I am going to bed at what I think is my 'normal' time of 11:00 pm, I'll take one about 10:30 and I find that I fall asleep easier, have deeper sleep, and my dreams are slightly more vivid and memorable.

I'm sure none of this is clinically supportable, but it has proved helpful to me.
posted by exparrot at 11:05 AM on September 4, 2012

A month in to forcing myself to keep the same sleep schedule, no matter if I work or have the day off, has done wonders for me after years of sleep problems. Previously, I would be tired during the week and try to catch up on the weekend.
posted by Silvertree at 3:50 PM on September 4, 2012

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