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Courageous

Paradoxical intention therapy for insomnia

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Courageous

I had withdrawal insomnia from tapering Trazodone too quickly recently.  Two days after that I noticed when I got into bed my body was terrified by the memory of not being able to sleep.  Needless to say, the fear alone stopped me from sleeping.

 

That same night I discovered a technique called "paradoxical intention therapy" that enabled me to fall sleep!  It took all of my fear away.

 

From the article Paradoxical intention therapy is an easy technique to help you sleep:

 

Quote

 

In their book, 'Insomnia: A Clinical Guide to Assessment and Treatment', Morin and Espie summarize the instructions for paradoxical intention therapy as:

  1. When you are in bed lie in a comfortable position and put the lights out.
  2. In the darkened room, keep your eyes open, and try to keep them open 'just for a little while longer'. That's your catch phrase.
  3. As time goes by, congratulate yourself on staying awake but relaxed.
  4. Remind yourself not to try to sleep but to let sleep overtake you, as you gently try to resist it.
  5. Keep this mind-set going as long as you can, and if you get worried at staying awake remind yourself that is the general idea, so you are succeeding.
  6. Don't actively prevent sleep by trying to rouse yourself. Be like the good sleeper; let sleep come to you.


 

 

There seems to be science behind it, e.g.:

 

Paradoxical intention and insomnia: an experimental investigation

 

I found an eloquent articulation of the technique and the rationale behind it here:

https://www.insomnialand.com/paradoxical-intention-therapy-an-easy-technique-to-help-you-sleep/

 

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