Did you make sure bright light therapy is for you, bought a lamp and learned about the treatment protocols? Congratulation, you are on your way to better sleep! But before you go, there are few more things to say.
Quality of sleep is a composite of wide range of factors, from genes to behaviour. Bright light therapy is one additional force in favour of quality sleep. Take advantage of it, but at the same time, don’t forget about other factors fully under your control.
Don’t smoke, drink coffee or alcohol, or overeat before bedtime!
All these effects disturb sleep. Although you may feel like falling asleep better after alcohol, in fact the resulting quality of sleep is much worse. And although you may be used to night snacks, eating cause hormone release preserving sleep, so you would be better off once you break the habit. At the same time, hunger is also increasing arousal, so you should not starve either.
Don’t stress out, relax!
Primary insomnia is often related to general increase in arousal. In other words, it may not be a sleep problem but rather an arousal problem. Instead of focusing on sleep too much, try to make sure you are able to relax during the day as well. Learn to relieve stress for few minutes at time to make sure you are not constantly under pressure.
Don’t be lazy!
Lack of sleep is no excuse for anything. If you are tired, you might be less efficient at work – but not work to try less. As soon as you start with naps and excuses, you will be less tired at night which further feeds insomnia. This does not apply to really exhausted people, though: extreme lack of sleep may itself induce insomnia due to all the stress in cases of long-term exhaustion, severe illness or so. In such a case, take the rest you need, followed by regular daily pattern.
Fake it till you make it!
Adherence to regular pattern is crucial for proper sleep. Make a resolution when starting the therapy that you are going to follow the routine and keep forcing it until the natural mechanism is on again. It may take a while – but gradually you will start sleeping better.