Limitation on of sleep time

There is a recently applied and highly successful method in the treatment of insomnia. In our discussions with patients suffering from insomnia we learn that; these patients go to bed early at nights in order to try to sleep and they remain in bed in the mornings; because they could not sleep at night. If we examine sleep diaries of these patients, we observe that these persons spend long time in bed although they sleep for a short time. The rate of sleep time -which is expressed as sleep efficiency- to the time spent in bed is reduced for these patients. The studies conducted in the recent years showed that; reduction of sleep efficiency makes persons to feel as if they did not sleep at all. It is thought that; when the patients’ sleep efficiency is increased; they would wake up as if they slept more and they would be more satisfied with their sleep. Total sleep duration detected in sleep diares is defined as the patient’s duration of staying in bed. This period of time is subtracted from the patient's wake-up time in the morning and the patient is allowed to sleep at night only after the calculated time.When you ask “why did you stay 11 hours in bed although you slept only 4 hours?” to a patient who goes to bed at 10 p.m and sleeps only 4 hours; but wakes up 6 a.m and remains in bed until 8 a.m; his answer would be “in order to rest or to sleep more”. When sleeping hours are limited for these patients, it is aimedto increase sleep efficiency from 40% to 100%. In order to achieve this efficieny, the patient is asked to go to bed at 02.00 a.m instead of 10.00 p.m as well as going out of the bed when he wakes up at 06.00 a.m. In the first days of treatment, the patient may feel himself a little tired, but when sleep efficiency is increased, their sleeping time can be extended for 15 minutes of period.

The studies conducted on the above mentioned methods showed that patients highly benefited from these treatments. Using these methods, around 50-60% of insomnia patients largely solved their sleep problems at the end of six months period.The comparative studies showed that; relatively new methods such as stimulant control and sleep time limitation etc are more succesfull than the older methods such as relaxation and "biofeedback" etc.