VSL:SCIENCE // How to stop worrying about sleeplessness

On any given night, one person out of three has trouble sleeping. One of ten has trouble over the course of seven nights each week. And according to King’s College London psychiatrist Daniel Freedman, people in the latter group are five times more likely to feel paranoid than well-rested people.

Shakespeare described the same vicious circle 400 years ago: Missed sleep makes Macbeth see enemies everywhere, which makes Macbeth more sleepless and jumpier still. Freedman says that today’s insomniacs can break the cycle with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which teaches you to control destructive thought loops, or with simple sleep strategies: Reduce caffeine, TV, and computer use in the evening hours, and limit yourself to just one or two in-bed activities.

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