43 episodes

Welcome to the Insomnia Coach® Podcast! My name is Martin Reed. I believe that nobody needs to live with chronic insomnia and that evidence-based cognitive and behavioral techniques can help you enjoy better sleep for the rest of your life. In this podcast, I share insomnia success stories and expert interviews that I hope will motivate and inspire you to implement changes that can improve your sleep and transform your life.

Insomnia Coach® Podcast Martin Reed, MEd, CHES®, CCSH

    • Health & Fitness
    • 4.4 • 43 Ratings

Welcome to the Insomnia Coach® Podcast! My name is Martin Reed. I believe that nobody needs to live with chronic insomnia and that evidence-based cognitive and behavioral techniques can help you enjoy better sleep for the rest of your life. In this podcast, I share insomnia success stories and expert interviews that I hope will motivate and inspire you to implement changes that can improve your sleep and transform your life.

    How Vicky changed her approach to insomnia when sleeping pills stopped working after 20 years (#43)

    How Vicky changed her approach to insomnia when sleeping pills stopped working after 20 years (#43)

    Listen to the podcast episode (audio only)







    Vicky dealt with her insomnia by taking sleeping pills and this seemed to work well until one night, after 20 years of regular use, the medication didn't help her sleep.



    This led Vicky to think that something was wrong with her. She felt alone. She felt that without getting the amount of sleep she wanted to get, she would be unable to take care of her children and she wouldn't be able to be the person she wanted to be or live the life she wanted to live.



    She started to experience a lot of anxiety and would wake up in the middle of the night and have panic attacks.



    This all led Vicky to explore a new approach to insomnia that involved letting go of the struggle. She began to recognize that difficult thoughts and feelings, although very unpleasant, didn't need to prevent her from doing things that mattered — so she didn't need to engage in a battle with them.



    Vicky started to allow her mind to think what it wanted to think and to generate the full range of human feelings and emotions. She started to acknowledge and make space for thoughts and feelings — even though she often wished they weren't showing up — instead of going to war with them.



    She committed to doing things that were important and meaningful even after difficult nights and even in the presence of uncomfortable thoughts and feelings.



    Today, Vicky still experiences some difficult nights from time to time but she is no longer engaged in an exhausting and distracting battle with her mind throughout the day and throughout the night.



    She is living the kind of life she wants to live even when difficult nights happen and even when uncomfortable thoughts and feelings show up. In fact, Vicky now thinks of her insomnia as a gift — as something that has helped her become more resilient and better able to react in a more workable way to the difficulties we all experience as human beings.



    Click here for a full transcript of this episode.Click here to hide the transcript.

    Martin Reed:

    Welcome to the Insomnia Coach Podcast. My name is Martin Reed. I believe that nobody needs to live with chronic insomnia and that evidence-based cognitive and behavioral techniques can help you enjoy better sleep for the rest of your life.



    Martin Reed:

    The content of this podcast is provided for informational and educational purposes only. It is not medical advice and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, disorder, or medical condition. It should never replace any advice given to you by your physician or any other licensed healthcare provider. Insomnia Coach LLC offers coaching services only and does not provide therapy, counseling, medical advice, or medical treatment. The statements and opinions expressed by guests are their own and are not necessarily endorsed by Insomnia Coach LLC. All content is provided "as is" and without warranties, either express or implied.



    Martin Reed:

    Okay. So Vicky, thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to come onto the podcast.



    Vicky Chiu:

    Yeah, absolutely. I'm really grateful to be here. Thank you.



    Martin Reed:

    I'm really looking forward to everything that we are hoping to cover today, so let's just dive right in. Let’s start, if you could just tell us when your sleep problems first began and what you think caused those initial issues with sleep.



    Vicky Chiu:

    I'll start right from the very beginning where it all started in my teens and I think it's about when I was 17. I got my very first early morning job, and of course, that got my nerves going before when I go to bed, and actually I didn't sleep well. But then going on forward with that job,

    • 58 min
    How Jim stopped chasing after sleep and put over 10 years of insomnia behind him (#42)

    How Jim stopped chasing after sleep and put over 10 years of insomnia behind him (#42)

    Listen to the podcast episode (audio only)







    Jim struggled with insomnia for over 10 years. At first, he thought it was a symptom of heavy drinking, a poor diet, working late, and experiencing a lot of stress. However, the insomnia stuck around even after Jim addressed these issues. This led to many years of ongoing sleep disruption, fear, frustration, and anxiety.



