I have to admit that most members of my insomnia help forums tell me they are tired and would love to get a full night's sleep.
However, according to Dr Rubin Naiman many insomniacs are hyperaroused - meaning that they're not sleeping simply because they are not feeling sleepy enough.
Apparently, hyperarousal is characterized by the endocrine, immune and nervous systems being over activated.
Additionally, those who are hyperaroused often have an elevated body temperature, rapid metabolic rates and an increased waking EEG. Psychologically, hyperarousal is associated with obsessive-compulsive tendencies.
Whilst this may be fine during the day when we're busy, getting to sleep at night can be a problem for the hyperaroused.
Dr Naiman refers to this issue as relentless wakefulness. He argues that we need to identify relentless wakefulness as an insomnia cause so that we can work on healing our sleep.
Here's where things get really interesting - Dr Naiman argues that we need a 12-step recovery process for insomnia, just as we have for alcoholsim.
In effect, we need to:
- Accept our insomnia
- Admit that we are powerless and that our insomnia has become unmanageable
- Seek support for our insomnia
- Stop trying too hard to fall asleep
- Place trust in something greater than ourselves
Generally speaking, I'm all for any additional recovery processes for insomnia.
I definitely think there's something behind accepting insomnia and avoiding the temptation to try forcing yourself to fall asleep. It's also worth mentioning that having faith in something greater than ourselves doesn't need to involve religion.
I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on this one. Do you think your insomnia is related to being hyperaroused? Do you think insomniacs need a 12-step program? Perhaps you have a better idea for a standardized insomnia treatment (if you believe one is even possible).
The comments form is below, as usual.
Source: Huffington Post
Last updated: October 25, 2013