Insomnia and Stimulus Control Therapy

Insomnia and Stimulus Control Therapy

Insomnia is among the most common disorders today.  Many studies have been conducted to ascertain its specific causes and treatments. Most of these studies indicate that treatments are dependent on an individual’s personality, and they vary greatly from one person to another. One major approach that has been found to work amongst many; however, is stimulus control therapy.  This is simply a type of therapy that involves overhauling an individual’s current perception of the bedroom.


As an effective tool for solving sleeping problems, stimulus control attempts to change a patient’s perspective of the bedroom. One major cause of sleeping difficulties includes anxiety and depression. For some people, the inability to sleep comes from the association they have drawn in regard to their bedrooms. Some take the bedroom as a place of passing the night to pave the way for another busy day. Stimulus control seeks to change this perception and instead teach patients that the bedroom is a place for relaxation and winding down.

Eliminating Interruptions

The main objective of stimulus control is to induce sleep naturally while also getting rid of any interference that may be there to a perfect night sleep.  There are individuals who can sleep through an earthquake while others can be woken up by creaking leaves. Every person has his or her own perfect condition for sleeping, but there are those who are addicted to having TVs and radios in their rooms, and yet they complain of sleepless nights. Stimulus control emphasizes on filling the bedroom with sleep-promoting tools and activities.  It is all about sprucing up the bedroom only that this time round only tools that induce sleep are involved.

Who Needs It?

In chronic cases of insomnia, it is always advisable to take medication. However for some subtle situations, stimulus control therapy is the best option. According to experts, anyone who complains of having difficulties sleeping at least three days per week is suffering from a sleeping disorder and should adjust his bedroom patterns.  Regardless of what could be the cause of the insomnia, whether mood swings, trauma or physical factors, you can train yourself to change your sleeping behaviors. Improving the quality of sleep often results to tens of advantages including eradicating the symptoms associated with numerous mental conditions such as depression and anxiety.

Learning Process

Experts see difficulties falling asleep as being a result of inadequate stimuli.  This simply means that there are inadequate activities that are compatible with sleeping. Unlike other therapies, stimulus control is a learning therapy and not a set of instructions. It is a whole learning process where an individual re-learns to associate certain cues with sleep.  Factors such as time, pillows, mattresses and darkness should be able to induce sleep effectively. Through this learning process hence, an individual is taught to associate these cues with relaxation and sleep. The main goal of stimulus control as a tool for sleep control is to strengthen the cues for sleep while at the same time reducing the cues that interfere with sleeping.


There are certain rules that are advocated by sleep therapists. It is essential to understand that each of these rules have their importance and will go a long way towards treating insomnia.

The first thing is to ensure that you only lie down when you want to sleep. This is to condition your brain to only release sleep chemicals when you are lying down. It is also essential that you only associate your bed with sleeping and not anything else.

Another major rule, when it comes to sleeping is, to only spend time in bed if you are sleepy or sleeping. If it takes more than twenty minutes to get some sleep, it is advisable to leave the bedroom and try engaging in another activity. Never go to bed if you are not exhausted or sleepy.

A sleep pattern will also get you far if you are suffering from insomnia. Towards accomplishing this, it is advisable that you set an alarm to  wake you up at the same time every day.  To ensure that you are adequately exhausted at night, it is imperative that you do not fall to the temptation of taking a nap during the day.  Sleep deprivation during the day will help you sleep at night.