A friend stayed the night at my house and she told me how delighted she was to finally sleep, even if it was ironically in a strange bed. Contrary to the common “first night effect” where people get less sleep when they lie in an unfamiliar bed, most often she feels bad in her own bed.

I’m referring to insomnia, occasionally affecting up to a third of Spanish people. This is one of the most common disorders and also negatively impacts daily life. When we can’t rest we feel irritable and sad.

How to break the vicious circle? Sometimes a pill seems to help, as we get a restful night. A couple of nights like this feel like a truce with insomnia. But if the use of drugs provides the opportunity to relax again, it also gives us the message that such aid is necessary, that we cannot sleep without it. This creates a psychological dependence that can become a physical dependence.

And all this without fully knowing when or why we stopped sleeping deeply, for a long time, and in a restorative way.

It may not be necessary to know what caused the first one or sleepless nights. But it is important to do the work to remove the factors that maintain the stressful situation, where the sleepless person feels anxiety at the prospect of getting into bed to spend another horrible, sleepless night.

We need an important change, so that just as the sleep went away, it can come back.


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