Overcoming Insomnia: Why Generic Sleep Tips Don't Work

Here's something most sleep experts won't tell you.
Saying something is good for sleep doesn't always mean it's good for YOUR sleep.
There's a difference between someone who sleeps okay but would like to sleep a bit better and someone who regularly has difficulty falling asleep and/or staying asleep.
These two groups need DIFFERENT advice!
So if you feel like you're doing "everything right" but still sleeping like crap, here are a few likely reasons why.

The Insomnia Cycle: Why Generic Sleep Tips Don't Work for You

1. They fail to address the WHY behind your insomnia

Most sleep advice is meant for people who don't spend enough time in bed, or who sleep fine but would like to sleep even better.
But if you go to bed and take forever to fall asleep, or you wake up in the middle of the night and can't fall back asleep, you need very different advice — sometimes the OPPOSITE advice!
Insomniacs struggle to sleep well because our fight or flight response is overactive and our sleep drive is too low.
Generic sleep tips rarely address either of those issues, let alone both.
It's like recommending a really great pair of sneakers to help someone run faster.
The sneaker might be amazing, but if that person has a broken leg, the fancy sneakers aren't going to help them.
Sleep works the same way. If you don't address the right problem and the whole problem... you've got a problem.

2. Your “perfect” bedtime routine is sending your brain into work mode

Another reason why generic sleep tips can backfire if you have insomnia is because of the pressure they can put on you.
The common advice to have a good bedtime routine is a classic example of this.
Bedtime routines are often portrayed as a list of things you have to do in order to sleep well.
But those steps could backfire on you if you have insomnia. Here's why:
  • Doing anything with the express intention of forcing yourself to sleep actually makes it harder to sleep.
  • Packing your bedtime with things you feel should do to fall asleep, instead of things you want to do, you're telling your brain it’s time to WORK.
  • It's like giving yourself a to-do list that needs to be finished before you can sleep.
This can lead to you putting more much pressure on yourself to sleep because you start thinking, "Alright, I finished my bedtime routine. Now I better sleep well!"
Unfortunately, this makes insomnia even worse.
So even if those annoying things on the list are generally good for sleep, they're not going to be good for YOUR sleep.
This is how generic sleep tips can actually feed the insomnia cycle and make your sleep problems worse.
So what should you do instead?

The Importance of Personalized Sleep Tips: Two Simple Steps to Get Started Fixing Your Insomnia

1. Identify the root cause of your sleep problems

The simple reason why most sleep tips don't work is because they don't address what's causing your sleep problems.
So the first step to fixing your sleep problems is figuring out what's keeping you awake.
This allows you to fix your sleep problems at the root instead of just masking them for a while.

2. Focus on simple evidence-based sleep tips to fix your sleep issues

Once you identify what sleep issues are keeping you awake, you can then narrow down the solutions.
You don't need a ton of generic sleep tips you just need to focus a few evidence-based solutions for your specific sleep problems.
This is what I teach in our course, The Sleep Fix Method.
This custom-fit sleep program not only helps you dig into the root cause of your sleep problems but also gives practical, evidence-based solutions to address those root causes.
Check out our FREE TRAINING here to get started on improving your sleep quality.

Real Sleep Solutions and Removing the Obstacles Standing in Sleep’s Way

Remember, real sleep solutions aren’t about making you sleep – they’re about identifying and removing the obstacles standing in sleep’s way.
Finally, stop taking sleep advice from anyone who doesn't specialize in insomnia.
As wonderful as the internet is, anyone can open an account and start talking about anything.
Also, even board certified sleep clinicians usually specialize in specific areas of sleep. So a renowned expert in sleep apnea, for example, may still know very little about how to address insomnia.
It's important to be intentional when it comes to who you are taking advice from.
Stop listening to and following sleep tips that aren't meant for you.


Our New FREE TRAINING, "How to Get the Quality Sleep You Need Without Medication, Meditation, Quitting Caffeine, or Giving Up Screens" is packed with tips and insights to kickstart your Sleep Fix journey and teach you all about our Sleep Fix Method course.


I’m on a mission to help you sleep better with practical, evidence-based solutions. 

As a professional news anchor and correspondent, I saw my own sleep and health deteriorate for years. I tried one standard sleep tip after another. But they either didn’t work, or seemed completely unrealistic — and in some cases both. 

So I used my experience as a journalist and problem solver to research and consult with experts and patients all across sleep science. Together they helped me create actionable fixes that are practical, easy to understand and, most importantly, really work! 


Keeping a sleep diary is often the first thing a sleep specialist will tell you to do and it can be an incredibly valuable tool, whether you’re tackling your sleep problems yourself or seeking professional help.


Overcoming Insomnia: Why Generic Sleep Tips Don't Work

Jun 22, 2024