Stimulus control therapy is a treatment for patients who have conditioned themselves to associate the bed, or sleep in general, with a negative response. As stimulus control therapy involves taking steps to control the sleep environment, it is sometimes referred interchangeably with the concept of sleep hygiene.
Examples of stimulus control therapy include:
1. Go to bed when you feel sleepy and when there is a high likelihood that sleep will occur.
2. Do not watch TV, read, eat, or worry in bed. Your bed should be used only for sleep and sexual activity.
3. If you do not fall asleep 30 minutes after going to bed, get up and go to another room and resume your relaxation techniques.
4. Reduce the subjective effort and energy expended trying to fall asleep.
5. Set your alarm clock to get up at a certain time each morning, even on weekends. Do not oversleep.
6. Avoid exposure to bright light during nighttime hours.
7. Avoid taking naps in the daytime.