|Worth a fiver!|
By going to bed earlier all one does is to increase the amount of awake time whilst in bed which increases the bed as a stronger cue for wakefulness!
Jacobs suggests the following.
1. Reduce the time in bed so that it more closely matches the amount of sleep you are averaging (you may need to keep a sleep diary for 7 days first to determine that-he gives advice on his to complete a diary).
2. If you are only averaging 5 hours of sleep but are in bed for 8 hours, then reduce your time in bed to roughly 5 hours, by going to bed later, getting up earlier or a combination of the two.
3. Determine your maximum allowable time in bed by adding one hour to your average sleep time.
4. Reducing time in bed is only temporary until sleep efficiency improves to 85% (ie you are asleep for 85% of the time you are in bed). Once you reach 85% efficiency you can increase the time in bed by 15 minutes each week so long as you maintain the 85% efficiency.
5. If you find it hard to go to bed later whilst you are retraining then take a walk, do a household chore or a project for a few hours before your new later bedtime to ward off fatigue. If you watch tv all evening it will be harder to delay your bedtime.
He has lots more advice in the book and of course there are many factors that can mess up our sleep (including our dear children!), but I've seen many patients for whom sleep restriction has been a revelation and has completely turned around years of insomnia.
Less is indeed more.