    In this episode, Jim shares the changes he made that helped him put his insomnia behind him. Instead of chasing after sleep, he began to spend less time in bed and always got out of bed at the same time every day. He started to get out of bed at night instead of staring at the ceiling for hours.



    Instead of spending time before bed doing things in an attempt to make sleep happen, he simply set aside some time to unwind and do things that were relaxing and enjoyable.



    Ultimately, Jim stopped trying to fight or avoid nighttime wakefulness. He stopped trying to fight or avoid the difficult thoughts and feelings that often come with nighttime wakefulness.



    Today, Jim knows that he can still enjoy really good nights of sleep — even after the most stressful days — because he is no longer engaged in a competition with sleep.



    Click here for a full transcript of this episode.Click here to hide the transcript.

    Martin Reed:

    Welcome to the Insomnia Coach Podcast. My name is Martin Reed. I believe that nobody needs to live with chronic insomnia and that evidence-based cognitive and behavioral techniques can help you enjoy better sleep for the rest of your life.



    Martin Reed:

    The content of this podcast is provided for informational and educational purposes only. It is not medical advice and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, disorder, or medical condition. It should never replace any advice given to you by your physician or any other licensed healthcare provider. Insomnia Coach LLC offers coaching services only and does not provide therapy, counseling, medical advice, or medical treatment. The statements and opinions expressed by guests are their own and are not necessarily endorsed by Insomnia Coach LLC. All content is provided "as is" and without warranties, either express or implied.



    Martin Reed:

    Hi, Jim. Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to come onto the podcast.



    Jim Evans:

    Hey Martin, thanks for having me. Really appreciate the opportunity.



    Martin Reed:

    Well, let's start right at the beginning. If you can just tell us a little bit more about when your sleep problems first began, and what you think caused those initial issues with sleep.



    Jim Evans:

    Yeah, so I've had sleep problems for probably the last decade. It really was alcohol. I was a heavy drinker. In fact, you could say I was a high functioning alcoholic. Caffeine. When I wasn't drinking alcohol, I was drinking caffeinated beverages. I drank coffee for a number of years. And then when I quit coffee, I went over to some black tea and green tea, and even when I was drinking tea, I was really drinking too much of it.

    The other contributing factor was diet. I was eating standard American diet, was snacking all the time, and was even eating before I would go to bed. I would have a late night snack before I would go to bed, and I didn't really even realize what impact that was having on my sleep.

    I was working a lot of late hours, had a lot of stress in my life. Still do occasionally have stress in my life, but it's not as bad now. And then, a lot of bad sleep habits that I acquired over the years. I found myself trying to jump into bed early and stay into bed late, trying to grab naps.

    The sleep wasn't really bad right away. It probably took me about a decade for my sleep to become completely dy...

    • 54 min
    How Nick stopped his mind (and sleep) from controlling his life by letting go of the struggle with his mind (and sleep) (#41)

    How Nick stopped his mind (and sleep) from controlling his life by letting go of the struggle with his mind (and sleep) (#41)

    Listen to the podcast episode (audio only)







    Nick's insomnia journey began in 2000 when he relocated and started a new job. Stress, uncertainty, and anxiety took over his life as he found that the more he tried to fight or avoid his thoughts the more powerful they became.



    Nick felt helpless. He didn't know how to deal with the difficult thoughts and feelings he was experiencing and he didn't know how to improve his sleep. The more he tried, the more he struggled.



    In this episode, Nick shares how he adopted a new approach to dealing with difficult thoughts and feelings. Instead of trying to control them, he began to acknowledge them and make space for them. Instead of fighting with them and getting distracted by them, he validated them and then redirected his attention on actions that would help him move toward the life he wanted to live.



    Nick practiced kindly bringing his mind back to the present whenever it started to time travel. He began to notice and savor all the things he was missing out on when he found himself running on autopilot. He started to focus on living a life aligned with his values — doing things that were important to him — even after difficult nights and even in the presence of uncomfortable thoughts and feelings.



    Today, Nick has a different and more workable relationship with sleep and the full range of thoughts and feelings he experiences as a human being. He is no longer haunted by sleep. He sees sleep as part of his life but not his entire life.



    Click here for a full transcript of this episode.Click here to hide the transcript.

