This online treatment course for insomnia lasts eight weeks if you do one session each week. Some parts of the course will be really challenging and involve deliberate sleep deprevation and so it’s important to have your full commitment from the start.

Important medical warning

Insomnia can sometimes be caused by significant medical problems. It is essential that you visit your doctor for a full health check before starting this course.

A significant part of the treatment for insomnia requires deliberate sleep depravation. Sleep depravation can sometimes exacerbate exisiting medical conditions, including epilepsy and some mental illnesses. You must talk to your doctor before starting this course to be sure that it is safe for you to continue.

Session one: understanding insomnia

Insomnia means having bad sleep. But there are lots of different kinds of insomnia and it affects people in differnet ways. Take a look at this video to find out more about insomnia:

 This video has subtitles so you can watch it on mute. You can pause and replay the video as many times as you need until you understand it.

Let’s think about your insomnia

The video showed how different people can suffer from insomnia in different ways. Have a think about the problem you have with sleep and write down the main difficulties you have. Take a look at some of our examples below to help you:

Trouble getting to sleep

Do you struggle to get to sleep at night?

Waking up in the night

Do you wake up in the middle of the night?

Waking up too early

Do you wake up too early and find it impossible to get back to sleep?

Feeling tired the next day

Do you wake up feeling tired and dread facing the day?

Why doesn’t everyone get have insomnia?

Everyone has trouble sleeping from time to time, but only some people end up with insomnia.  It’s because people with insomnia often get into a vicious cycle where they worry so much about having bad sleep that it comes true. 

People with insomnia can make the vicious cycle even worse by taking naps in the middle of the day, going to bed really early or doing things like watching TV, playing computer games or even using drugs or alcohol to try and sleep.

None of these things are helpful so we’ll look at ways to stop doing these things later on in the course.

Understanding your sleep pattern

Before we can start to improve your sleep, we need to truly understand your sleep. To do this, you need to start keeping a sleep diary. You need to record the following information every time you go to bed:

1. What time you went to bed.
2. What time you fell asleep (approximately!).
3. If you woke up in the night, record the total duration of any time you spent awake after falling asleep.
4. What time you woke up in the morning.
5. What time you got out of bed.

And that’s all we’re going to do this week. Just make sure you keep an accurate sleep diary. We’re going to do some powerful calculations using the information from your diary next week.

Here’s an example of how to record the information in a table: 


Remember these things:

Insomnia is different for different people: Some people struggle to get to sleep, some wake up in the middle of the night, some struggle to get up in the morning. 

The way you think about sleep can have a massive impact:
 If you spend the day worrying about having a bad night, you’ll probably end up having one. We will look at how to stop these worries later in the course.

Session one Complete!

Here’s your homework:

Complete your sleep diary- it’s essential. Don’t make any changes to the way you sleep until session two.

© the brain clinic

Important: this self-help website is provided as a support tool to be used alongside professional help. The website is not intended to provide medical advice of any sort and you must see a doctor if you think you may have a mental illness.

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