I’d start from the opening scene, as if I’d popped a tape into my VCR (because that’s just how old I am), and I’d mentally watch as much as I could before drifting off into slumber.
As an adult, it amazes me that I was able to relax and focus my mind in this way back then, as I’ve spent much of my older life overthinking and tossing and turning in bed.
I’ve taken sleeping pills and natural alternatives. I’ve used sleep hypnosis tracks and guided meditations. I’ve bought special pillows, high-priced bedding, and fancy eye masks.
Who knew that all this effort actually worked against me—and that the solutions were much simpler than that?
In their fascinating book Goodnight Mind: Turn Off Your Noisy Thoughts and Get a Good Night’s Sleep, psychologists Colleen E. Carney and Rachel Manber offer a ten-step guide to consistent, deep, restorative sleep.
I found Goodnight Mind to be both informative and eye opening, and I’ve already reaped the benefits of better quality sleep after applying much of what I learned.
If you struggle with insomnia, ruminate under the covers, or regularly feel sleep-deprived despite spending hours in bed, you too may want to give this handy little guide a read.
I’m grateful that Colleen took the time to answer some questions about herself and her book, and that she’s provided two copies for Tiny Buddha readers.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself, your work, and what inspired you to write this book.
I am a psychologist specializing in sleep, particularly insomnia. I conduct research on cognitive behavior therapy for insomnia, or “CBT.”
CBT is a treatment derived from research on what causes insomnia. CBT is the frontline recommended treatment for insomnia by major agencies such as the National Institutes of Health.
My co-author and I wrote this book after writing a very popular self-help book called Quiet Your Mind and Get to Sleep. This was the first workbook that contained CBT but also provided help for those who had other issues as well, such as depressed mood, anxiety, trauma, or pain.
As successful as this book was, we learned that not everyone feels ready to complete a full self-help treatment in a book. Insomnia is such a prevalent disorder and access to CBT can be very poor, so we wanted to provide wide access to the treatment to the greatest number of people.
So we decided to write a second book based on Quiet Your Mind, with fewer, simpler steps, to reach the people that might not be ready for that—this book was Goodnight Mind.
Most people who read the book find that they become more and more confident, and more able to implement more of the steps as they go through the book.
Additionally, many of the people who read this book feel ready to take it to the next step—completing the full treatment in Quiet Your Mind and Get to Sleep.