Sleep is a habit. You’ve either been lucky enough and naturally gained good sleep habits, or unfortunate enough to acquire bad sleeping habits that lead to insomnia. Habits are created by repeated actions that form a routine. By changing the actions that are a part of your routine, you can over time create new habits. But most people don’t know what they are doing that causes insomnia.
These sleep and insomnia books will help you identify sleep problems and provide you with practical solutions to help you get a better night’s sleep.
Say Good Night To Insomnia
Say good night to insomnia is a 6 week drug free program developed at the Harvard Medical School designed to help you overcome insomnia.
The book contains 10 chapters categorized into 3 parts:
- Getting Started – Provides the preliminary knowledge about how sleep works and sets the scene for the next two parts. Explains why the program discourages the use of sleeping pills and explains how you can perform your own insomnia self assessment during the six weeks.
- Changing Sleep Thoughts and Behaviors – This part lays the foundation necessary for good sleep. You learn about the habits that promote sleep and the lifestyle factors that hinder sleep. There is also a chapter for changing your thoughts about sleep, using cognitive behavioral therapy to establish a positive mindset that’s required for sleep.
- Managing Insomnia by Managing Stress – The final part is about the ability to become calm and relaxed. Sleep is a state of deep relaxation, but to get sleep, you at least need to meet it half way by becoming somewhat relaxed beforehand. This part focuses on the stress triggers that keep our body tense not just during the day, but often during the night as well.
In addition to these three parts are four appendices for extra reading should you require them. These are managing shift work, managing jet lag, infants and children’s sleep, and additional relaxation scripts.
Each chapter is designed to be implemented each week starting at part two after your initial understanding of sleep, six chapters in all. At the end of each chapter is a self assessment to monitor your progress as you continue the course.
Say Good Night to Insomnia provides an excellent starting point for people who are searching for a solution to their insomnia problem. I would recommend the book to people who don’t know too much about sleep but are sick to death of their insomnia and are willing to set aside six weeks to overcome it bit by bit by changing their habits and behaviors.
The book is specifically designed to be read from cover to cover over a set period of time with exercises to be performed along the way. If you haven’t got the patience or want to learn about a specific insomnia problem over a period of time of your choosing, this book probably won’t be for you. But for a six week period dedicated to overcoming insomnia, this book is the answer.
Price: $12.99 | Buy from Amazon
The Insomnia Answer
The Insomnia Answer is a book that provides personalized answers to a variety of different sleep problems. Unlike the Say Good Night to Insomnia, this one is laid out like a reference book with each chapter targeting a specific area.
The Insomnia Answer contains total of nine chapters divided into two parts. First is Catching the Wave of Sleep, providing an overview of the topic of sleep from the physical to the psychological.
- Why is sleep so unreliable? – Understand why sleep for many people doesn’t come naturally and what can cause insomnia.
- How is sleep supposed to happen? – A run down of how sleep works and understanding what makes you sleepy and what makes you alert, how and when they occur.
- How did I get insomnia? – Explains how insomnia may be caused and explains how certain beliefs and practices can affect sleep.
- What does sleep mean to me? – A review of the different subjective beliefs regarding sleep, from sleep being a pleasure to sleep being a waste of time. Understanding why different people think different things and getting us to enquire about our own beliefs about sleep.
- Preliminary Treatment – How to identify what type of insomnia you have, ways you can better understand your own sleep pattern and popular ways you can improve your sleep no matter what insomnia problem you may have.
- Answers for Difficulty Falling Asleep – A very common problem amongst teenagers and younger adults. Techniques for falling asleep within 20 minutes at the time you want.
- Difficulty staying asleep – Why staying asleep can be a problem. Methods you can use to prolong sleep and actively reduce the factors that may be causing you to wake up.
- Answers for Broken or Irregular sleep – How to get your sleep back on track if it’s scattered around the clock, and tips you can use to get better sleep if you work a night shift or work variable shifts at different times of the day.