    Martin Reed:

    Welcome to the Insomnia Coach Podcast. My name is Martin Reed. I believe that nobody needs to live with chronic insomnia and that evidence-based cognitive and behavioral techniques can help you enjoy better sleep for the rest of your life.



    Martin Reed:

    The content of this podcast is provided for informational and educational purposes only. It is not medical advice and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, disorder, or medical condition. It should never replace any advice given to you by your physician or any other licensed healthcare provider. Insomnia Coach LLC offers coaching services only and does not provide therapy, counseling, medical advice, or medical treatment. The statements and opinions expressed by guests are their own and are not necessarily endorsed by Insomnia Coach LLC. All content is provided "as is" and without warranties, either express or implied.



    Martin Reed:

    Hi, Nick. Thank you so much for coming onto the podcast today.



    Nick Hobbs:

    Hi, Martin. It's really lovely to be here. Thank you for inviting me.



    Martin Reed:

    Absolutely. I can't wait to get onto our discussion, so let's just get started right away. When did your sleep problems first begin, and what do you think caused those initial issues with sleep?



    Nick Hobbs:

    It's lovely when you got hindsight, isn't it? I can look back and around about the year 2000, I moved states, and started to live in a new city, and a new situation. And at the time, I would've told you that I was anxious about starting a new job. And, but looking back, I can see that it wasn't partly situational crisis of just uncertainty, unknowing. But actually when I look back, that was a big life change as well. That was a big shift in direction. And I guess how I would answer that question now would be that well, partly it's to do with in daily stress reaching a certain level, where on which I wasn't really dealing with. But the other side of that was a sense of not being sure whether I was heading in the right direction with the decision that I'd made about moving to another place.



    Nick Hobbs:

    • 1 hr 8 min
    How Adam released himself from the prison cell he had built to protect him from insomnia (#40)

    How Adam released himself from the prison cell he had built to protect him from insomnia (#40)

    Listen to the podcast episode (audio only)







    Adam's insomnia began the night before an important work presentation. After a really difficult night, Adam ended up calling in sick — and this planted a seed in his mind that told him that difficult nights would mean he couldn't go through with important plans.



    Safety behaviors such as canceling plans or avoiding activities in order to protect his sleep helped Adam feel a bit better in the short-term but over the long-term they were preventing him from living the kind of life he wanted to live.



    In other words, his comfort zone became more like a prison.



    In this episode, Adam shares how he learned to let go of his anxiety, his anger, his fear, and his intense desire to avoid nighttime wakefulness. He also talks about the benefits of self-kindness and how he managed to separate how he slept at night from his ability to engage in things that would help him live the kind of life he wanted to live and be the kind of person he wanted to be.



    Today, Adam has released himself from that prison cell. He is living his life and sleeping a lot better!



    Click here for a full transcript of this episode.Click here to hide the transcript.

    Martin Reed:

    Welcome to the Insomnia Coach Podcast. My name is Martin Reed. I believe that nobody needs to live with chronic insomnia and that evidence-based cognitive and behavioral techniques can help you enjoy better sleep for the rest of your life.



    Martin Reed:

    The content of this podcast is provided for informational and educational purposes only. It is not medical advice and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, disorder, or medical condition. It should never replace any advice given to you by your physician or any other licensed healthcare provider. Insomnia Coach LLC offers coaching services only and does not provide therapy, counseling, medical advice, or medical treatment. The statements and opinions expressed by guests are their own and are not necessarily endorsed by Insomnia Coach LLC. All content is provided "as is" and without warranties, either express or implied.



    Martin Reed:

    Hi, Adam, thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to come onto the podcast.



    Adam Currie:

    Thank you for having me.



    Martin Reed:

    It's great to have you on. Let's start right at the beginning like I do with every single guest. Can you tell us a little bit about when your sleep problems first began and what you think triggered that initial sleep disruption?



    Adam Currie:

    Sure. Yeah, so I probably first experienced real problems with my sleep I would say about probably two, two and a half years ago. I think the trigger was I had an event where I had to present to some quite important people at work and the night before I found myself thinking about what I needed to do the next day. And I thought I've got an early start tomorrow and I need to be up at 5:00 AM and I've got the train to catch and I've got a taxi and I've got all these big things to do. And what if it goes wrong tomorrow? And I just had this kind of snowball of really quite intense negative thoughts about what would happen the day after. And I had a very difficult night. I actually had no sleep at all to the point where I actually unfortunately called in sick the next day.



