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Stephanie Silberman, Ph.D.

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6 Mistakes That Can Keep You Up at Night

Posted: 05/24/11 09:30 AM ET

Instead of spending countless hours lying in bed counting sheep at night, take control of your sleep by learning about the common mistakes people make that sabotage their sleep cycles. There are many mistakes that people make when trying to get a good night's sleep. Instead of helping you to sleep better, these mistakes can actually decrease your chances of sleeping well and may even cause you to have more trouble falling asleep and staying asleep.

Mistake 1: Taking a sleeping pill before trying to improve your sleep in a natural way
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People often believe that taking sleeping pills is the answer to their sleep problem. But sleeping is something that should typically come naturally. Sleeping pills can have negative side effects, including psychological and physical dependency, daytime drowsiness and other health consequences. Plus if you try to stop taking a sedative hypnotic, you will typically have worse insomnia for several days, which makes you more likely to pop a pill again when you are feeling frustrated and annoyed in the middle of the night. Research shows that cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is usually the best treatment for insomnia and it doesn't carry the negative side effects that sleeping pills do.
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Stephanie A. Silberman, Ph.D., FAASM, is a Licensed Psychologist who is a Fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. She served twice as president of the Broward Chapter of the Florida Psychological Association (FPA) and is currently the co-chair for FPA's Legislative Affairs and Public Policy Board. She has appeared on television news and in national magazines regarding sleep-related issues. Her recent book, The Insomnia Workbook: A Comprehensive Guide to Getting the Sleep You Need, is not only a self-help guide for people with insomnia, but also a useful reference tool for health-care professionals. Read her blog on Red Room or visit her website at to learn more.


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