How Stimulus Control can Help Improve your Sleeping

Imagine this… its late at night, you are feeling tired, so you go to bed. You put on your PJ’s, hop in bed, and then all of a sudden you turn on the TV while you lay in bed. Then you start checking your phone to see the latest Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter updates. You look over to the side and see your laptop there so you pick it up and start amazon shopping, checking your email, and so on. Then you get a little hungry and get some candy that you have stashed away in your night stand, and start munching away. Its about an hour in and you tell yourself “How come I cant fall asleep?” Easy! You have created so much stimuli that you have taught yourself that bed is not only for sleep, but for other tasks as well.

Lets take look at these two people below:

Person 1:                                  Person 2:

                 Sleep

·         Sexual Activity

·         Sleep

·         Sexual Activity

·         Videogames

·         TV

·         Social Media

·         Eating

·         Working

·         Phone

·         Computer

When Person A goes to sleep, the only two things that they do in the bedroom is go to sleep or have sex, that is it! Nothing else! Person B not only uses their room for sleep and sexual activity, but will play games, watch TV, eat, work, browse their phone, their computer, check social media, and so on. Person B is engaging in so much stimuli that they will need to satisfy their ritual, until they can successfully fall asleep. At the same time, they are taking on so much blue light that their brain is thinking they need to stay awake because light means day time. Therefore your body is awake. Person A has a 1 in 2 chance of sleeping, why? Because they only need to knock out one or the other in order for them to feel ready to sleep. Person B has a 1 in 9 chance in order for them to feel ready to sleep. Moral of the story? The less you do in the bedroom, the better chance you have at sleeping! Keep everything else outside the bedroom, besides sleep and sex.

Written by: Arbin Memisi, LPC