06/13/2010 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Getting Rest Even When We Can't Sleep

My worst nights of insomnia come after days where I don't feel I was productive enough. If I didn't get enough work done, or if the bills outnumbered the checks in the day's mail, I will be plenty anxious by the time I go to bed. And unless I stop that anxiety spiral right then, I will be up for hours worrying until I finally drop into a fitful sleep.

But I am one of the lucky ones. Most days I don't experience insomnia, and can drop off to sleep with little or no assistance from my herbal medicine shelf. When I do need help falling asleep or staying asleep, I can do so without the aid of heavy-duty sleep pharmaceuticals, which create as many problems as they solve.

Sometimes nothing works, though. There are nights when we simply lie awake, worrying that we are getting enough rest, but unable to get it. That's why I was so happy to find a beautiful new book by Sondra Kornblatt, Restful Insomnia: How to Get the Benefits of Sleep Even When You Can't.

In this groundbreaking book, Sondra goes deep into five techniques to end the struggle with insomnia:

  1. Create a soothing night environment,
  2. Befriend the body,
  3. Diminish the thinking mind,
  4. Release the hold of emotions, and
  5. Tap into the natural or spiritual self.

With suggestions for "Night Yoga" that we can do in bed to loosen up physical tension, meditations for when our mind becomes wrapped around an anxiety and won't let go, and practical (and sensual) items to keep on hand, Restful Insomnia goes where no other insomnia book has yet gone.

I recently interviewed Sondra on Dream Talk Radio, and was very impressed by her approach. You can listen to the podcast on my website, or subscribe on iTunes.

As most insomniacs know, the important thing is to keep trying things until something works to help us finally drift off to sleep. With this book, I predict there will be much rejoicing among our ranks. Sweet dreams!