The Behavior to be changed
Several individuals suffer from sleep disorder. The disorder may result from sleeplessnessor the inability to sleep for the required time. Consequently, several individuals have resorted to sleeping pills to help them sleep.Lately, I have been sleeping late, and the condition developed to the point that it feels normal, resulting into sleeplessness in the early hours of the night.
Sleeping does not come easy to me unless induced by use of some medication.For example, I have to go to bed, twist, and turn severally, until late in the night. Mostly, I sleep at around 2 o’clock in the morning regardless of the day or work done during the day. Sleeping late started because of working late (school assignments as well as late night working shifts), chatting on the phone with friends, and at times watching movies late into the night. Initially, the next day after late night sleeping and early morning, my eyes would feel heavy and the head and body ached from exhaustion. However, after sometime, my body adapted to the changes and there was no pain or ache anymore.
Behavior Intervention and Research Based Journal Article
According to an article in the Advanced Practice Nursing Journal, a normal human being should sleep for at least 7-8 hours daily(Fogel, 2003).This is too much time compared to the 4 hours in which I sleep per day. The behavioral technique that best suited my condition was the stimulus control treatment. Stimulus control treatment focuses on restraining a person from activities that do not induce sleep or are cues for staying awake (Fogel, 2003).
Implementation of the Behavioral Intervention Technique
In implementing the behavioral intervention technique, I used to switch off my phone at exactly 9:00pm. However,the urge to switch it on increased whenever I thought about the day’s happenings and needed to stay informed or call someone.Besides, I also reduced watching movies despite the fact that on the first day I still slept at 2am and made sure I had no movies in my house for that entire week. I limited friends’ visiting me past 8 pm and tried to sleep by ten o’clock.My supervisor rescheduled most of my late night working shifts after I informed him of my problem.Furthermore, I ensured that my bed was strictly for sleep and that I had a strict time of getting out of bed in the morning.
Chartmonitoring sleep progress.
The table illustrates how I monitored my sleeping late behavior. Operational definition is sleeping late, sleeplessness that causes sleeping late, and the activities that induce the behavior. The goal was to increase the time spent sleeping and in turn reducing the repercussions of less sleep.
Keeping Track of the progress
The behavioral technique I used dictated a number of things that I required to do in order to recover fully from sleeping late. These things included:
– The bed and bedroombe used for sleep only
– If 15-20 min in bed and sleep was not there, the technique dictates I leave the bedroom.
– I had a fixed time ofgetting out of bed regardless ofthe amount of sleep I had the whole night
– Only go to bed when sleepy and not taking naps during the daytime
In addition to strictly following the rules of the behavioral intervention technique, I had a clock and a reminder to alert me of what to do at, what time, and place.I also had sticky notes for every place I frequently visited in my house. On a number of days, I left all electronics including my mobile phone in the living room. Additionally, I would switch off the stereo before going to sleep, leaving the room silent throughout the night.
Challenges in Implementing the Behavior Intervention Technique
At times, it was difficult to following all the rules. Being strictly in bed until the fixed time was hectic and I constantly looked at the watch. The urge to switch on my phone became unbearable to the point of giving it out for several nights to a friend. The desire to watch a movie on TV was unimaginable and so was restricting a couple of my friends from visiting past 8 pm. It was difficult adjusting my active schedules to the restrictiveMonday to Friday schedules.
Given a chance to do the whole exercise again, I would introduce heavy physical activities during the day. In my assumption, the more tired one is, the faster and the heavier an individual is likely to sleep at night.
Lessons from the Experience
Trying to change a particular behavior is almost similar to trying to stop an addiction. For individuals trying to change particular behaviors, one should know the task is not easy.However, with self-driven determination,one is likely to achieve the required outcome.The individual ought to understand that changing is something that occurs gradually and never drastically.
Fogel, J. (2003).”Behavioral treatment for insomnia in primary care.”Topics in Advanced Practice Nursing eJournal,3(4)
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