I've worked with many people over the years helping them to change habits and the research into my techniques shows that they work for most people most of the time. However, I am always interested in why my approach doesn't work for some people and interestingly it's always the same reason: They didn't follow the instructions.
This can be for any number of reasons. Maybe they were distracted, or they tried the techniques just once or twice and forgot to repeat them. The point is if they don't follow the instructions they are not using the system. It is important to explain straight away that the system in this book and CD works by installing the habits of success in your mind. One of the methods by which we do this is repetition, so if you want to improve the length and quality of your sleep you must follow all my instructions—including the repetitions. If you don't follow them you are not using the system.
Many people find that their sleep improves radically within a few days. Even though this may happen to you, keep using all the techniques. Establishing regular, refreshing sleep is the result of changing many small processes that all add up to work together. Keep following all the rules until they become second nature and use the exercises as often as you wish, and after a few weeks you will find out which is your favorite way to go to sleep.
Sleep is a simple experience created by a multitude of complex factors. For a few people it is just one of the changes I suggest, or just one of the exercises, that makes a huge difference. And of course, most of the time we can't tell exactly which were the changes that were critical for your sleep improvement. That is why it is necessary to follow the whole system. After all, it doesn't matter if you do not know which change it was you made that makes you sleep better. All that matters is that you sleep deeper and longer and better and feel more refreshed, more relaxed, and more alert during the day. Some people find it helpful to reread this book many times as well in order to reinforce the learning.
We are going to start this book by changing simple habits and improving your sleep environment. Then later in the book I will show you some powerful psychological techniques that you can use to go to sleep and stay asleep longer and deeper.
RELAX, YOU CAN DO IT
If you have been unable to sleep it is not your fault. It's the fault of your programming. Your mind is like a computer and when you learn to do something you store it as a program in your unconscious mind. That is what a habit is. So being unable to sleep at night is simply the product of some bad habits.
When a baby is born it alternates between sleeping and waking on a very short cycle of a few hours. One of the first things it does is build up longer periods of sleep and longer periods of wakefulness. Babies do this quite naturally by means of a built-in mechanism that reacts to the light during the day and the darkness at night. Babies still need to sleep a fair amount during the day because they are growing and learning so fast, but as we get older we sleep more and more at night and less and less during the day.
Learning to regulate our sleep is one of the first things we do, so we can do it again simply by letting that natural tendency take over. That's what we are going to do over the next few weeks. Very soon you will have developed the habit of sleeping well.