    Adam Currie:

    And I felt that I couldn't go through what I needed to go through. And that unfortunately, was then imprinted in my mind. So every time I had something like that that cropped up again in the future, I then felt the same anxiety and I was worried about whether I would sleep or not. And it was almost like the trauma of having a completely sleepless night. It had never happened to me before.

    • 1 hr 3 min
    How Juergen improved his sleep by becoming more willing to experience wakefulness and difficult thoughts, feelings, and emotions (#39)

    How Juergen improved his sleep by becoming more willing to experience wakefulness and difficult thoughts, feelings, and emotions (#39)

    Listen to the podcast episode (audio only)







    As Juergen got older, his sleep began to change. Although this is normal, Juergen didn't know that at the time! And, just as he began to pay more attention to sleep, COVID hit, work stress increased, and all the places he used to enjoy going to got shut down.



    Juergen felt as though insomnia and all the difficult thoughts and feelings that come with it were starting to control his life. He felt as though he was losing himself and getting pulled away from the kind of life he wanted to live. This was when we started working together.



    Ultimately, Juergen became more willing to experience nighttime wakefulness. He became more accepting of the difficult thoughts and feelings that would show up. Juergen discovered that as long as he didn't try to battle with all the stuff that was out of his control he could free up all that energy to do things that would help him live the kind of life he wanted to live instead. The skills Juergen learned and repeatedly practiced also helped when tinnitus returned after a long absence.



    Today, Juergen can notice when he's getting distracted by his thoughts and feelings and is better able to disengage autopilot, bring himself back to the present moment, and refocus attention onto the actions he can control — actions that help him be the kind of person he wants to be and help him live the kind of life he wants to live, even in the presence of difficult thoughts and feelings and even after difficult nights.



    As a result, all the difficult stuff that is out of his control now has far less of an influence over his life — and he is also sleeping a lot better!



    Click here for a full transcript of this episode.Click here to hide the transcript.

    Martin Reed:

    Welcome to the Insomnia Coach Podcast. My name is Martin Reed. I believe that nobody needs to live with chronic insomnia and that evidence-based cognitive and behavioral techniques can help you enjoy better sleep for the rest of your life.



    Martin Reed:

    The content of this podcast is provided for informational and educational purposes only. It is not medical advice and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, disorder, or medical condition. It should never replace any advice given to you by your physician or any other licensed healthcare provider. Insomnia Coach LLC offers coaching services only and does not provide therapy, counseling, medical advice, or medical treatment. The statements and opinions expressed by guests are their own and are not necessarily endorsed by Insomnia Coach LLC. All content is provided "as is" and without warranties, either express or implied.



    Martin Reed:

    Hello, Juergen. Thank you so much for taking some time out of your day to come onto the podcast.



    Juergen Kuhmann:

    Yeah, sure. Thank you for having me and for inviting me. Can't believe I'm on your podcast after having viewed so many of them when I was in the middle of it. Thank you very much.



    Martin Reed:

    Oh, absolutely. You're not the first person to say that. Feels like a journey where you just go full circle, right? You listen and then eventually you know you've made it when you come onto the podcast yourself.



    Juergen Kuhmann:

    Maybe that's the circle. Not of life!



    Martin Reed:

    Yeah, exactly. Well, let's start right at the beginning. When did your sleep problems first begin? And what do you think caused those initial sleep issues?



    Juergen Kuhmann:

    I think it was a combination of things. I think, first of all I didn't even realize how sleep would change when I get older. So at that time I was close to 50, and in the onset to it, I was starting to think about my sleep more because I said, "Oh no,

    • 1 hr
    How Kristina dealt with anxiety, worry, and stress as her insomnia shifted from difficulty staying asleep to difficulty falling asleep (#38)

    How Kristina dealt with anxiety, worry, and stress as her insomnia shifted from difficulty staying asleep to difficulty falling asleep (#38)

    Listen to the podcast episode (audio only)







    Kristina had a very stressful job. One night, her husband woke her suddenly after experiencing a really bad nightmare. This event seemed to trigger the release of a lot of anxiety that had been building for some time and Kristina was unable to fall back to sleep. Unfortunately, sleep proved to be difficult on subsequent nights, too — and this created even more worry and anxiety.



