by Mary Ellen Copeland, Ph.D

There seems to be an epidemic of insomnia in our society. Do you have any of the following sleep problems?

  • You sleep less than eight hours per night
  • You sometimes don’t bother getting up in the morning
  • You awaken often during the night
  • You often have a hard time getting back to sleep if you wake up in the night
  • You often have nights when you sleep very little or don’t sleep at all

Using your Wellness Recovery Action Plan to address your sleep problems will not only help with a restful night, but it will carry over into improved performance during your day.
Following are examples of sleep-related Wellness Tools that you may want to try.  These are only examples, not recommendations.  Adjust them to meet your needs and what you know works for you.

  • Go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning
  • Avoid naps that are longer than twenty minutes
  • Limit intake of caffeine to no more than 2 cups of coffee a day and avoid caffeinated soda
  • Eat dark green leafy vegetables every day (They contain calcium which can help you sleep)
  • Get an hour of exercise every day
  • Create a daily bedtime ritual
  • Do relaxation and stress reduction exercises,
  • Write in my journal
  • Have at least one  peer counseling session every week
  • Eat a turkey sandwich (it contains tryptophan which may help you sleep)
  • Drinking a glass of milk (contains calcium which may help you sleep
  • Drink a cup of chamomile tea before bedtime
  • Have a lavender scented pillow near your bed

Keep your WRAP accessible and at first review it every day. As you get used to it over time you will recall what is on your lists and what to do in varying circumstances. There are no rules around how often you should revise your plan, so rework it until you figure out what works for you.

For more information, WRAP for Life goes into much more detail about sleep issues and possible solutions.
WRAP for Life