- Easing into sleep – Learning the skill of being able to relax, whether the world outside is chaotic or whether the turmoil lies inside yourself.
The next part is The ABCDEs of Sleep, essentially how you can improve your sleep and how you can get more refreshing sleep given your particular circumstances.
The Insomnia Answer is like a FAQ manual for the complex world of sleep, providing solutions to various things that can go wrong with it. It’s very comprehensive, but unlike Say Good Night To Insomnia, it doesn’t hold your hand through the process. Instead you dive into a chapter, get what you want out of it and then you’re done.
If you have a specific sleep related problem or want to know how you can improve your sleep, this book with provide you with the answers. It’s more of an intermediate book designed to be used when you need it, as opposed to the beginner’s walkthrough that is Say Goodnight to Insomnia.
If you are after specific answers to specific problems, this books is the one to get.
Price: $15.95 | Buy from Amazon
I Can Make You Sleep
The confidently titled I Can Make You Sleep is by Paul McKenna, a famous hypnotist who has had success using his hypnotic techniques to solve a variety of life’s problems.
Like all Paul McKenna books, I Can Make You Sleep is a relatively short but positively upbeat read. The book is nine chapters long, covering:
- Good sleep habits
- Your sleep environment
- Managing your thoughts
- Relaxing and calming your mind
Each chapter is peppered with NLP techniques and there is a quick review at the end of each chapter.
Included with the book is a CD containing a self hypnosis session designed to be listened to while in bed. The CD works to reprogram any unconstructive thoughts, feelings and beliefs you have about sleep, while at the same time putting you in a state of deep relaxation.
This was the first book I ever read on insomnia during my teenage years when my insomnia was at its worst. Did it cure my insomnia? No, but it did help, and it certainly laid the mental foundation. But on its own, it wasn’t enough for my chronic insomnia. It was only when I fully understood the nature of sleep (sleep timing in particular) that I was able to build a proper sleep pattern and stick to it. But I wonder whether or not I would have been able to put this knowledge into practice without this foundation knowledge book.
I would recommend this book for people whose mind tends to keep them wake a night, constantly filled with nagging thoughts. Paul McKenna is a highly skilled hypnotherapist, and this is where the book really comes into its own.
I wouldn’t recommend the book for its sleep advice alone. While Paul McKenna has a excellent ability to explain concepts clearly, there’s nothing you can’t otherwise learn by browsing websites such as this one.
Price: $27.71 | Buy from Amazon
Sleep: A Groundbreaking Guide to the Mysteries, the Problems, and the Solutions
Sleep is a book written by Carlos Schenck, a respected sleep doctor with over 25 years of experience in his field.
The first chapter begins with a little bit about how sleep works, which seems to be customary for all books related to sleep.
The second chapter provides a concise overview of insomnia, the different types, causes, sleep hygiene tips, and an overview on the medication available.
It’s after these two introductory chapters that the book really gets into its stride. Each of the remaining 16 chapters are dedicated to providing insights into a vast array of abnormal sleep behaviour. These chapters are:
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- Restless Kegs Syndrome
- Hypersomnias: Excessive Sleepiness and Daytime Dysfunction
- Circadian Rhythm Disorders
- Confusional Arousals and Severe Morning Sleep Inertia
- Abnormal Sleepsex
- Sleep Terrors
- Sleep Paralysis
- Sleep-related Binge Eating
- REM Sleep Behaviour Disorder
- Nocturnal Dissociative Disorders
- Sleep Apnea Parasomnias
- Nocturnal Groaning, Exploding Head Syndrome, Sleep-Laughing and Pets with Parasomnias
- Sleeping with a parasomniac partner
Each sleep related disorder is coved in detail, from what causes it, stories from people who have suffered from it, and the various treatment options available to you.
The book is both an interesting read for people who have an interest in sleep and a godsend for people suffering from one of these often under-reported sleep disorders.
Price: $7.56 | Buy from Amazon