From Benita’s “Being Happier” Podcast
Series: How To Heal Sleep – Part 6
“I can’t sleep now, I’m not tired enough.”
Without going into all the possible deep and meaningful reasons as to why you’re not sleeping, what could you be doing that =is= within your control, to negatively affect your sleep?I aim this question at your ‘sleep switch’ that may only go on in certain circumstances and not others, namely, you fall asleep only when you’re completely exhausted. Your sleep switch doesn’t go on if you’re ‘just’ tired. How did this happen?
You probably know how this happens, because you had a thought in your head which was: I could go to sleep now, but… I’ll just call a friend… I’ll just watch a bit of a movie… I’ll just step out of the house for a bit… I’ll just have something to eat… There goes the sleep window of opportunity.
Doing the above, means that you’ve successfully pushed yourself passed when you were tired enough to go to sleep, maybe that time was 9.30pm and after you’ve finished playing around, it’s 12am when you’re lying in bed feeling irritated, asking yourself “why aren’t I sleeping!”.
You’ve made the choice, maybe without realizing it, to grow more tired and possibly to the point of exhaustion. Your sleep switch in future nights, is now going off at ‘exhaustion’ level rather than ‘tired’ level.
As an adult, you can make the mistake of thinking that you can handle not sleeping enough because “other people manage it and they can function, if I can’t I must be a woos, so I better take it in my stride” yet you still feel exhausted by the time you go to sleep. Not a nice feeling, nor is sleep deprivation when you wake up, it feels like a hang over!
Whether you’re living by yourself or with family or in a relationship, it’s still up to you at the end of the day, literally, to act on your tiredness and go to sleep, rather than be lax and not take it seriously.It can feel wrong or weird or just too early to go to bed at 9pm or 10pm, but they’re just your judgements and those can be changed.There’s a great saying I heard and interesting that it is a ‘saying’, it should just be the fact that everybody lives by: Eat when you’re hungry, sleep when you’re tired.
Sounds simple doesn’t it. The saying doesn’t state ‘only sleep when you’re exhausted’… that’s a bad habit you’ve got yourself into.
Take control of the aspects of your sleep that you can take control of. Be aware of yourself. When you notice your tired, when you have a thought about going to sleep, act on it! Do it! Watch yourself make the choice to eat or watch a movie, decided against it. Retrain your sleep switch to go on when you’re just tired, not exhausted. Retrain the time when you go to sleep.
Signing off… Zzzz…