Sleep Restriction Theory: The Insomnia Cure You Haven't Tried Yet

Mary Peffer

One of the not-so-thrilling “perks” of ageing gracefully is our ability to sleep in 12-hour shifts dissipating to somewhere between zero and six. Not an awesome revelation when you’re also battling nature’s attempt at stealing your youthful glow via bags and circles under your eyes. And not the seven to nine hours that’s burned into our brains as the minimal requirement. Yep—insomnia is a real problem, one that a whopping 30% of us face.

Like any modern-day plight, there are roughly a billion solutions on the market to help us drift off more easily. Some we love (This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray, $29); some medically prescribed by your physician for sleep disorders (listen to the advice of your doctor); and some that are just downright funny looking (hello, crab stretch!). When none of the above work, despite our most diligent efforts, we go looking for science to help us out.

Enter sleep-restriction therapy, an insomnia treatment that, according to Yahoo! Health, works to help get your rest cycle back on track through, you guessed it, sleep restriction. The thinking behind the treatment is that through limiting the amount of time you sleep and then gradually adjusting that schedule time earlier (following success), you can ultimately meet your eight-hour goal. The approach is similar to how we tackle jet lag, so we can see how it has the potential to work. But man oh man, that’s no walk in the park either.

Call us pampered, but we prefer to invest in a sleep app and splurge on some Stella McCartney Poppy Snoozing Printed Stretch-Silk Crepe de Chine Pajamas ($425) to set the mood. Feels more glamorous than opting for straight-up deprivation.

Should you still be awake despite any and all of the above, it may prove useful to invest those waking hours toward discovering the root of personal restlessness —unless, of course, it's already been a diagnosed medical condition, in which case we implore you to listen to your physician.

Do you have issues sleeping? Have you found a cure that works? Share with us below!

Opening Image: Oracle Fox

Explore: sleep, sleep habits

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