Why I Created Sleep Easy

Join me as I describe my analysis of my own insomnia, with learnings that became the Sleep Easy Method.

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I have been a psychotherapist for several decades, specializing in clinical psychology and body-centered therapy. My work has focused on the relationship between cognition and behavior — or more simply said, between the mind and the body — as it relates to trauma, emotional functioning and physical health.

In 1991, my life and my clinical focus took a turn, as I had two major life crises occur in the same week. This caused extreme anxiety and soon after I developed severe insomnia. All of the sudden, it took hours to fall asleep. I read everything I could find that claimed to help with or solve insomnia and tried all the treatments, however nothing worked.

One day I had an insight: What if my insomnia was not simply random hardship—what if this was part of my professional work and life path? What if I could explore my own insomnia in order to understand the physiological subtleties of how sleep occurs and be able to transform my own sleep difficulties and help others too? Well, that is exactly what happened.

From years of cultivating my personal and professional development, I had developed a deep awareness of my body and the subtleties of my mind. Before I knew it, I had embarked on an extraordinary journey to explore my own insomnia and noted what I learned to make discoveries about how sleep occurs.

My first realization came relatively quickly and was obvious: Making any effort to try to sleep, simply pushes sleep farther away.

I noticed what seemed like microscopic subtleties of how my body tensions would gradually soften, loosen their grip and begin to let go, opening towards sleep.

I tapped into my Body Wisdom to reveal subtle body sensations that act as neurological switches gently pulling us toward sleep. These additional body sensations will be discussed in future blog postings and articles.

What became apparent: Body first—and mind follows.

During my days, I dove deep into research on insomnia, sleep and the neurophysiology of the body and mind.

My nighttime observations and discoveries were fascinating. After about a year, I began to sleep longer and deeper and had discovered enough about my inner pathway to sleep, I began to integrate these discoveries into a sleep methodology. I then started to work with people with sleep challenges and insomnia.

By the late 1990s, my sleep discoveries were having such a positive effect on nearly all areas of my clients’ lives, I stopped my general psychotherapy practice and specialized in working exclusively with clients with severe sleep challenges.

Over the last couple of decades, client feedback has assisted my sleep research, development and continued refinement of the Sleep Easy method. My clients’ descriptions of their inner experiences informed and taught me much about how the body and mind move closer and closer to naturally occurring sleep.

Years of refinements have culminated into a completely integrated process.

Early on, I dreamt of offering an effective, easy to use, learn-at-home sleep method to aid more people than I could treat in my therapeutic practice. I refined my process to be as effective as possible in the shortest amount of time, and delivered a treatment program complete in just three sessions.

I soon became the Behavioral Sleep Therapist for Rehabilitation Associates of Colorado, one of the largest rehabilitation groups in the nation. I later became the Behavioral Sleep Therapist for Exempla-Lutheran Medical Center Sleep Center. And in 2009, I became a Behavioral Sleep Therapist for one of the largest primary care practices in Colorado, which serves over 200,000 patients.

In a published study in the journal Sleep Disorders and Therapy (May, 2016), the Sleep Easy Method was tested by United Airlines pilots, police, firefighters and the general public. 81.6% reported improved sleep, with the vast majority reporting that their sleep began to improve on the first night or within the first few nights of using Sleep Easy.

Over the years my sleep continually improved, and yet I still had some challenging night sleep. These occasional anxious nights became opportunities to deepen and broaden the effectiveness of the Sleep Easy method.

Dr. Richard Shane has been the behavioral sleep specialist for over 20 years. He is the behavioral sleep therapist for one of the country’s largest primary care practices, which serves over 200,000 patients. In addition, he is the developer of the highly-effective Sleep Easy Method and mobile app which is based on his clinically-proven methodology.

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