    At first, Kristina found that she could fall asleep but would wake in the middle of the night with a racing mind and find it hard to fall back to sleep. This then shifted into difficulty falling asleep — and this change created even more anxiety and sleep disruption.



    Kristina's mind constantly worried about sleep. Even if she was doing something she really enjoyed, her mind would interrupt her with thoughts like, "What if I don't sleep tonight?". She wondered if this would be her entire life from now on. She worried that if her sleep didn't improve, she wouldn't be able to live the kind of life she wanted to live.



    After trying lots of things that didn't seem to help, Kristina started to do things that are known to starve insomnia of the oxygen it needs to survive. Instead of chasing sleep by going to bed earlier and staying in bed later, she started going to bed later at night — when she felt truly sleepy enough for sleep, rather than fatigued. She got out of bed by the same time each morning — no matter what. Whenever being awake at night didn't feel good, she did something more enjoyable instead.



    Perhaps most importantly, though, Kristina decided to work on shifting her focus back to the present moment and what was in her control. She engaged in things each day that helped her continue to move toward the kind of life she wanted to live, independently of sleep and even in the presence of difficult thoughts and feelings.



    Sleep is no longer a problem for Kristina. There is no more mystery and there is no more struggle with wakefulness and difficult thoughts and feelings. Kristina's experience proves that although we can get stuck, we are never broken.



    Click here for a full transcript of this episode.Click here to hide the transcript.

    Martin Reed:

    Welcome to the Insomnia Coach Podcast. My name is Martin Reed. I believe that nobody needs to live with chronic insomnia and that evidence-based cognitive and behavioral techniques can help you enjoy better sleep for the rest of your life.



    Martin Reed:

    The content of this podcast is provided for informational and educational purposes only. It is not medical advice and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, disorder, or medical condition. It should never replace any advice given to you by your physician or any other licensed healthcare provider. Insomnia Coach LLC offers coaching services only and does not provide therapy, counseling, medical advice, or medical treatment. The statements and opinions expressed by guests are their own and are not necessarily endorsed by Insomnia Coach LLC. All content is provided "as is" and without warranties, either express or implied.



    Martin Reed:

    Hi, Kristina. Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to come onto the podcast.



    Kristina B:

    Hi, Martin. No problem. So glad to be here.



    Martin Reed:

    It's great to have you on. Let's just get started right at the beginning. Can you tell us when your issues with sleep first began, and what you feel might have triggered those issues with sleep?



    Kristina B:

    Absolutely. So, at the time it was specifically around Christmas of 2019. I had a couple different reasons that filtered all into one overlying issue, but a couple things were I had a very high stressful job that was very goal ...

    • 1 hr 5 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
43 Ratings

43 Ratings

mrsvermeer ,

It really works!

Martin Reed changed my life! I was miserable and insomnia was ruining my life. I was sure I needed sleeping pills but my doctor recommended therapy first. I love podcasts so found Martin through searching Apple podcasts. CBT-I WORKS! Its hard but because of the testimonies I heard I didn’t give up. So amazing! Thank you Martin!

Harpoleptic ,

A True CBTI Expert

Martin‘s approach to CBTI for chronic insomnia is spot on. You can hear it when he interacts with his guests on this podcast. I have met Martin in person and we have shared thoughts and ideas about CBTI techniques many times. Anyone struggling with chronic insomnia would be wise to tune in to his podcast! He is a true asset to the sleep field and I look forward to many more episodes listening to him guide someone through CBTI!

Santin79 ,

Big fan

I may be, correction I am, biased because Martin is a good friend and fellow CBTi believer/advocate. That said, I truly believe this podcast by focusing on success stories will educate, bring hope and make a real difference in the insomnia universe

If you have trouble sleeping, if you’ve tried everything and still can’t sleep, if you feel there’s not much else left - this is the podcast to tune in to. Chances are pretty high that you’ve tried everything but what truly works: the cognitive and behavioral techniques that have made the guests on this podcast sleep well again.

/Daniel E.

Top Podcasts In Health & Fitness

Scicomm Media
Jay Shetty
Aubrey Gordon & Michael Hobbes
Lysa TerKeurst
Ten Percent Happier
Peter Attia, MD

You Might Also Like

Daniel Erichsen
Caroline Foran
Ten Percent Happier
Dearest Scooter
Martha Lewis
Dr. Matt Walker